Edward Seymour

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Edward Seymour, Lord Beauchamp, Earl of Hertford as played by Max Brown
later 1st Duke of Somerset & Lord Protector

born c. 1506 - executed January 22, 1552
by order of Edward VI's privy council

Character's backstory:
Studied at Cambridge University & became a Protege of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. With some genuine military talent, he was knighted in 1522 while still in his teens & saw military service in France in 1523. On his return he worked for Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, as Master of the Horse. He reached the court rank of esquire of the body in 1530 & had accompanied Henry & Anne to Calais in 1532.

Edward benefited enormously from the fall of Anne Boleyn and the rise of his sister, Jane Seymour, to the side of King Henry VIII. A very ambitious man, Edward reached the height of his power at the death of Henry VIII, when his young nephew, Prince Edward Tudor, became King Edward VI of England. Since his nephew was too young to rule, Edward was named Lord Protector, virtually serving as the King of England. However, several factions worked to bring his power down, among them his brother, Thomas Seymour. After -popularly bringing about his brother's execution for treason, Seymour's own downfall was swift. The faction led by John Dudley arrested Seymour on charges of treason, and he died a death similar to that of his brother.


Viscount Beauchamp, Earl of Hertford, Lord High Admiral, Lord High Treasurer, Earl Marshal, 1st Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector of England

Personality type:
Very straight-lace, cold, sturdy, no-nonsense and extremely ambitious. Humourless but he had true concerns for the needs of the English people. Occasionally he showed touches of genuine sensitivity ( unlike the series shows) and when Henry died he sent a messenger to inform
the King`s `dear sister` Anne of Cleves before it was announced publicly.
*the series shows him callously telling his sister Jane of their father`s death which is not based in fact.

Signature look: Dour

Endearing trait(s): Could get business done

Annoying trait(s): Too ambitious, had his brother beheaded

" The second man [after Thomas Cromwell] who now [1535] emerged into prominence was Sir Edward Seymour. This son of an upwardly-mobile Wiltshire gentry family was a member of the new generation of courtiers, young men Henry liked to have around him to maintain the impression of a lively court, well up with the latest fashions. They had reached years of maturity in an age when new ideas were in vogue and old allegiances passe. Ambition drove them to seek places close to the fount of all patronage, but no one was more ambitious than Edward" ~ Derek Wilson A Brief History of Henry VIII (2009)

"Despite Edward Seymour's later self-projection as 'the good duke of Somerset', no man showed 'himself more greedy of wealth or ruthless to others than [he] when he built up his fortune during Henry VIII's lifetime'. He needed no reminding of the value of a sister who caught the king's eye....

The princess's [Mary's] supporters, particularly among Edward Seymour's new colleagues in the privy chamber, realised that here was a heaven-sent opportunity to supplant Anne and bring Katherine's daughter back to her rightful place. As for Seymour, he had already made gains from encouraging Jane's responses to Henry so far; for his sister to become more than the king's latest amour promised the jackpot. The alliance between the Seymours and the conservatives was made and Jane was coached to behave accordingly. She was instructed to poison Henry's mind against Anne whenever possible stressing particularly the illegitimacy of his second marriage - in effect presenting herself as an implicit alternative."
~ Eric Ives The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn (2008)

"Sir Edward Seymour's rise to position of influence was impressively swift..... He was a cold, greedy, ruthless and cunning man, whose later nickname -- "The Good Duke" __ was largely undeserved."
~ Alison Weir's Lady in the Tower (2010)

Edward Seymour as played by Max Brown

Duke of Somerset signature

" Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Put thy trust in the Lord with all thine heart.
Be not wise in thine own conceit,
but fear the Lord and flee from evil."

~ Edward Seymour

"The Seymours may not have been particularly grand, but close connections to court had made them, by the generation of Jane herself, astute and worldly wise. Sir John Seymour was over 60 at the inception of the King's romance with his daughter (and would in fact die before the end of the year 1536); even before that the dominant male figure in Jane's life seems to have been her eldest surviving brother Edward, described by one observer about this time as 'young and wise'. Being young , he was ambitious, and being wise, able to keep his own counsel in pursuit of his plans. Contemporaries found him slightly aloof -- but they did not doubt his intelligence. Edward Seymour was cultivated as well as clever; he was a humanist and also, as it turned out, genuinely interested in the tenets of the reformed religion (unlike his sister Jane)."
~ Antonia Fraser The Six Wives of Henry VIII (2002)

"Seymour was a haughty, reserved man, somewhat under the thumb of his volatile second wife, Anne Stanhope, whom he had married in about 1534/5... Although cultivated and astute, Seymour was too much of an idealist to make a great politician, but his ambition and status overrode such a minor consideration and his loyalty to the Crown was never in doubt. A humanist, he was sympathetic to the cause of reform, but "so moderate that all thought him their own". His greatest talent was as a military commander; even Norfolk was impressed with him, and his recommendation later led to Seymour's successful command of the Royal forces in the north of England". ~ Alison Weir's Henry VIII: The King and his Court (2008)


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Family members:
John Seymour: Father
Jane Seymour: Sister
Thomas Seymour: Brother
Prince Edward Tudor/King Edward VI: Nephew
Anne Stanhope: Wife

1st wife : Catherine Filiol - married c. 1527 and annulled v. 1537 after the scandal of his father having an affair with her & her children declared illegitimate

2nd Wife: Anne Stanhope -married c. 1537 - 9 children (described as being a "violent woman", and was held responsible for the fate of her husband, through having urged him to adopt a ruinous policy. She was disliked throughout the royal court)

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Henry Grey, Marquess of Dorset

Edward Seymour (1537- 1539)
Edward Seymour (1539 -1621) Earl of Hertford
Anne Seymour(1540- 1588).
Jane Seymour (1541- 1561)
Mary Seymour (born 1552)
Elizabeth Seymour (1552- 3 June 1602),
Lord Henry Seymour (born 1552)
2 more - one possibly Margaret Seymour

In 1550 a year after the death of Marguerite of Angouleme, Edward Seymour and Anne Stanhope's 3 young daughters, Jane, Anne and Margaret Seymour would write a tributary poem to her An elegy in 104 distichs on the death of Marguerite of Navarre which their Tutor would publish. England's first female-authored Encomium [a formal expression of praise; eulogy; panegyric].
It was the only work published in any language by English women before the 1560s and the only published poem in Latin of any English women in the 16th century. It caused such a sensation that, a year after its publication, it reappeared in translations into Greek, Italian and French by many famous contemporary poets.


  • John Seymour "Everything will change for her. A kiss is her destiny and her fortune." Edward "...and ours." Episode 2.10

  • Imagine what it would mean to us as a family if he did grow to love her.

  • He's formed an affection (talking about Henry's interest in Jane)

  • "For goodness sake, have some dignity!" to Margaret Pole (Lady Salisbury)


  • Episode 3.3 when Jane asks how her father is after hearing he'd been ill Edward tells her that he is dead, not caring about her feelings at all which shows what kind of man he will become later on in his hunger for power.
  • When he slaps Stephen Gardiner in the final episode.

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Edward Seymour as played by Max Brown

Season 4
<a class="external" href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9c/Edward_Seymour_Duke_of_Somerset.jpg" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Image:Edward Seymour Duke of Somerset.jpg</a>
Portrait of Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford
and 1st Duke of Somerset, located at Weston Park,
Trustees of the Weston Park Foundation

Edward Seymour as played by Max Brown
Season 3
Max Brown as Edward Seymour
Edward Seymour & Anne Stanhope

Edward & his wife Anne Stanhope
Edward Seymour as played by Max Brown

Season 2
with Thomas Cromwell