This day in Tudor history, 13th October 1549, was the beginning of the end for Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Edward VI's uncle, for it was on this day that the king's council abolished both his protectorate and his membership of the Council.
Somerset had been left vulnerable by social unrest in the kingdom and when things got tense between him and John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and his supporters, Somerset took action, action that would see him being branded a traitor.
In today's talk, I explain exactly what Protector Somerset did to provoke his downfall and what happened next.
Edward Seymour ended up being executed on 22nd January 1552 and you can find out more about his execution in my talk from 22 January:
Also on this day in history:
- 1499 - Queen Claude of France, wife of Francis I, was born in Romorantin-Lanthenay. Claude was the eldest daughter of Louis XII of France and Anne of Brittany.
- 1534 – Alessandro Farnese became Pope Paul III.
- 1536 - Lord Darcy reported to Henry VIII that the East Riding, West Riding, North Riding and “all the commons of Yorshire” were “up” in rebellion.
- 1579 – Death of Sir William Drury, soldier and Lord Justice of Ireland, at Waterford, during Desmond's Rebellion. He was buried in Dublin, at St Patrick's Cathedral.
- 1591 – Death of Sir Edward Waterhouse, administrator, at his estate, Woodchurch in Kent. Waterhouse served Elizabeth as Chancellor of the Exchequer and of the Green Wax in Ireland from October 1586 to October 1589.
A Commission of Array would not have been called at the palace, which apart from being outside of the capital, was not a fortification. They only gathered at parts of the country that were strategic or defensive positions. If Somerset had one called at Hampton Court it was because he was up to no good. Fortunately everyone else saw through this and fortified the Tower, where the armoury and the gunpowder was kept and the capital where any attack would aim for. Not that the palace was,completely defenceless but it certainly wouldn’t be protected by an army unless under direct attack, the King having been removed to the Tower of London which could be defended.
Edward Seymour was under threat, not the palace. He was looking after his own interests. Lord Protectors had been killed by rivals in the past and John Dudley was planning a coup. I am not surprised he took this mad action.