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Edward Seymour


(Earl of Hertford; 1st Duke of Somerset)

c.1500 - 1552

Protector Somerset. Seymour was the brother of Jane Seymour, the wife of King Henry VIII of England. He served on various military and diplomatic missions for his King, who made him Viscount Beauchamp in 1536 and Earl of Hertford in 1537.

Seymour led the 'Rough Wooing' campaign against Scotland between 1544 and 1547, brought about when the Scots reneged on a promise to allow Mary, Queen of Scots, to marry Henry's son and heir Prince Edward. This campaign caused significant destruction to Edinburgh and much of southern Scotland.

Seymour acted as Lord Protector when Edward VI acceded to the throne of England on the death of Henry in 1547, at the age of just 10 years. Edward appointed Seymour Lord Treasurer and Earl Marshall and created him Duke of Somerset, vesting in him considerable power. Yet, within five years, Seymour's opponents ensured his fall from favour and he was at first imprisoned and subsequently executed on Tower Hill in London.


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