PERSON OF THE MONTH
Edward Seymour

Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, was king in all but name as Lord Protector to his nephew, Edward VI

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  • On This Day 10th April 1512

    10th April 1512 saw the birth of a son to James IV of Scotland and his English wife, Margaret Tudor. The baby was not the first born to the couple but previous infants had died young. He became King of Scots as James V at the age of eighteen months, when his father was killed at Flodden. James, after a troubled minority, during which his mother fought to retain the regency, became a capable monarch. The rivalry for control was, in part, a manifestation of the ongoing struggle between France and England for influence in Scotland. James never forgave his uncle, Henry VIII, for his interference in his realm, and it was in yet another skirmish with his southern neighbour that James fell ill and died, aged just thirty, leaving his eight-day old daughter, Mary, as Queen of Scots.

  • On This Day 9th April 1582

    On 9th April 1582 Richard Bertie, second husband of Katherine Willoughby, Dowager Duchess of Suffolk and Baroness Willoughby de Broke, died. Bertie was the Duchess’ gentleman usher, a useful role for forming close relationships. Read our review of David Baldwin’s biography of Katherine here. Like his wife, he was a radical in religion, and when they were exiled during the reign of Queen Mary, they travelled to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. On return to England with their two children, the couple were not welcomed by Elizabeth I, but Bertie was returned as an MP several times and acted as a Justice of the Peace.

  • On This Day 8th April 1580

    On 8th April 1580, William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, was born. He was the grandson of Anne Parr, sister of Queen Katherine Parr, and the son of Henry, 2nd Earl and Mary Sidney, sister of the poet, Sir Philip Sidney. William became Earl in 1601 and held a number of important posts, particularly in South Wales, where his ancestor, Sir William Herbert, had been a rival for power to Edmund and Jasper Tudor. Pembroke had a complicated private life. He refused to marry the bride chosen for him, Lady Bridget de Vere, grand-daughter of Sir William Cecil, when terms could not be agreed for the lady’s dowry. He had illegitimate children by ladies of good birth, Mary Fitton (for which he was imprisoned when he refused to marry her) and by his cousin, Lady Mary Wroth. He married Lady Mary Talbot but had no children by her. In his role as Lord Chancellor of the University of Oxford, he was honoured by the use of his name in the founding of Pembroke College. William and his brother, Philip, Earl of Montgomery, are the dedicatees of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays.

    Picture is by Daniel Mytens, c.1625


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