(B. Cromwell of Oakham)
Born: BET 1500/05, Wolf Hall, Savernake, Wiltshire, England
Died: BEF 9 Jun 1563 / AFT 13 Mar 1561/62, Launde, Leicestershire, England
Buried: BEF 9 Jun 1563, Basing, Hampshire, England
Father: John SEYMOUR (Sir)
Mother: Margery WENTWORTH
Married 1: Anthony OUGHTRED (Sir) (Gov. of Jersey) BEF 1537
Married 2: Gregory CROMWELL (2° B. Cromwell of Oakham) BEF 1538, Wolfhall, Wiltshire, England
1. Henry CROMWELL (3° B. Cromwell of Oakham)
2. Frances CROMWELL
3. Catherine CROMWELL
4. Edward CROMWELL
5. Thomas CROMWELL (MP)
Married 3: John PAULET (2° M. Winchester) AFT Jul 1551 /10 Mar 1554 / 24 Apr 1554
Formerly called Catherine Howard
(Probably Elizabeth Seymour)
Unknown artist, after Holbein Oil on panel, 73.7 x 49.5 cm
National Portrait Gallery
I want to thank Susan McMahon, of the Bristol Renassaince Faire, for the research she had done about Elizabeth Seymour
Elizabeth Seymour is descended from, on her paternal side, Sir Richard St. Maur, who arrived in England with William the Conqueror, and on her maternal side, King Edward III, through the Duke of Clarence, and Hotspur. Her Father was Sir John Seymour of Wolfhall, Wiltshire. Commander during the suppression of the insurrection by the Cornish rebels in 1497, and during the French wars. Made Knight Bannaret by King Henry VIII in 1513. Sheriff of Dorset, Somerset, and Wiltshire. Married Margery Wentworth, 2nd daughter of Sir Henry Wentworth of Nesttlested, Suffolk.
Elizabeth Seymour was born at Wolfhall. At the age of 13 she was married to Sir Anthony Oughtred, Governor of the Isle of Jersey. Some sources say that Lady Oughtred first came to Court in service to the Queen, Anne Boleyn.
She was very fond of her Queen, and was in attendance at the birth of Princess Elizabeth. She counts that experience as one of the dearest of her life, and if others were less than jubilant at the birth of a girl child, the disappointment missed Elizabeth’s notice altogether.
When it became obvious, even to Elizabeth, that the King had resumed his search for a Queen who could give Him a male heir, she felt very sorry for the doomed Anne, but at the same time she was delighted that his eye had lit upon her elder sister, Jane.
Sir Anthony died in 1534, but Elizabeth returned to Court in 1536 to witness Jane’s marriage to the King.
In Mar of 1537, the widowed Elizabeth, living in poverty in York, wrote to Lord Cromwell to ask for the grant of some of the goods from one of the dissolved monasteries. Instead, Cromwell proposed that she marry his son, Gregory. In 1537 her brother Edward arranged a marriage between Elizabeth and Gregory, they wed on 3 Aug 1537. Her new father-in-law was an extremely powerful man at the time of the marriage: Privy Councilor, Chancellor of the Exchequer, King’ Secretary, Lord Privy Seal, and Great Lord Chamberlain. It was he who saw to the removal of Queen Anne from Henry’s life.
The year 1540 proved especially significant to Thomas Cromwell. He was created Earl of Essex, accused by the Duke of Norfolk of treason, attainted, and beheaded. He shouldn’t have recommended the King marry Anne of Cleves. Lord Cromwell’s fall from power in 1540 was a setback for the family, but Gregory was not implicated and he was restored as Lord Cromwell of Oakham later that same year.
In 1551, when
Elizabeth’s brother, Edward
Seymour, then Lord Protector, was arrested,
Elizabeth was given charge of his daughters. Later that year, Gregory Cromwell
died of the sweat and Elizabeth was also ill, at Launde Abbey in
Leicestershire, but recovered. She gave birth to her last child after her
husband’s death. Following
the death of her nephew, Edward VI,
Elizabeth was generally shunned at Court by
those who felt the days of the Seymours as a power were done. She wished to
retire to Launde (formerly Launde Abby, which had been appropriated by Thomas
Cromwell during his overseeing of the dissolution of the monasteries), but knew
that flight would end any hopes of restoring the luster that had belonged to the
Seymours not so long ago. So she withstood, and in time her patience was
In 1557 Elizabeth married John Paulet, the widowed Baron St. John. His father, William Paulet, 1st Marquess of Winchester and Earl of Wiltshire, had assumed the position of Lord Treasurer upon the death of the Duke of Somerset. He held the office through the reigns of Edward VI, Jane Grey, Mary, and Elizabeth, though Queen Elizabeth never trusted him, suspecting him of Spanish and Scottish sympathies. Nor did his daughter-in-the-law have reason to trust in him, for he had taken part in the conspiracy against Edward Seymour. Her son Henry married her new husband’s daughter Mary.
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