While gathering evidence for my case to prove Thomas Seymour’s innocence (where I can), I discovered there are a couple of missing depositions in State Papers. Ones that are listed as being done, but not printed. These depositions are only available at Longleat House in Wiltshire and must be accessed in person. Due to geographic separation I am unable to view these depositions at this time, but I will keep you updated as this changes.
The deposition I would like to discuss today is the one from a Mr. Edward Rouse. Rouse was the Comptroller of Thomas’ household in Bewdley, called Ticknell/Tickenhill House. Tickenhill was considered a Royal Palace, and Seymour acquired it when he married Kateryn Parr in 1547.
At the moment, I do not have access to Rouse’s deposition, but what I have to go on is: “Orders given by Seymour for keeping his house in Bewdley, in Shropshire”.
John Harrington, a servant/officer of Sir Thomas Seymour, had previously held a post in the service of King Henry VIII. Harrington had married one of the alleged illegitimate daughters of the late King Henry, Ethelred Malte.
As a servant to Seymour, Harrington’s exact position in the household is currently unknown, however it is apparent he worked closely with him.
Either before or during Thomas Seymour’s stay in the Tower of London, John Harrington wrote a letter to the ‘Lords of the Council’ in his own hand. This letter was in regards to a conversation that he had with none other than the Comptroller of Ticknell House, Mr. Edward Rouse. In the short excerpt it states that Harrington was sent, by the Lord Admiral to accompany the Lady Jane to the house of the Marquis of Dorset. To further understand what it is all about I looked up the letter. It can be found in ‘A Collection of State Papers, relating to Affairs in the Reigns of King Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth: 1542-1570’ – Page 93: (see ‘original translation’)
According your Lordship’s commandments and ‘myn’ obedient duty. I have here written, as near as I can call to remembrance, the sum of the talk that passed between Mr. Rouse and me, as such time as my Lord send me ‘tatend’ (to attend?) on my Lady Jane to my Lord Marquess. Because he had the charge of my Lord’s household, I declared unto him my Lord’s pleasure for such of his men, as were convenient for that journey; and by reason hereof fell in to further discourse, as of the maids that remained, and to what end there abode was. I told him plainly, as I thought, they tarried in hope of my Lady Jane her return, which was the greatest cause of my going; and said further if things came to such pass as I hoped, I had some cause think it should torn (turn) the ‘thole’ (the whole?) house to great commodity; with more circumstances, but I am well assured, all to this end. Wherefore I most humbly beseech your good Lordships, for that it is very true, and also I acknowledge myself, to have been one, not so temperate of my talk, nor of so advised memory, as to be able now, to declare fully what hath passed me so long since, that it may please you to think it neither of arrogance, nor will, to conceal any matter: But if any unseemly word have escaped me, to impute it, rather to be said rashly and negligently, then willfully or maliciously; and as this sharp correction hath well learned me, so shall I hereafter not only have a more respect to that I aught, but also for the warning, during my life, remain,
Furthermore, if we look at this map, it would be an easy ‘escape’ from Sudeley to both Tickenhill and Holt. Dr. Sarah Morris of “On the Tudor Trail” was nice enough to inform me that due to the geography of the land that one could easily move from Sudeley to Tickenhill, which was THE route across the River Severn in that area.
By WHY you ask? Why would they need to escape from Sudeley? Well, if they had the King of England in tow they would need to secure him in a fortified location. Holt was the best option for Thomas Seymour for more than one reason.