On This Day in Tudor History: 20 January 1549

On This Day in Tudor History: 20 January 1549

In yesterday’s post we discovered that not only was Thomas Seymour locked away in the Tower of London but also his friends and ‘alleged’ cohorts, Sir William Sharington and John Fowler.

On this day 470 years ago Thomas Seymour was charged with treason. From Acts of the Privy Council on ‘Sondaye’, the 20 January 1548 (we know as 1549 due to the calendar change).

Forasmych as very many dyd comme to declare syche thinges as they had hard and perceyved to apperteyn to the said heynous attempt of the Admirall, my Lord Protectour, with thadvis of the rest of the Counsaile, dyd appoinct my Lord Pryvy Seale, therle of Southampton and Mr. Secretary Peter to take their examinacions by writing or otherwise.

If you are less than comfortable reading the way they wrote before standardized spelling, I’ll help you here:

For as much as very many did come to declare such things as they had heard and perceived to appertain to the said heinous attempt of the Admiral, my Lord Protector, with the advise of the rest of the Council, did appoint my Lord Privy Seal (John Russell), the Earl of Southampton (Thomas Wriothesley) and Mr. Secretary Peter to take their examinations by writing or otherwise.

Sharington Interrogation:

During Sharington’s interrogation he appeared to reveal everything he had been involved in. Not only does he admit he worked with Seymour but he also admitted that he been stealing money for his own purposes (will discuss that later):

Touching my Lord Admiral, I do declare I heard him say, as I have called to my remembrance, why should not the King’s daughter’s be married within the realm; and that he said so much to some of the council: And that they were able to say little unto it.

Sharington admits that Seymour stated that it was wrong for his brother to go against the late King’s (Henry VIII) wishes:

I have also heard him say, that he thought it was not the King’s will that “dead” is, that any one man should have both the government of the King that now is, and also realm. And that in time past, if there were two uncles, being of the mother’s side, the one should have the one, the other the other.

And it appears that Seymour was not naive that the Council was on his brother’s side:

I have also heard him say, that none of the council would say anything otherwise at any time, then was liking unto my Lord’s Grace.

It’s obvious to everyone, whether in 16th century England or the 21st century world that Thomas Seymour was an ambitious man – they all were back then. He was really no different than any of them in this matter:

I have known him much desirous of stewardships, and to entertain gentlemen, but to what end I did never know, otherwise to serve the king, as he did always say.

Sharington continues to sing like a canary, probably out of fear of torture, or worse:

I did hear him say, that he would never consent or agree, that the King should be kept as ward, til he came to the years of 18; whereby he misliked my Lord his Grace’s patent.

Sir William Sharington’s confession is almost as long as Kat Ashley’s, but we’ll leave that for a future post.

Wyghtman’s Confession:

Wyghtman was a servant of Sir Thomas Seymour. He actually had not worked for Seymour very long before his master was arrested an imprisoned in the Tower of London on charges of treason. It is my understanding that Wyghtman was Thomas Seymour’s secretary.

Wyghtman evidently was witness to many comings and goings of his master and his guests, and was more than willing to share that information. In his confession he mentions a Mr. Hammond and Mr. Parry (Elizabeth’s cofferer) but admits that he cannot necessarily give dates.

The information in Wyghtman’s confession may explain the events of 21 January 1549….

One response to “On This Day in Tudor History: 20 January 1549”

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