On This Day in Tudor History: 21 January 1549

On This Day in Tudor History: 21 January 1549

Yesterday we discussed the confession of a Mr. Wyghtman – servant to Lord Seymour, who relayed information about Mr. Parry’s visits to Seymour Place prior to Thomas’ arrest. It is my belief that his statement is what caused two of the Lady Elizabeth’s servants to to be committed to the Tower of London for questioning.

Everything appeared as normal the morning of 21 January at Hatfield House until a couple of men arrived on horseback – Lord St. John and Sir Anthony Denny. When Elizabeth’s cofferer, Thomas Parry, discovered the two men had arrived he fled to his chamber where he found his wife Anne, also terrified. He tore the chain of office from his person and removed his rings and began to pace. He stated, “I would I had never been born, for I am undone.”

When I read the above description in Elizabeth Norton’s “The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor” I wondered why Parry was so nervous – Surely he had heard of Seymour’s arrest four days earlier and must have realized that soon he would be questioned. Did he just fear questioning, or was he indeed guilty of something?

Kat Ashley was Lady Elizabeth’s governess and she, Parry and his wife Anne greeted the visitors together, but not before making sure they all kept the proper secrets and did not reveal any involvement in a conspiracy, especially any discussion of Lady Elizabeth marrying Lord Seymour.

That evening, Thomas Parry and Kat Ashley were unexpectantly arrested for their involvement with Seymour – they were whisked away without a chance to dress properly. You can imagine their fear. That night they rode to the Tower of London with St. John and Denny for questioning.

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