On This Day in Tudor History: 23 January 1549

On This Day in Tudor History: 23 January 1549

Six Days After Arrest

On the 23rd of January 1549, something interesting was recorded. The King’s Council issued a proclamation that prohibited the carrying of weapons or wearing of armor within three miles from court. Why would they do that?

In some of my original research on Thomas Seymour I came across a story about how “they” had found a cache of weapons, or rather a weapons making area, in the woods. Where exactly I do not recall, but they had been allegedly tied to Thomas Seymour. 

With a history as the Master of the Ordnance, the accusation seemed plausible to me. The only problem with that is that it was the only time I had read that specific claim. Red flag. I checked Thomas’ Act of Attainder to see if it was mentioned. Nada. Surely, if it were true it would have been mentioned. There is no mention.

This leads me to back to the proclamation that prohibited the carrying of weapons or wearing of armor within three miles from court – someone must have falsely confessed to a threat of weapons being used to free Thomas from the Tower that they were worried enough to make this proclamation. If King Edward VI was located at Westminster Palace then that was where court would be. Westminster is three miles from the Tower of  London. So not only were they protecting the King and his court but they were also making sure that covered the Tower of London and Thomas Seymour as well.

Thomas Seymour was well liked, and that made him a threat to the men in charge. John Dudley, Earl of Warwick was instrumental in convincing Thomas to strive for more power and he was instrumental in his downfall – convincing his brother Edward, Lord Protector that he was in danger. In a letter to his brother, Thomas once said, “my death is your death.” How prophetic.

Update: After many years of trying to relocate this source I have come to the conclusion that it was likely not contemporary, or it was fabricated, due to the fact that there are no other sources that mention this.

Also on this Day

John Ashley committed to the Fleet for the matter of the Admiral. John was married to Kat Ashley, Lady Elizabeth’s governess who had been arrested just days earlier.

NPG 6768,John Astley,by Unknown artist
John Astley in a portrait from 1553-4. Wikipedia

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