On This Day in Tudor History: 25 January 1549

On This Day in Tudor History: 25 January 1549

The Examination of the Lord Admiral,

25 January 1549

Whither he hath commoned wyth onny perfon or perfones, tochyng an alterafhon of the Order of the Perfon of the Kyng’s Magyfte, and his Confell; and what be theyr names, with whom he hath confer’d?

Thomas’ response:

I anfour, as I defeyer to be faved, to my remembrance fene the laft Parlement I never confer’d with any creatur levyng, but wyth my Lord of Rottland, upon occafhon of talk of the Kyng’s Magyfte’s towardnes, whom I fayed wold be a man thre yeres befor onny chyld levyng; and that I thowght within to or thre yeres, he wold defeyer more lieberte, and the honor of his own thyngs; and forther fayed, Yf then his Highnes ded command me to mak the mofhon to my Lord my brother, and the Confell, I wold do it; and moreover fayed, that I wold my Lord my brother fhould be the cheff derecter of his Grace’s Afferres in the Confell. And as to the alterafhon of ony other of the Confell, I never talked wyth hym, nor ony other to my remembrance. And yf I ment ony hurt to my Lord’s Grace my brother, more then I ment to my sowlle, then I defeyer nether lyff nor other favor at his hand. And fo far I defeyer you my Lordes to anfour to his Grace in my behalff; wharein ye fhall bynd me, duryng my lyff, to be at your commandment.

Your Lordfhipes to Command,


Endorsed to: my very good Lordes my Lord grett Mafter, my Lord Prevy Selle, my Lord of Shrewfberey, my Lord of Southampton and Mr. Controller, and Mr. Smeth

In his examination, Thomas Seymour admits that he believed that the King should come of age soon and then if he chose to be the master of his own things that Thomas would back him up. He also states that he believes his brother (Lord Protector) should, in that situation, be the Chief Director of His Grace’s affairs in the Council. He states that he meant no harm to his brother and if he did that he would not desire life nor favor on his behalf. He asked the men to relay the information to his brother.

screen shot 2019-01-25 at 8.10.44 am
Letter courtesy of Hatfield House archives

Thomas also wrote a letter to his brother, the Lord Protector:

After my umbell commendashons unto your Grace. Sene the fenychyng of my letter, as yesterday, to my Lord grett Matter, (wharin I affewer your Grace on my faith, I wrott all that came to my remembrance,) fene whyche time I do remember, that when I came firft to Hamptown Cort, with your Grace out of Wylshere, on night as the Kyng’s Magesfte walked in the gallery, I began to fey unto his Grace, that fene I fa hyme laft, he was growen to be a goodly gentlman and trusted that within thre or four years, he fhuld be ruler of his own thyngs; whereunto his Highnes fayed, Nay. I marvelled that at to my felf and began to nomber his yeres, and fayed, within this four yeres his Grace fhuld be fixteen yere old, and fayed, that I trufted be that tyme, his Grace should help his men hymfelf, wyth fuch thyngs as fell in his Grace’s gyft, or lek wordes in effect; whare at his Grace fayed nothing. And then I fell in other talke of other materes, but what, I remember not; and whether I told this to Mr. Fowler or nott, I am not farten; and if ever I thought of it fene, to my remebrance tyll this mornyng, I pray God I leve nott tyll none. Wharein I confefs my felf to be over fenne, and that I ded otherwyffe then became me; requyryng your Grace to be my good Lord, and to remett my overfight, as your Grace hath done to a nomber of other. But yff I ment ether hurt or difplefur to your Grace, in this or ony ohter thyng that I have done, then puneche me be extremyte. And thus I umbly take my leve of your Grace.

Your Graces to Command, and Brother,


In the letter to his brother he reiterates what was in his examination. He ends the letter with: ‘If I meant either hurt or displeasure to your Grace, in this or any other thing that I have done, then the punishment should be extreme’.


John Harrington was a servant of Thomas Seymour – in what aspect is currently unknown to me. On the 25th of January 1549 Harrington was examined regarding his master. The same day Thomas Seymour has also been examined by Russell, Southampton and Petre.

Harrington was asked: What communication had been between him and my Lord Admiral, as concerning an order to be taken for the Government of the King’s Majesty and the order of his Council:

He answered, That as concerning the order of government of the King’s, or of an such matter, he never heard privately the Lord Admiral speak to him any thing; but openly he hath heard once the Lord Admiral say before others, about a yere now past, that i was never seen, that in the minority of a king, when there hath been two brothers, that the one brother should have all rule, and the other none; but if that the one were Protector, then the other should be Governor. Another time, he heard him say, if it were offered unto him to have either the one or the other, meaning the Protectorship or Governorship, he would wish the earth opened, and swallowed him, if he would take it. And since that time he never heard him say anything touching such matters. And for the Council, he never heard him say anything.

On this day Harrington was questioned on many matters, but I chose to share this part since it was on the same subject as what Seymour said.

Robert & Elizabeth Tyrwhitt

Robert Tyrwhitt and his wife Elizabeth served in the household of Katheryn Parr: Robert as a Master of Horse and his wife, Elizabeth as a gentlewoman of the Queen.

The Council notified Robert and his wife that they should move to Hatfield House to care for the Lady Elizabeth, while Kat Ashely and Thomas Parry were being questioned in the Tower of London.

Robert Tyrwhitt also had the unfortunate duty of interviewing the cunning Lady Elizabeth for the Council. Those conversations would be reported back. On 25 January 1549 Robert wrote a letter to the Lord Protector (here are a couple parts of it):

Robert Tyrwhit’s Confession

About Michelmas last past, my Lord Admiral lay with me one night at Mourclek Park, and after Supper he talked with my wife. And passing by him he called me, and said these words, “Master Tyrwhitt I am talking with my Lady your wife in divinity.” I made him answer, that my wife was not seen in divinity but she was half a scripture woman. “I will tell you the matter,” said he, “I have told her, that I wished to my  Lord my brother, that the crown of England may stand in as good a “surte” as the Crown of France; for there it was well known from one to another, who should have it by descent; and so should it be here, if my Lady Mary and my Lady Elizabeth were married”: I answered him that that was divinity indeed, for whosoever married one of them without the consent of the King’s Majesty, and them whom he he put in trust  for the same, I would not wish me.

One day at Sudeley, walking in the park, among many communications, the Queen’s Grace said thus; “Master Tyrwhitt, you shall see the King when he cometh to his full age. He will call his lands again, as fast as they be now given from him”: Marry, said, I, then is Sudeley Castle gone from my Admiral? “Marry, I do assure you, he intends to offer them to the King and give them freely to him at that time.”

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