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Thomas Seymour Seymour of Sudeley, Baron

Seymour of Sudeley, Thomas Seymour, Baron, 1508?–1549, English nobleman. After the marriage (1536) of his sister Jane to Henry VIII, he served on various diplomatic missions, was in command of the English army in the Netherlands in 1543, and was admiral of the fleet in 1544. When, on the death of Henry in 1547, his brother Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset, became the protector of the young Edward VI, Thomas was made lord high admiral and Baron Seymour of Sudeley. Thereafter he tried to supplant his brother as guardian of the king. In 1547 he married the dowager queen, Catherine Parr. He was influential in securing an act of Parliament (1547) that made the duration of the protectorate dependent on the king's pleasure instead of being fixed until the king was 18, and he carefully cultivated the friendship of Edward. He also used his position as admiral to come to an understanding with pirates, in the hope of securing their support. After his wife's death (1548) he sued unsuccessfully for the hand of Princess Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I), to whom he had already made advances. His activities provoked questioning by the council, and he was convicted of high treason and executed.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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