Sunday, June 29, 2008

Question from Alix - Birth year of Edward Seymour (son of the Duke of Somerset)

I have a question about Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, the husband of Katherine Grey. I was wondering if anyone knew what year he was born in. I've been reading a bunch of different books and websites and I've been getting what seems like ten different answers and it's getting really confusing.
Does anyone have any solid facts on when he may have been born? Thanks.

2 comments:

Elizabeth M. said...

The sources I have list his birth year as 1539 and that he died in 1621.

PhD Historian said...

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography's article on the Earl of Hertford (written by Susan Doran) lists his birthday as unknown but perhaps in 1539. The lack of "solid facts" stems from the fact that birth certificates did not exist in the period. The only potential documentary record of births might be a record of a baptism. Those records were not consistently maintained by the officiating priests in the early Tudor period, however. And even when the baptism was recorded, the record has too often disappeared during the intervening centuries. The simple truth is that we do not know the exact date of birth for a large percentage of Tudor-era figures because they either were not recorded or the record has since been lost.