Sunday, July 10, 2011

Question from Mary R - Rift between Seymour brothers

 When, how and why did the rift between the Seymour brothers (Thomas and Edward) originally begin?


Roland H. said...

The rift began when Thomas married the Queen Dowager (Katharine Parr).

Edward looked upon the marriage as Thomas making a bid for power.

Aly said...

Well, really the rift began before Katherine Parr and Thomas married. Edward was given the position of Protector of the Realm by Edward VI's council. This didn't make Thomas too thrilled because his brother was suddenly the second most important man in the realm. They apparently didn't really get along anyway before this, but this was really the turning point. Edward wouldn't give his brother the high offices he craved, Thomas tried to undermine him through the protectorship.

Orla said...

I remember reading someone but cannot
Remember which book I think from Starkey or Weir that Thomas and Edward had been friendly enough when they were young. However when Jane became Queen, it was Edward who rose in Royal favour becoming a Baron, the an earl, Thomas apparently resented his brother's growing importance when he got little from Henry.

kb said...

On the other hand - Edward was the elder son and therefore was always going to be in line for more honors. the idea of parity between siblings is a modern, not early-modern, notion. Thomas would have known from birth that Edward was always going to be richer and more powerful. In 1547, during Edward's highest sphere of influence, Thomas was created Baron Sudley and Lord High Admiral.

There may have always been some sort of sibling rivalry between the brothers but I suspect that the real source of friction between them was when Thomas married Katherine Parr without permission and before any decent period of mourning for Henry VIII had passed. This would have been considered reckless disregard for the proper order of society.