Monday, January 15, 2018

Question from Gail - Descent from Katherine Grey Seymour

If katherine seymour had been made queen and her children succeeded her, who would be on the throne now.

1 comment:

PhD Historian said...

The problem with counter-factual questions is that they assume that nothing in the entire historical narrative is or would be altered other than the one change suggested by the questioner. But that is not a reasonable assumption. Had Katherine Grey Seymour become Queen of England, and had her son Edward, Lord Beauchamp inherited the crown from his mother, the history of England, Great Britain, Europe, and the world would be quite different. Thus we cannot know that the line of descent from them would have remained as it is today. Indeed, it seems very unlikely that as a Prince of Wales, young Edward Seymour would have married the low-born Honora Rogers, just for starters. That unlikelihood alone would have entirely altered the course of the Seymour lineal descent.

But if we make the bold and unlikely assumption that changing one fact would not alter anything that happened subsequently, the line of descent would have passed down through the male Seymour Dukes of Somerset (though they would have been Kings of England) to Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset. From him, it would have passed to his daughter Elizabeth Seymour Percy, wife of the 1st Duke of Northumberland in the creation of 1766. Since Elizabeth died without issue in 1776, any putative royal crown she may have worn would (I believe) have passed to her very distant cousin Edward Seymour of Berry Pomeroy, 6th Baronet (who in fact became 8th Duke of Somerset upon Elizabeth Seymour Percy’s death). As a result, the Crown of England (notably *not* that of the United Kingdom) would today be worn by John Michael Edward Seymour, 19th Duke of Somerset. His son Sebastian Edward would today be The Prince of Wales. And presumably the modern Windsors, as descendants of James VI of a separate Scotland, would not figure in any way in English history.