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Edward Seymour

(c. 1500 - 1552) [ODNB]

Soldier; viscount Beauchamp of Hache 1536; earl of Hertford 1537

Lord high admiral 1542; lord great chamberlain 1543

Duke of Somerset 1547; lord protector 1547; lord treasurer 1547; earl marshal 1547; beheaded

Because Edward VI was only young when he came to the throne, his uncle Edward Seymour was assigned as overseer and protector of both the king and the commonwealth. He abolished the Six Articles and brought into the country learned reformers. He replaced some of the unlearned clergy with preachers. 1563, p. 684; 1570, p. 1486; 1576, p. 1259; 1583, p. 1296.

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Edward Seymour stood against the bishops of Chichester, Norwich, Lincoln, London and others at the consultation at Windsor in the first year of Edward VI's reign. 1570, p. 1551; 1576, p. 1322; 1583, p. 1372.

Seymour granted a pardon to Thomas Dobbe, but Dobbe died in prison before it could reach him. 1563, p. 685; 1570, p. 1486; 1576, p. 1260; 1583, p. 1297.

He was a signatory to a letter from the king and privy council to Nicholas Ridley, directing him to remove and destroy all altars within the churches of his diocese and install communion tables. 1563, p. 727; 1570, pp. 1519-20; 1576, p. 1288; 1583, p. 1331.

Seymour wrote a reply to a letter of Stephen Gardiner objecting to the destruction of images in Portsmouth. 1563, p. 730-31; 1570, pp. 1519-20; 1576, p. 1298; 1583, p. 1331.

Seymour was in regular correspondence with Stephen Gardiner while he was imprisoned in the Fleet. 1563, pp. 730-54; 1570, pp. 1519-25; 1576, pp. 1298-1300; 1583, pp. 1331-50.

Edward Seymour, John Russell, John Dudley and Sir William Petre visited Stephen Gardiner in the Tower at various times to attempt to get him to accept the king's reforms. 1563, p. 766; 1570, p. 1532; 1576, p. 1306; 1583, p. 1356.

After the victorious return of John Dudley, earl of Warwick, from Norfolk, he fell into dispute with Edward Seymour. He and other dissatisfied nobles met together to plan to remove the king from the Lord Protector. John Russell replied, hoping for a reconciliation between the Lord Protector and his adversaries. 1570, pp. 1545-46; 1576, pp. 1317-18; 1583, pp. 1367-68.

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Edward Seymour wrote to John Russell, describing the conspiracy against him and asking him to bring forces to Windsor. 1570, pp. 1545-46; 1576, p. 1317; 1583, p. 1367.

The king sent a letter to the lord mayor of London, Henry Amcottes; the mayor-elect, Sir Rowland Hill; the aldermen and common council, directing that 1000 troops be mustered to defend the Lord Protector. The lords opposing the Lord Protector sent a letter on the same day directing the mayor and council not to obey any instructions coming from him. 1570, p. 1547; 1576, p. 1319; 1583, p. 1369.

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The lords opposed to the Lord Protector sent Sir Philip Hoby to put their case to the king. As a result, the Lord Protector was imprisoned in Windsor Castle and then taken to the Tower. Shortly after, he was released. 1570, pp. 1548-49; 1576, p. 1320; 1583, p. 1370.

Seymour was imprisoned again in 1551 and charged with treason and felony. He was acquitted of treason, but condemned for felony, intending the death of John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, and others. On 22 January 1552 he was taken to Tower Hill and beheaded. 1570, pp. 1549-50; 1576, p. 1321; 1583, p. 1371.

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Foxe compares the story of Edward Seymour with that of Humphrey of Lancaster, dealing with his enemy Bishop Beaufort. 1563, pp. 882-84; 1570, p. 1551; 1576, p. 1322; 1583, p. 1372.

Edward Seymour is given as an example of one wrongly accused and judged. 1570, p. 1360; 1576, p. 1161; 1583, p. 1189.

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Edward VI

(1537 - 1553) [ODNB]

King of England and Ireland (1547 - 53); Henry VIII's only son

The young Prince Edward wrote letters in Latin to Thomas Cranmer, his godfather. 1570, p. 1564; 1576, p. 1334; 1583, p. 1395.

Edward VI agreed with Sir John Cheke that clemency should be shown towards heretics and was opposed to the burning of Joan Bocher. Cranmer had great difficulty in getting Edward to sign her death warrant. 1563, p. 884; 1570, p. 1484; 1576, p. 1258; 1583, p. 1295.

Cranmer praised the learning and wisdom of Edward VI to his tutor, Richard Coxe. 1563, p. 884; 1570, p. 1484; 1576, p. 1258; 1583, p. 1295.

Jerome Cardan gave written testimony of Edward VI's knowledge of the liberal sciences. 1563, p. 885; 1570, p. 1485; 1576, p. 1259; 1583, p. 1296.

Charles V requested of Edward VI that his cousin Mary Tudor be allowed to have the mass said in her house. The request was denied, in spite of the strong urgings of Thomas Cranmer and Nicholas Ridley. 1563, p. 884; 1570, p. 1484; 1576, p. 1258; 1583, p. 1295.

Edward issued a set of injunctions to further the reformation of the church in the realm. He called a parliament to repeal earlier statutes relating to religion, including the Six Articles. 1563, pp. 685-91; 1570, pp. 1486-90; 1576, pp. 1260-63; 1583, pp. 1297-1301.

Having knowledge of rebellions stirring in the realm and of slackness in religious reform in the city of London, Edward called Edmund Bonner to come before his council. 1570, p. 1495; 1576, p. 1267; 1583, p. 1304.

Edward replied to the articles raised by the rebels of Devonshire. 1570, pp. 1497-99; 1576, pp. 1268-70; 1583, pp. 1305-07.

The king and privy council sent out letters to bishops and clergy in late 1549 and 1550, directing that books of Latin service be withdrawn, that altars be removed and communion tables installed. 1563, pp. 726-28; 1570, pp. 1519-21; 1576, pp. 1288-90; 1583, pp. 1330-31.

Edward wrote letters to his sister, Lady Mary, urging her to obey the new laws concerning religion, and she replied. 1576, pp. 1290-96; 1583, pp. 1333-39.

He sent his own councillors to Mary after her servants, Rochester, Englefield and Waldegrave, had failed to prevent masses being said in her household. 1576, pp. 1296-97; 1583, pp. 1338-39.

King Edward said a private prayer on his deathbed which was overheard by his physician, George Owen. In his will, Edward excluded his sister Mary from the succession because of her religious views. 1563, p. 900; 1570, p. 1565; 1576, p. 1335; 1583, p. 1395.

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John Hopton

(d. 1558) [ODNB]

Dominican friar; BTh Bologna 1525; DTh Bologna; DTh Oxford 1533; chaplain to Princess Mary

Bishop of Norwich (1554 - 58)

Princess Mary, in a letter to the Lord Protector and privy council, explained that Robert Rochester, her comptroller, and John Hopton, her chaplain, were unable to attend for questioning as requested. Rochester could not be spared, and Hopton was too ill to travel. 1576, p. 1289; 1583, p. 1332.

Hopton was instructed to relate to Mary the privy council's answer to her letter. 1576, p. 1289; 1583, p. 1332.

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Lady Mary (Mary Tudor)

(1516 - 1558) [ODNB]

Mary Tudor, later Mary I, queen of England and Ireland (1553 - 58)

Charles V had promised to marry Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, but bowed to objections in Spain that the marriage of her parents had been irregular. He married Isabella of Portugal instead. 1570, p. 1192; 1576, p. 1021; 1583, p. 1049.

A marriage was proposed between the duke of Orleans and Princess Mary. The French raised questions of the validity of the marriage of her parents, and the proposed marriage did not take place. 1570, p. 1192; 1576, p. 1021; 1583, p. 1049.

Thomas Wolsey set up a household for Princess Mary. 1563, p. 435; 1570, p. 1121; 1576, p. 960; 1583, p. 987.

William Paulet sent a letter to Princess Mary via Lord Hussey, her chamberlain, informing her she was to move her household and omitting her title. Mary wrote to her father and to the lords he sent to her, complaining of the denial of her title and legitimacy. 1570, p. 1565; 1576, p. 1335; 1583, p. 1395.

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When Nicholas Ridley visited Princess Mary at Hunsdon, she recalled the sermon he preached at the marriage of Elizabeth and Anthony Browne in the presence of King Henry. Ridley offered to preach before her, but she refused. 1570, pp. 1565-66; 1576, pp. 1335-36; 1583, p. 1396.

For a long period, Henry VIII denied his daughter Mary the title of princess. Thomas Cranmer urged a reconciliation. 1570, p. 1565; 1576, p. 1335; 1583, p. 1396.

Charles V requested of Edward VI that his cousin Mary Tudor be allowed to have the mass said in her house. The request was denied, in spite of the strong urgings of Thomas Cranmer and Nicholas Ridley. 1563, p. 884; 1570, p. 1484; 1576, p. 1258; 1583, p. 1295.

Mary exchanged letters with the Lord Protector and privy council, relating to her inability to adhere to the king's new laws concerning religion. The king also sent a letter to his sister, urging her to comply with the laws, to which she replied. 1576, pp. 1289-97; 1583, pp. 1332-39.

The king sent his own councillors to Mary after her servants, Rochester, Englefield and Waldegrave, had failed to prevent masses being said in her household. 1576, pp. 1296-97; 1583, pp. 1338-39.

In his will, Edward VI excluded his sister Mary from the succession because of her religious views. 1570, p. 1565; 1576, p. 1335; 1583, pp. 1395.

Person and Place Index  *  Close
Sir Robert Rochester

(c. 1500 - 1557) [ODNB; Bindoff]

Administrator; in Princess Mary's service from 1546; MP Essex (1553, 54, 55) Mary's comptroller of the royal household (1553 - 57); privy councillor (1553 - 1557); JP Essex and Suffolk 1554

Rochester was one of the chief opponents of John Frith. 1563, p. 500; 1570, p. 1176; 1576, p. 1006; 1583, p. 1034.

Princess Mary, in a letter to the Lord Protector and privy council, explained that Robert Rochester, her comptroller, and John Hopton, her chaplain, were unable to attend for questioning as requested. Rochester could not be spared, and Hopton was too ill to travel. 1576, p. 1289; 1583, p. 1332.

The king sent his own councillors to his sister, Lady Mary, after her servants, Rochester, Englefield and Waldegrave, had failed to prevent masses being said in her household. 1576, pp. 1296-97; 1583, pp. 1338-39.

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NGR: TM 035 864

A parish in the hundred of Guilt-Cross, County of Norfolk, 3 miles east by south from east Harling. The living is a discharged vicarage in the Archdeaconry of Norfolk, diocese of Norwich, in the patronage of the Bishop of Ely. On the site of the ancient palace was erected the manorial residence which was afterward destroyed by Thomas, third Duke of Norfolk, who built a magnificent house to the north east This was forfeited by attainder in 1546 and given to the Princess Mary, who as well as her successor Elizabeth, often resided here. In the seventeenth century it was taken down and the materials sold.

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Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

1356 [1332]

King Edw. 6. Letters of the Lady Mary to the Councell. Remembrances for Doct. Hopton to the Lady Mary.

MarginaliaAnno 1550.Wherein when the saide Bishop was required to saye and determine what was moste meete, he declared he could doe no lesse of his bounden duetie, for the appeasing of such diuersitie, & to procure one godly vniformitie, but to exhorte all his Diocesse vnto that, which he thought did best agree with Scripture, with the vsage of the Apostles, and wyth the Primitiue Churche, and to that which is not onely not contrary vnto any thinge contained in the booke of Common prayer (as is before prooued) but also mighte highly further the kings most godly procedings, in abolishing of diuers vaine & superstitious opinions of the popish masse out of the hearts of the simple, and to bring them to þe right vse taught by holy Scripture, of the Lordes Supper, MarginaliaNicholas Ridley B. of London appoynted in his Dioces the right forme of a table.and so appoynted he the fourme of a right Table to be vsed in his Dioces, and in the Church of Paules, MarginaliaThe wall by the high altars side in Paules church, broken downe by Nicholas Ridley.brake down the wall standing then by the high Aultars side.

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Now we will enter, (God willing) 

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Mary Tudor

Mary's campaign of overt resistance to the protestant policies of the Protector' s government began with the introduction of the 1549 Prayer Book at Whitsun in that year, a day upon which she caused mass to be celebrated with exceptional splendour in her chapel at Kenninghall. On 16 June the Council wrote to her a restrained letter 'giving her advice to be conformable and obedient to the observation of his Majesty's laws…', which provoked the response given here. Mary based her resistance on two points: firstly that her father's settlement should not be changed while her brother was a minor, because the Royal Supremacy was vested in him personally, and secondly that her conscience could not accept the validity of 'a late law of your own making', which called in question the whole authority of a minority government. For a discussion of these issues, see D. Loades, Mary Tudor: A Life (1989), pp.145-6. Mary's position was supported and exploited throughout by the Imperial ambassadors, first Francois Van der Delft and later Jehan Scheyfve, whose aim was to cause the maximum embarrassment to the English government, short of an outright breakdown of diplomatic relations. At the change-over of ambassadors in July 1551, Mary planned to escape to the continent, and then changed her mind (D.L. Loades, Mary Tudor (, pp.153-5). The most disturbing letter from the King was that of 24 January 1550, wherein he makes it clear that he is personally supportive of the policies which she has been attributing to his council. Her reply of 3 February makes the extent of her disquiet plain.

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David Loades
University of Sheffield

into those matters which happened betweene kinge Edwarde and hys sister Mary, as by their letters here folowing are to be seene. 
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Although a number of letters from the council to Mary, and vice versa, survive in the State Papers and among the Harleian MSS, these are not among them, and the originals appear to be lost. The Council's latter of advice to the princess 'that the mass should not be used' survives as MS Harley 6195, f.5. A note of the instructions issued to Dr,.Hopton appears in the Council Register (Acts, II, pp.291-2), but the note is brief and it is not certain that this document is being referred to. The original of this does not appear to survive. The instruction given to the Lord Chancellor (Richard Rich), Sir Anthony Wingfield and Sir William Paget on 24 August 1551, does appear in the Council Register, together with their report. (Acts, III, pp.333, 336, 347), which is full and circumstantial, but which was not used by Foxe.

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To my Lorde Protectour and the rest of the kings Maiesties Counsaile.

MarginaliaLady Maryes letters to the Lords of the Coūsayle.MY Lorde, I perceiue by the letters whyche I late receiued from you, and other of the kinges Maiesties Counsaile, that yee be all sorie to finde so litle conformitie in me touching the obseruation of his Maiesties lawes: who am well assured I haue offended no law, vnles it be a late lawe of your owne making, for the altering of matters of Religion, whiche in my conscience is not worthy to haue the name of a Lawe, both for the kings honors sake, the wealth of the Realme, and geuing an occasion of an euill bruite through all Christendome, besides the parcialitie vsed in the same, and (as my sayde conscience is very well perswaded) the offending of God, which passeth al the rest: but I am well assured, that the king hys fathers Lawes were allowed and consented to with out compulsion by the whole Realme, both Spirituall and Temporall, and all ye executours sworne vppon a Booke to fulfil the same, so that it was an authorised Lawe, and that I haue obeyed, and will doe with the grace of God, till the Kinges Maiestie my brother shall haue sufficient yeares to bee a Iudge in these matters hym selfe: Wherein my Lorde, I was plaine wyth you at my laste beynge in the Courte: declaringe vnto you at that time, whereunto I woulde stande, and nowe doe assure you all, that the only occasion of my stay from altering mine opinion, is for two causes.

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One principally for my conscience sake: the other, that the king my brother shal not hereafter charge me to be one of those, that were agreeable to suche alterations in hys tender yeares. And what fruites dailye growe by suche chaunges since the death of the King my Father, to euery indifferent person, it wel appeareth, both to the displeasure of God, and vnquietnesse of the realme.

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Notwythstanding, I assure you all, I woulde be as lothe to see his hignesse take hurt, or that any euill should come to this his Realme, as the best of you all, and none of you haue the like cause, considering howe I am compelled by nature, beinge his Maiesties poore and humble Sister, moste tenderly to loue and pray for him, and vnto this his realme, being borne within the same, wishe all wealth and prosperitie to Gods honour.

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And if any iudge mee the contrarye for mine opinions sake, as I truste none doth, I doubt not in the ende, wyth Gods helpe, to prooue my selfe as true a natural and humble sister, as they of the contrary opinion, with all their deuises and altering of lawes, shall prooue them selues true subiectes, praying you my Lorde and the rest of the Counsail, no more to vnquiet and trouble me with matters touching my conscience, wherein I am at a full poynte, wyth Gods helpe, what soeuer shall happen to mee, intendinge with his grace, to trouble you litle with any worldly sutes but to bestowe the short time I thinke to liue, in quietnes, and pray for the kinges Maiestie and all you, heartily wishing, that your proceedings may be to Gods honour, the safegard of the kings persone, and quietnesse to the whole Realme.

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Moreouer, where your desire is, that I woulde sende my Controller and Doctour Hopton vnto you, by whom you woulde signifie your mindes more amplie, to my contentation & honour: it is not vnknowen to you al, that the chiefe charge of my house resteth onely vppon the trauails of my sayde Controller. Who hath not bene absent from my house three whole dayes since the settinge vp of the same, vnlesse it were for my letters Patentes, so that if it were not for his continual diligence, I thinke my litle portion would not haue stretched so farre. And my Chaplaineby occasion of sickenesse, hath bene long absent, and yet not able to ride.

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Therefore like as I can not forbeare my Controller, and my Prieste is not able to iourney: So shall I desire you my Lorde, and the rest of the Counsaile, that hauinge any thing to be declared vnto me, except matters of Religion, yee will either wryte your mindes, or sende some trustie person, with whome I shall be contented to talke, and make answere as the case shall require, assuring you, that if any seruaunte of mine owne, eyther man or woman, or Chaplaine shoulde moue me to the contrary of my conscience, I woulde not geue eare to them, nor suffer the lyke to be vsed wythin my house. And this my Lorde, wyth my hearty commendations, I wishe vnto you and the rest, as well to doe as my selfe. From my house at Kinning hall, the 22. of Iune. 1549.

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Your assured frend to my power, Mary.

A remembrance of certaine matters, appoynted by the Counsaile, to be declared by Doctor Hopton to the Ladie Maries grace, for answer to her former letter, which said Hopton was after shee came to her raigne B. of Norwiche.
Her grace wryteth, that the lawe made by Parlament,
is not woorthy the name of a lawe, meaninge the sta-
tute for the Communion. &c.
You shall say thereto.

THe fault is great in any subiect to disallow a law of the king, a Lawe of a Realme, by long studie, free disputation, and vniforme determination of the whole Cleargie, consulted, debated, and concluded. But the greater fault is in her grace, being nexte of any subiect in bloude and estate to the kings Maiestie her brother and good Lorde, to geue example of disobedience, being a subiecte, or of vnnaturalnesse, being his Maiesties sister, or of neglecting the power of the crowne, shee being by limitation of lawe nexte to the same. The example of disobedience is most perilous in this time, as shee can wel vnderstand, her vnkindnesse resteth in the kinges owne acceptation, the neglecting of the power, before God is answereable, and in the worlde toucheth her honour.

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The executours, shee sayth, were sworne to king Henrie
the eight his lawes.
You shall say.

It is true, they were sworne to him, his Lawes, hys heires, and successours, which oth they duely obserue, and should offend if they should breake any one iote of þe kings lawes nowe being, without a dispensation by a lawe, and herein her grace shall vnderstand, that it is no lawe, which is dissolued by a law: Neither may her grace do that iniurie to the kinges Maiestie her brother, to diminish his authoritie so farre, that he may not by the free cōsent of a parlament, amend and alter vnprofitable lawes, for the number of inconueniences which hereof might folowe, as her grace with consideration may well perceiue.

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Offence taken by the sending for of her officers.
You shall say.

If her grace consider firste letters of that purpose, they will declare our good meaning to her, and our gentle vsage, requiring the presence of her trusty seruant, because shee might geue more trust to our message.

Her house is her flocke.
You shall say.

It is well liked her grace shoulde haue her house or flock, but not exempt from the Kings orders: neither may there be a flocke of kings subiects, but such as wil hear and folowe the voice of the king their shepheard. God disaloweth it, law and reason forbiddeth it, pollicie abhorreth it, and her honour may not require it.

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Her grace deferreth her obedience to the kings lawe,
till his Maiestie be of sufficient yeares.
You shall say.

Shee coulde in no one saying more disallow the authoritie of the king, the maiestie of his crowne, and the state of the Realme. For heerein shee suspendeth hys kingdome, and esteemeth his authoritie by his age, not by his right and title. Her grace must vnderstande he is a King by the ordinaunce of God, by descent of Royall bloude, not by the numbering of his yeares.

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As a creature subiecte to mortalitie, hee hathe youthe, and by Gods grace shall haue age: but as a Kinge he hath

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