Elizabeth Seymour, Lady Cromwell

Deceased Person

1511 – 1563

66

Who was Elizabeth Seymour, Lady Cromwell?

Elizabeth Seymour was the daughter of Sir John Seymour of Wulfhall, Wiltshire and Margery Wentworth. Elizabeth and her sister Jane, served in the household of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. In his quest for a male heir, the king had divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, whose only surviving child was a daughter, Mary. His marriage to Anne Boleyn had also resulted in a single daughter, Elizabeth. The queen's miscarriage of a son in January 1536 sealed her fate. The king, convinced that Anne could never give him male children, increasingly infatuated with Jane Seymour, and encouraged by the queen's enemies, was determined to replace her. The Seymours rose to prominence after the king's attention turned to Jane.

In May 1536, Anne Boleyn was accused of treason and adultery with Mark Smeaton, a court musician, the courtiers Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, William Brereton and her brother, George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford. The trials and executions of the queen and her co-accused followed swiftly, and on 30 May 1536, eleven days after Anne's execution, Henry VIII and Jane were married.

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