Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour

1 portrait on display at Montacute House

Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour

by Unknown artist
oil on panel, second half of 16th century
21 in. x 16 1/2 in. (533 mm x 419 mm)
Purchased, 1967
Primary Collection
NPG 4571

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Thomas Seymour, a soldier and diplomat, was the brother of Jane Seymour, the third wife of Henry VIII, and of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset. In 1547 he was created Baron Seymour and Lord High Admiral; he also secretly married Catherine Parr, the sixth wife and then widow of Henry VIII. On the accession of Henry's son Edward VI he attempted to turn the young king against Somerset who acted as Edward's 'Protector'. In 1549 he was arrested, imprisoned in the Tower and then executed. The poem inscribed on this portrait reads: Of parson rare strong limbes & manly shape /of nature framed to sarve on seae & lande /of Frindship firme in good state & ill hape / in peace heade[wise] and in ware skill greate boulde hande /on horse on fote in perill or in playe / none coulde excel though many did asaye /A subiecte true to Kinge & searvant greate /frind to Gods truth enimye to romes deceate /sumptuose abroad for honnor of the lande /temperate at home yet keapte greate state with staye /and gave more mouthes more meate /than some advanst one higher steps to stand /yet against nature reason & iust lawes /his bloud wase spilt iustelese [guiltless] without iust cause.

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Current affairs

All plate is removed from churches on the orders of the Privy Council.
Princess Mary (later Mary I) rejects Protestant reforms.

Art and science

Utopia, written in 1516 by the scholar and stateman Sir Thomas More, is translated from Latin into English.
The Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner publishes the first volume of Historiae Animalium (History of Animals). As the first pictorial catalogue of the animal world it is a seminal work of zoology.


The Ottoman admiral Turgut Reis captures Tripoli (in present-day Libya) from the Order of the Knights of St John.

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