the TUDOR TUTOR

Your cheeky guide to the dynasty

Mean Girl

Mean Girls

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Yet another prominent Anne of the Tudor era was Anne Stanhope, who became Anne Seymour, Duchess of Somerset, when she married the comparatively mild-mannered Edward Seymour.  She was ambitious and a smart cookie, but certainly rhymed with “witch” by all accounts. The Duchess of Somerset fancied herself the most powerful lady in the land when her husband became the protector of young Eddie VI. If Edward was sort-of the king, Anne figured she was sort-of the queen. 

Hold on, Sally, not so fast: Turns out the lady was still outranked by former queen Catherine Parr (and also by the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth, as well as Anne of Cleves). Catherine was now married to The Other Seymour Dude. Yes, about three months after Henry VIII became history, his widow married that slimy flirt, Thomas Seymour. Although she was no longer queen on paper, she was rolling in the late king’s dough and was expressedly elevated to that high former position as per his will. She was even still allowed to wear the “queen’s jewels” until Eddie should get himself a bride in the future. (That didn’t happen.)

This made Anne Seymour seethe! She was not about to lie down and let that happen, so she stamped her feet and demanded she should have them instead. It was a stalemate for a month or so, with neither lady decked out in the goods. When Catherine finally showed up at court again, she [within her rights] slyly suggested that the Duchess attend to her train. Anne said “Absolutely not!” and gave as her reason that Catherine was the lowly wife of her husband’s little brother. Nice.

Eventually, the noble fishwife convinced her husband to notify Catherine via letter that she was not to have the jewels, period, end of story. Accustomed to being treated like a doormat by the Duchess, he agreed. No surprise, then, that Catherine Parr came to refer to Anne Seymour as “that hell.” I can think of a few names that would have been more effective.

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6 Comments

  Claire Ridgway wrote @

Yes, Anne Seymour was a real b***h to Catherine Parr and I think it is sad that Catherine never ever got her jewels, not even the jewels that her mother had left her that the Crown had no right to. Horrible. You can kind of understand Thomas Seymour’s rage and his desire to bring down his brother when he and his wife were treated as second class citizens.

  dewey wingate jr wrote @

this seemed to go around and around. so cat parr was married to the younger seymore and ann waws married to him too? please responed. also i hope i can ask questions even now [after the show has quiet airing? please keep sending blogs.

  barbalexander wrote @

Hi Dewey, Edward Seymour was the elder brother. He was married to Anne Stanhope/Seymour, and became protector of the young Edward VI upon Henry VIII’s death. Essentially, he was there to make decisions since the new king was too young. The younger Seymour brother was Thomas, who married Catherine Parr shortly after H8’s death. So, although Anne was married to the man who was acting as king, she was outranked by Catherine, the former queen, since H8 stipulated in his will that Catherine should get a load of money and retain her standing as she did when she was married to him.

  assistant wrote @

found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

  lems wrote @

Keep up the good work, I like your writing.

  Sharon wrote @

What a blow it must have been for Catherine Parr when one of her best buds turned on her as Anne did.


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