Spotlight – Anne Seymour (nee Stanhope), Duchess of Somerset

Name: Anne Stanhope / Anne Seymour

Title/s: Lady Seymour / Viscountess Beauchamp / Countess of Hertford / Duchess of Somerset

Birth / Death: c.1497 – 16 April 1587

Spouse: Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset 1500-1552 / Francis Newdigate ?-1582

Children: Edward, Viscount Beauchamp 1537-1539 / Edward, Earl of Hertford 1539-1621 / Henry 1540-? / Margaret 1540-? / Jane 1541-1561 / Anne ?-1588 / Catherine 1548-1625 / Thomas 1548-1574 / Mary 1552-? / Elizabeth 1552-1602

Parents: Sir Edward Stanhope (unknown) & Elizabeth Bourchier 1473-1557

Siblings: Elizabeth Page (half-sister) / Katherine Verney (half-sister) / Richard Stanhope (half-brother) / Michael Stanhope (half-brother)

Noble Connections: Her children were the Earl of Hertford and Countess of Warwick. Through her mother, Anne was a descendent of Thomas of Woodstock, youngest son of Edward III and Philippa Hainault. Her sister-in-law was Queen of England as the third wife of Henry VIII.

Events of their Lifetime: Accessions of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, executions of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Cranmer, Thomas Seymour and Edward Seymour.

Controversy: Anne considered herself, after Henry VIII died, to be above his widow, Katherine Parr, after she married Thomas Seymour. Allegedly she pushed Katherine out of the way at court in order to precede her, and claimed the Queen of England’s jewels should be hers as first lady.

Works of Fiction:

Portrayals on Screen:
Emma Hamilton, The Tudors, 2009-2010, 15 episodes
Jo Kendall, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 1970, 1 episode

Further Reading:
G.W. Bernard, Power and Politics in Tudor England (2000)
William Haugaard, ‘Katherine Parr: the Religious Convictions of a Renaissance Queen’, Renaissance Quarterly, 22 (1969)
Whitney Jones, The Mid-Tudor Crisis (1973)
Alison Plowden, Tudor Women: Queens and Commoners (1979)
Brandon Withrow, Katherine Parr: a Guided Tour of the Life and Thought of a Reformation Queen (2009)


Arms of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset
Arms of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset







Anne Stanhope by Thomas Youngman Gooderson
Anne Stanhope by Thomas Youngman Gooderson
Anne Stanhope 19th Century Engraving
Anne Stanhope 19th Century Engraving
Anne Stanhope
Anne Stanhope

Author: Helene Harrison

I have an MA in History, with a thesis entitled 'The Many Faces of Anne Boleyn: Perceptions in History, Literature and Film'. I have an interest in the Tudors and the Wars of the Roses along with my love of reading and literature.

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