Today in 1548 Mary Seymour was born. She was the daughter of Katherine Parr to Thomas Seymour. There are plenty of rumors that Katherine Parr had had a thing with Thomas Seymour before Henry VIII started showing interest in her, and so she had to put that on hold to become Henry’s wife. After Henry died, she married Seymour quickly, and got pregnant. Katherine Parr died less than a week after Mary was born, leaving her without a mother. Then, less than a year later her father Thomas experienced a downfall that would lead to his execution, leaving her an orphan.
Mary was left in the care of Katherine Willoughby, the Duchess of Suffolk, but she disappears from the records after 1550. It’s one of history’s mysteries as to what happened to her. The Victorian author Agnes Strickland contended that she lived until adulthood, but more recently historian Linda Porter pointed to an inscription in a child’s tomb that suggests it’s Mary’s.
Either way, the one thing we do know is that Mary was born today.
That’s your Tudor Minute. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.