It’s a little bit wrong to assign a date to a marriage when all that has come down to us is that “by this day they were married” – but this was a big event and it needs anchoring somehow.
t was the first marriage for Anne Stanhope but the second one for Edward Seymour – his first, to Katherine Filliol, was a bit of a disaster. Edward repudiated her in 1529, apparently because he believed she had a long-term affair with his father (for that same reason, in 1540 he entailed his estates away from the two sons they had together).
Less than a year later, Edward’s sister Jane caught the eye of Henry VIII, and Edward and Anne began a twenty-year run as a “power couple.” Edward continued to rise at court even after Jane died – thanks to Jane’s having given the King his son and heir. Anne served as a Gentlewoman in Attendance to Anne of Cleves, and then as a Lady in Waiting to Katherine Parr. And then of course after Henry’s death she became the first lady of the land, the wife of the Lord Protector. She had to fight for that position – Katherine Parr thought that she deserved it as the Dowager Queen. Katherine would have been right, but once she married Thomas Seymour she muddied the protocol waters since Thomas was Edward’s younger brother. Regardless, Anne took possession of the royal jewels and wore them herself until Edward’s downfall in 1552.
Edward and Anne Seymour had ten children together, and by all accounts their marriage was a happy one. Today, let us raise a glass to celebrate their good times together.
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