Seymour, Anne, Duchess of Somerset (1497 -1587)
Anne was born at Sudbury in Suffolk, the daughter of Sir Edward Stanhope, of Sudbury, and Elizabeth Bourchier. Through her mother, Anne was a direct descendant of Thomas of Woodstock, the youngest son of King Edward III of England In 1534 or 1535, Anne married Sir Edward Seymour, the eldest brother of Jane Seymour, becoming his second wife. Shortly after King Henry VIII’s marriage to Jane, Edward was elevated to Viscount Beauchamp. In October 1537, he was elevated to earl, becoming the 1st Earl of Hertford (first creation). In 1547 he was created 1st Duke of Somerset. His marriage with Anne produced ten children. After Henry VIII's death, Edward Seymour became Lord Protector. Anne considered herself the first lady of the realm, claiming precedence over Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's widow, following the latter's marriage to Anne's brother-in-law, Thomas Seymour. Edward Seymour lost his position as Lord Protector and was imprisoned with Anne in the Tower of London in October 1549. The year after his release, Edward again fell from grace, conspiring against his replacement as Protector, John Dudley, Earl of Warwick (subsequently Duke of Northumberland). He was convicted of felony and was beheaded on 22 January 1552. Anne Seymour married, as her second husband, a lesser noble Francis Newdigate, of Hanworth, Middlesex, who had been steward to her late husband. He died in 1581. Anne died on 16 April 1587 and was buried in Westminster Abbey, London.