A love story with a tragic ending.
Oh Jane, you certainly turned the King on his head and stole his heart. Your family were pushing you into the deep end though you only wanted to be his wife and mother to his children. There is no room for love and family in a Royal marriage. Thank you.
The Seymours were noble people but until Jane married me, they were in the lower orders of the nobility. Must say though that they came from a long line of lower order nobles, they landed with William the Conqueror in 1066 and originally came from France, St. Maurus which became the town of Saumur, eventually the name became Seymour. Land on the Isle of Wight was their original home, still called St. Maur today, eventually moving onto the mainland to Wiltshire for the marriage of Roger Seymour to the heiress Maud Esturmy of Wolfhall, Wiltshire which became their home for many generations. They were related by marriage to the Howards of Norfolk and so Jane was actually second cousin to Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard.
The road to Burbage over night from the North of England transformed slowly for wide eight lane motorways down to one lane tree covered tunnels through dense forests in Wiltshire.
A beautiful county is Wiltshire, lost from the industrial revolution onwards to keep its history locked in the old houses in natural wood and wattle colours. Victoriana never got its tar stained hands on these houses. The deep rolling valleys with rivers at their bottom gave a backdrop to a story of real love in a time when love was rare.
Wolfhall does not exist anymore in masonry, it has left its mark in the minds of the locals and their history books, but the actual building disappeared long ago. The King Road where Jane was courted by the King, still exists and the foundations of the barn can be found with expert guidance, but all that is left in reality is the story. In the next village of Great Bedwyn there is St Mary's church with its medieval preaching post which must have been in the happy couple life as they went to this church to bless their love. John Seymour is interned in this church and his effigy is on his tomb. The emblems of the Seymour’s are everywhere in the church giving it an eerie feel to the historical researchers reading the plaque and working out the stained glass window.
Jane and Henry made a great couple, the people of the two communities loved them being together, and to this day they dominate the local history.
Sometimes focussed research can be beaten by off-chance encounter, this is a picture I took whilst researching Galyon Hone in a Leicestershire Manor house Chapel. It depicts the Pheonix rising which is Jane's "Badge"
The window was "re-distributed" during the Reformation from a Church in Cambridge, if you want to go and see it you have to call first at Withcote Manor.
By Henry Tudor
Away from the crowd of courtier might
The King rode out to find peace and delight.
To Wiltshire he fled with Eagles and Hawks
For deep in the forests were deer to be stalked.
Upon the squire of the deer park did the King call upon
A John Seymour himself with a daughter and two son..
Food laid out a plenty, the King delighted all
He liked the squires Wolfhall midst tree oh so tall.
The Squire’s daughter was known to court and to King
A simple pleasing girl, both Queen’s favour did bring.
But here in the country this girl shone above
Here in warm Wolfhall, the King fell in love.
Not infatuation, nor tempted by charms
Henry smitten wholly fell into her arms.
He courted her daily, paths bare is name
Out goes Queen Anne, Jane now in the frame.
Jane married her lover, they made a great match
The brothers Seymour delighted at her great catch.
The Seymour’s now grow into powerful clan
No-one can stop them, three powerful man.
The couple were delighted when baby was born
A boy for the country, a Prince for the throne.
But only for twelve days were they all one family
Jane died, left poor Henry and Edward, tragedy.
The King was broken hearted, his love taken away
Jane had given her all for him and left him to pray.
The brothers took Edward to look after and to raise
The King kept in touch on less busier days.
The end of this tragic story moved on many years
For Thomas and Edward Seymour their end was in tears.
They tried to take over when Edward was now King
Their plans were all dashed upon council ruling.
Long past now this story, their love seldom seen
How King Henry out hunting, found his new Queen.
Seldom mentioned in passing his feeling of hope
That Tudors will survive ancients, without help from the Pope.