SEYMOUR, David (by 1522-57/58), of London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1522, ?s. of Robert Seymour of Ivy Church, Wilts. and London. m. June 1546/June 1550, Mary, da. of Nicholas Odell or Woodhill of Odell, Beds. by 2nd w. da. of Sir William Parr, Baron Parr of Horton, 2s. 1da.2

Offices Held

Gent. usher of the chamber by 1546; gent. at arms in Feb. 1547; capt. Tigre 1557.3


David Seymour was a relative of the Protector Somerset, perhaps the son of Somerset’s uncle Robert Seymour, as he inherited an annuity granted earlier to Robert Seymour by the Hungerford family and enjoyed another from Amesbury abbey where Robert Seymour had been a lay official. The career followed by David Seymour was not unlike Robert Seymour’s, only the younger man made a splendid match with a kinswoman of Queen Catherine Parr; both men entered the royal household and both distinguished themselves in warlike action on land and at sea. As a young man David Seymour incurred displeasure by eating flesh during Lent 1543. He remained on good terms with a fellow-offender on this occasion, Sir John Clere, under whose naval command he served towards the end of Mary’s reign, and perhaps earlier. Henry VIII gave Seymour a pension of £6 13s.4d. two months before he died, and this was followed by one of 40 marks a year from Edward VI which Seymour exchanged in 1550 for one out of the ugmentations worth £75 a year for himself and his wife in survivorship. He died not long after being sent into northern waters on convoy duty in 1557, for on 18 Jan. 1558 his widow released to the Clothworkers’ Company the house in Fenchurch Street which had been granted to him by the Company in 1546, in succession to his father (unnamed) who had had it for life.4

It was doubtless as the nominee of the Protector or his brother Admiral Seymour that Seymour was returned as senior Member for Wareham to the first Edwardian Parliament. He is not known to have been involved in the Protector’s fall from power in the autumn of 1549, but on Somerset’s second arrest in October 1551 he was sent to the Tower. He was soon released on condition of remaining in custody in his own house pending interrogation, but this evidently yielded nothing and he probably took his place for the final session (1552) of the Parliament. His exoneration seems to be reflected on the list of Members in use for this session, his name being struck out but then marked ‘stet’. He is not known to have been returned to the succeeding Parliament, of which his name and connexion would have made him an unlikely Member, nor to the first three of Mary’s reign, but in 1555 he came in for the Seymour borough of Great Bedwyn; both his name and his fellow-Member Henry Clifford’s were inserted on the election indenture. He and Clifford alike opposed a government bill in this Parliament. Through an oversight the compiler of the list of opponents in 1555 appears to have entered his name twice, first as ‘Mr. David Seymer’ and later as ‘Mr. Semar’, presuming, that is, he did not have a namesake sitting in the House.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Hatfield 207.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Northants. ed. Metcalfe, 56, 159; APC, iii. 53, 58; CPR, 1553-4, p. 220.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; SP11/11/35; LC 2/2, f. 43 2/4(1) p. 113 ex inf. W. J. Tighe.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xviii, xxi; Hoare, Wilts., Ambresbury, 165; SP11/11/35, 38; APC, iii. 53, 58; CPR, 1553-4, p. 220; Lansd. 156(28), f. 108v; Clothworkers Co., orders of ct. 1536-58, ff. 187, 189, 288v.
  • 5. Wilts. Arch. Mag. vi. 295-6; Tytler, Edw. VI and Mary, ii. 4, 37; APC, iii. 426; C219/24/189; Guildford mus. Loseley 1331/2.