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Somerset, William Seymour, 1st duke of

Somerset, William Seymour, 1st duke of (1587–1660). William Seymour was a great-grandson of Protector Somerset, and son of Lord Beauchamp, who died before inheriting his father's title of earl of Hertford. He had royal blood since his grandmother, Lady Catherine Grey, was a direct descendant of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's sister. He succeeded his grandfather as earl in 1621. In 1610 he had gone through a private marriage to Arabella Stuart, cousin of James I. Both were placed in the Tower and Arabella died there in 1615. Seymour escaped to France and lived there until 1616, when he was allowed to return. He was created marquis of Hertford in 1641. Originally sympathetic to the moderate opposition, he joined Charles I at the outbreak of war, fought in the west, and was groom of the stole at Oxford in 1644. At the Restoration, he was given the Garter and reinstated in the dukedom a month before his death.

J. A. Cannon

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