Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp
Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp (21 September 1561 – 21 July 1612) was the son of the 1st Earl of Hertford and the former Lady Catherine Grey, younger sister of Lady Jane Grey. From the dynastic point of view, he was an important English royal claimant; in reality, he was a cipher whose legitimacy was questioned.
Edward Seymour was born in the Tower of London, where his mother had been imprisoned for secretly marrying his father, against the wishes of Queen Elizabeth I. His mother was already pregnant when she entered the Tower, and was given poor living conditions, apparently in the hope that she would either miscarry or die. For many years, her children were regarded as illegitimate because no proof could be produced of her legal marriage.
Regardless of legal problems, by 1603 Edward was the senior qualified heir of Henry VIII's will, stipulating that the elder line of Stuart, through Margaret Tudor, should be passed in favour of the younger line, through Mary Tudor, his favourite, younger, sister. Edward's only possible rival under the will was Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven, who would have been heir if Edward were considered illegitimate. The succession progressed in favour of the elder anyway, placing James VI of Scotland on the English throne. Had the stipulations of the will been carried out, Edward would have become Edward VII of England, and England and Scotland would not have been placed in a personal union. Elizabeth I never officially replaced her father's will, but James succeeded through the support of the English Parliament.
Some time before mid-1582 Edward married his cousin Honora Rogers, daughter of Andrew Rogers and Mary Seymour and, similar to Viscount Edward, granddaughter of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. They had six children:
- Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp (1586–1618), married Lady Anne Sackville, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Dorset, and died without issue.
- William Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp (1588–1660), later 2nd Earl of Hertford eventually regained the Dukedom of Somerset, which Beauchamp's grandfather had held.
- Francis Seymour (c. 1590–1664), later ennobled as Baron Seymour of Trowbridge. Grandfather of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset.
- Honora Seymour (bef. 1594–1620), married Sir Ferdinando Sutton, son of the 5th Baron Dudley.
- Anne Seymour
- Mary Seymour
Both Lord Beauchamp and his eldest son, Edward, predeceased his father, Lord Hertford (d. 1621), and his second son, William, succeeded his grandfather in the Earldom.