secretaries of state, Sir Thomas Smith and Sir William Petre. At the beginning of Edward's reign the pope had urged Charles V to support Mary's claims by invasion, and, as a counterpoise, the council opened communications for a league with France and the German princes in March (Acts P. C. ii. 47, 60); but the proposal did not prosper (cf. De Selve, Corr. Politique, 1546–9, ed. 1888, passim). Somerset's designs on Scotland inevitably offended France, while the irritation was constantly growing through the bickerings about the fortifications of Boulogne. Though war did not formally break out, acts of hostility frequently occurred. The Protector was still sanguine of accomplishing the marriage between Edward and Mary. On 5 Feb. 1547–8 he issued ‘An Epistle or Exhortacion to Unitie and Peace, sent from the Lorde Protector … to the Nobilitie … of Scotlande’ (printed by R. Wolfe, 1548, 8vo), pointing out the advantages of the English proposals and attributing the cause of the war to Arran and his advisers. The Scots protestants were naturally on Somerset's side, and by means of bribery he maintained a party among the nobles; but he failed to prevent the conclusion of a marriage treaty between Mary and the dauphin of France, and in June a French force sailed for Scotland from Brest. In order to anticipate it, Somerset had directed William, thirteenth baron Grey de Wilton [q. v.], and Sir Thomas Palmer (d. 1553) [q. v.] to cross the border on 18 April. They took and fortified Haddington, where they left a garrison of two thousand five hundred men, and, after wasting the country round Edinburgh, returned to Berwick. In June Somerset sent Sir Thomas Smith to the emperor, and to raise two thousand German mercenaries; but Charles contented himself with fair words, while the French fleet carried off Mary to France, and the Scots recovered Home Castle and closely besieged Haddington in August.
The marriage of Mary with the dauphin completed the failure of Somerset's Scottish policy, and in the following autumn his position was menaced by the intrigues of his brother the admiral [see Seymour, Thomas, Baron Seymour of Sudeley]. The Protector had naturally resented his brother's marriage with Catherine Parr, but he wrote him an affectionate letter on the occasion of his daughter's birth (31 Aug.), and endeavoured to divert him by persuasion from his reckless courses. Failing in this, he sent for him early in January 1548–9, but Thomas was contumacious, and the Protector then left him to his fate. According to the privy council register, he ‘desired for natural pity's sake licence at the passing of the bill [of attainder] to be away’ (ii. 260), and assented to that measure with the greatest reluctance; while Queen Elizabeth subsequently stated that the admiral's life would have been saved had not the council dissuaded the Protector from granting him an interview. He was present, however, at each reading of the bill of attainder in the House of Lords (see Lords' Journals, i. 345 et seq.; cf. Tytler, i. 150–1). In any case, his brother's fall was a fatal blow to Somerset's authority, and involved him in much popular odium (cf. Hayward, Edward the Sext).
Troubles now began to gather thickly round the Protector; the Scots took Haddington (September 1549) and other castles held by the English. Somerset projected another invasion, but the German mercenaries refused to serve without an advance of pay, and the exchequer was not only empty, but deep in debt. The French were pressing hard on Boulogne; the outworks of Blackness, Boulogneberg, and Newhaven (Ambleteuse) fell one after another, and on 8 Aug. war with France was declared (De Selve, p. 410; Wriothesley, ii. 20). The religious innovations created a widespread discontent, which was intensified by the economic condition of the country. The depreciation of the currency and the increase of enclosures and conversion of arable into pasture lands caused widespread distress which Somerset's efforts failed to abate (see A Discourse of the Common Weal of this Realm of England, ed. Lamond, 1893). He appointed a commission to inquire into abuses arising out of the decay of tillage and frequency of enclosures (June 1548), but three bills introduced to remedy the evil were all rejected in the following session of parliament [see Hales, John, (d. 1571)]. Somerset thereupon issued a proclamation in May 1549, by which all who had enclosed lands were commanded to restore them. This produced no effect except to exasperate the landowners against him, while the commons, getting no redress, rose in revolt in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The rising was soon put down by Lord Grey, but in June a rebellion broke out in Devon and Cornwall, followed by another under Robert Kett [q. v.] in Norfolk. The former was actuated by religious motives, and was suppressed by John Russell, first earl of Bedford [q. v.] The Norfolk rebels laid more stress on social and economic grievances, and their revolt was more serious. Somerset thought of taking the command against them himself, but it was