Seymour, Henry (1612-1686) (DNB00)

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SEYMOUR, HENRY (1612–1686), groom of the bedchamber to Charles II, born in 1612, was second (not fifth) son of Sir Edward Seymour, second baronet of Berry Pomeroy Devonshire, by his wife Dorothy, daughter of Sir Henry Killigrew of Lothbury, Cornwall (pedigree in Harl. Soc. vi. 256; Burke's Extinct Baronetage). He was in youth page of honour to Charles I. On the outbreak of the civil war he joined the royalist forces under his kinsman William Seymour, marquis of Hertford [q. v.], and in August 1643 was the bearer of the challenge from him to the Earl of Bedford (Clarendon, Rebellion, vii. 185). Attaching himself to Prince Charles, he carried the message from him to the earl of Warwick in August 1648 concerning the surrender of the fleet (ib. xi. 69), and the last message which the prince sent to his father Charles I before the latter's execution (Ludlow, Memoirs, ed. Firth, ii. 286). He was sent by Charles II from Jersey to Ireland in September 1649 (Gardiner, Commonwealth, i. 160, 207). He accompanied Charles to Scotland in 1650, was voted away from the king's person by the Scottish committee, and left at Aberdeen after the defeat at Dunbar (Cal. Clarendon Papers, ii. 69, 77, 87). In 1651 he is described as of Charles's bedchamber at Paris (Clarendon, ubi supra, xiii. 108), and was frequently despatched by the king to his friends in England (Cal. Clarendon Papers, ii. 297). In January 1654 he collected 1,920l. for Charles in England, and received a pass on his return to France from Cromwell. He represented that he was solely engaged in his private affairs. He almost immediately returned to England, and would appear to have been arrested in June 1654. He was not released until the end of May 1657, and then upon hard terms (ib. iii. 303). At the Restoration he was elected M.P. for East Looe, which he represented until 1681 (Return of Members). He is described as of Berry Pomeroy in 1660 and of Westminster in 1661, and is said to have received 40,000l. in Duchy leases (Marvell). He was appointed a groom of the bedchamber, comptroller of the customs, and clerk of the hanaper. In 1666 he resided at Langley, Buckinghamshire, and in 1669 bought that estate from the trustees of Sir William Parsons (Burke, ubi supra). During the latter part of his life he lived in retirement there, and died on 9 March 1686. He married, first, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Joseph Killigrew, widow of William Basset of Claverton; she died 1671; secondly, Ursula, daughter of Sir Robert Austen of Bexley, Kent, widow of George Stowel, esq., of Cotherston, Kent. By the second wife he had a daughter and a son Henry, who was created a baronet at seven years of age during the life of his father (4 July 1681). [Authorities as in text; Hoskins's Charles II in the Channel Islands; Ormonde Letters, passim; Calendars of Clarendon MSS. Bodleian, passim; Andrew Marvell's Seasonable Argument.]

W. A. S.