Faction under Edward

  • Created by: Cara
  • Created on: 04-06-12 12:56

Faction in Edward’s Reign (15 47-15 53)


Conservative Faction

·         Earl of Arundel: Henry FitzAlan was a member of the Privy Council, after being sidelined by Edward Seymour, he worked with John Dudley to ensure the former’s overthrow.  Once in power, Dudley removed Arundel from the Privy Council.  Shifting again to Somerset’s side, he was implicated in some plots and arrested.  He was released in 15 53, briefly being involved in the plot to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne, but when Edward died, he actively supported Mary’s claim and was rewarded with positions in her new government.

·         Thomas Wriothesley: First Earl of Southampton.  Involved in the fall of Somerset.  Died 15 50.


·         Stephen Gardiner/Thomas Howard: Both spent Edward’s reign imprisoned (mostly in the Tower of London)


Reformers Faction

·         Thomas Cranmer: See above

·         Edward Seymour: See above

·         John Dudley: See above


The Rise of Somerset, 15 47

·         Edward had been brought up as a Protestant, but it was Henry VIII’s intention that Edward VI (only nine years old when he succeeded to the throne in 15 47) would rule by means of a Regency Council.  This Council would balance the conservative and reformers.  However, the Regency Council never came into being.  Instead, the most successful faction fight of the period resulted in Edward Seymour (Duke of Somerset once in power), young Edward’s uncle, taking charge as Protector.  Henry died on 31 January 15 47, after which the (reformist) Privy Council elected Seymour as Protector and he ruled with virtual royal power.  On 4 February, Edward and thirteen executors signed a document giving Somerset sovereign authority until Edward was eighteen. 



·         Edward in control: The traditional means of ruling during a minority was for the king’s closest male relative to become Protector.  Thus, both Edward and his uncle were relying on established protocols in order to ensure that royal control was maintained.  Edward, at nine years old, was too young to rule, and, whilst he was having a suitable education and beginning to learn the art of kingship, it made sense for Seymour to act on his behalf as Protector of the Realm.


·         Edward not in control: At nine years old, Edward was too young to prevent the rise of Somerset, and his age and inexperience meant he was manipulated into signing the document on 4 February 15 47 that gave Somerset sovereign authority until he reached eighteen years old.  This can be indicated by their poor relations hereafter (Edward complaining of the lack of pocket money he received from his uncle), and his abandonment of Seymour when he fell from power when Edward was only twelve. 



The Fall of Somerset, 15 49

·         By the autumn of 15 49, the Protector’s power seemed to


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