Select Seymour Miscellany

Here are some Seymour stories and accounts over the years:

Seymour Origins

According to the Victorian writer Agnes Strickland:

“The Seymours were a family of country gentry who, like most holders of manorial rights, traced their ancestry to a Norman origin.  One or two had been knighted in the wars of France, but their names had never emerged from the herald's visitation rolls into historical celebrity.  They increased their boundaries by fortunate alliances with heiresses and the head of the family married into a collateral branch of the lordly line of Beauchamp.  After that event two instances were quoted of Seymours serving as high sheriff of Wiltshire.

Thomas Cranmer granted a dispensation for nearness of kin between Henry VIII and his prospective bride Jane Seymour.  Although the royal kindred appears somewhat doubtful, yet it is undeniable that the sovereign of England gained by this alliance one brother in-law who bore the name of Smith and another whose grandfather was a blacksmith at Putney."

Sir Henry Seymour at Marwell Hall

Sir Henry Seymour who had acquired Marwell Hall in Hampshire in 1551 was a zealous Protestant and, on taking over the property, treated the local Catholic priest at Owslebury with bigoted cruelty.  The priest in revenge solemnly and openly in the parish church cursed him and his posterity with bell, book, and candle.  Outraged Sir Henry retaliated by shooting the priest while he was celebrating the rites of his faith.

The story goes that, whether as the fulfillment of the curse or not, by the time of the second generation from Sir Henry, the sons and daughters of his only son Sir John were without land or money and dependent on handouts from the Marquess of Hertford.  One member of the family came to such poverty as to receive a pauper’s burial in the very parish where the curse was pronounced.

The Seymours of Thrumpton Hall

George Fitzoy Seymour had the haughty demeanor of the Seymour family and the belief that he was descended from Charles II and his bastard son the Duke of Grafton.  He was in fact the son of Lady Byron’s sister Lady Victoria Seymour and related to the Hertford Seymours.  His own father had been a diplomat, but a failed one and the British Foreign Office had parked him off to Paraguay in 1924 where it was believed that he could do no harm.

George was the presumptive heir of Thrumpton Hall, a Jacobean country house in Nottinghamshire, from his nephew Lord Byron.  In the event he had to acquire the house, which he did at an auction in 1949.  This made him even more determined to strut around as the local squire.

But not even Thrumpton was enough for George Seymour.  As his daughter Miranda explained:

“The house couldn’t give more than it was,  It couldn’t confer friendship or success. This was a source of bewilderment, sadness and disappointment.”

So in middle age George embraced bikerdom. He bought himself some leathers and a 750-cc Ducati and began tooling around the countryside, usually in the company of young men hardly to the manor born.

Miranda Seymour followed her father George into Thrumpton Hall when he died in 1994 and in 2008 wrote a bitter-sweet memoir of him in Thrumpton Hall: A Memoir

Richard Seymour, Early American Immigrant

Richard Seymour (sometimes Seymer) from Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire was influenced by the Essex preacher Rev. Thomas Hooker to leave England and come to New England.  One of the original Puritans, he traveled on the Increase in 1635.  He was one of the first fourteen settlers of Norwalk, Connecticut.  The location of his house there is still known - at present-day Fitch Street and East Avenue.

Records indicate that he and his wife Mercy had three children before they traveled to New England and four more after they reached Norwalk.  Richard was appointed a Selectman in Norwalk in 1655, the year of his death.

Felix Seymour in Virginia

Felix Seymour, born in Ulster in 1725, accompanied his father to America at the age of 12 on an apparent expedition to spy out the land.  His father left Felix with a Virginia gentleman named Thomas Renick while he returned to Ireland for the rest of the family. He was never heard from again and was presumed lost at sea.

Felix settled near Moorefield in present-day West Virginia and married Margaret, the eldest Renick daughter, in 1753. He and Margaret had eleven children. Felix served with distinction in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and was rewarded with the commission of Colonel.  He died in 1798.

Reader Feedback - Maurice Seymour in Canada

I think I have developed a lead on my Seymour family of Ireland.  I do know from my ancestor’s death certificate specifically states that our family is from England.  Some of my Seymour ancestors were born in Ireland, but their families are from England. They were Roman Catholic.  

My Seymours we're also merchants from Dr. Seymour's father Captain Maurice Bain Seymour.  Captain Seymour was a captain in the British army but was also a merchant.

Brian MacDonald Seymour (

The Seymour Oak in Nelson, New Zealand

Henry Seymour had been the secretary of the Cheltenham Horticultural Society and brought out acorns with him to New Zealand when he came out in 1842.

He planted two seedlings in Nelson that year.  One grew on the road that became known as Seymour Avenue, the other on private property near a brook.  A high flood shortly afterward washed one of these seedlings away.  A diligent search led to its recovery over a mile away on the banks of the Maitai river of which the brook was a tributary. The seedling was brought back in triumph and this time was planted in the field at a safe distance from the brook. 

Today this tree is a fine massive specimen of the oak tree in good health.  There is a plaque from the Historic Places Trust which reads: "Planted by Henry Seymour in 1842 and replanted by Alfred Fell the following year."

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