Admiral Seymour Road, SE9

Place Name

Strangely for such a specific street name there are several potential contenders. The first, and given his record the lesser claim of the two, was Thomas Seymour (about 1508 – March 20, 1549), 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, Lord High Admiral and Master of Ordnance (military equipment & weapons) at the Arsenal. He was a brother of Jane Seymour, the third wife of King Henry VIII. With his brother, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, he vied for control of their nephew, the orphaned nine-year-old King Edward VI. However,  when his brother became Lord Protector of England his jealousy got the better of him. Despite being given various positions, including Lord High Admiral, to placate him with further health and status, he plotted against the regency. His downfall was sudden, on January 16, 1549 he attempted to spirit the young king away from his chambers at Hampton Court Palace. However his night time escapade was uncovered when a spaniel started barking – so he shot the dog, awakening the household. He was arrested and found guilty of treason and was executed on Tower Hill on March 20, 1549. The second and more likely contenders are the much later members of the same family, who lived at Eltham House, starting with Admiral Sir Michael Seymour who was MP for Devonport. His descendant, Hobart Seymour (April 30, 1840 – March 2, 1929), was Admiral of the Fleet between 1905 and 1910 having served in China. Either way this is part of the Progress Estate which was built to house the munitions workers at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich during the First World War. Most of the street names have a connection with military history and the Arsenal.

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