Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 53.djvu/237

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

was created Earl of Worcester. In August the king's sister, Princess Mary, was affianced to Louis XII, and Worcester was appointed her proxy. His commission was dated 18 Aug. 1514, and he accompanied Mary to France for her marriage. He appears then to have taken part in the mysterious negotiations which had for their ultimate aim the expulsion of Ferdinand from Navarre, and the assertion of an English claim to a share in the heritage of Joanna. All this fell to the ground on the death of Louis at the end of the year.

In 1515 Worcester received various grants. He took part during that year in the negotiations as to Mary's dower; but he was chiefly occupied in seeing to the fortifications of Tournay, then in English hands. He returned to England at the end of the year. He was present at the christening of the Princess Mary on 20 Feb. 1515–6. In 1516 he was reported to be in receipt of a French pension. In September he was again at Tournay, where he, Jerningham, and others drew up plans of fortification which Henry, fortunately for himself as the matter turned out, thought to be too costly. On 28 Dec. he was commissioned to go on an embassy to the emperor, with Knight, Wingfield, and Tunstal. Worcester went to Tournay, whence Wingfield summoned him to Brussels. He had an interview with Maximilian and Charles on 31 Jan. 1516–17 at Malines, having previously seen Charles alone. The situation was difficult owing to the failure of the advance on Italy by Maximilian and the treaty of Noyon. Maximilian, moreover, was not genuine in his anxiety to maintain the Anglo-Burgundian alliance, and the ambassadors advised Henry to send him no more money. On 18 Feb. Maximilian openly swore to observe the treaty of Noyon, but that treaty recoiled on the head of the emperor. The English and French drew together, and in this same year Worcester took part in the more fruitful negotiations which resulted in the conclusion of the treaty with France. Here he was greatly aided by Thomas Ruthall [q. v.], bishop of Durham. When all had been settled in England, he was one of the splendid embassy which went to Paris. They reached Dover on 13 Nov. 1518, and Paris on 10 Dec. Magnificent entertainments followed, ending with the gorgeous spectacle at the Bastille, which it is said cost the king of France above 450,000 crowns. After this he seems to have journeyed to Tournay, where he remained over Christmas, doubtless to make arrangements for its surrender.

Owing to his office as lord chamberlain, Worcester bore the chief part in the arrangements for the Field of the Cloth of Gold. He landed at Calais on 13 April 1520, and took charge of the preparations. He was afterwards present at the meeting of Henry and Charles at Gravelines. In May 1521 he took part in Buckingham's trial, and went with Wolsey to the congress at Calais. Thence he with others went on an embassy to the king of France, whom they saw near Valenciennes (October 1521). In 1522 he was present at the reception of Charles V, and was one who attested the treaty of Windsor. After the battle of Pavia he took part in arranging the treaty between France and England, which was signed 30 Aug. 1525. He was now old and feeble, and the reversion of his office was granted to William, baron Sandys of ‘The Vine’ [q. v.], on 27 Feb. 1525–6.

Worcester died on 15 April 1526, and was buried in the Beaufort chapel at Windsor. He married, first, Lady Elizabeth Herbert, daughter of William Herbert, earl of Huntingdon [see under Herbert, Sir William, Earl of Pembroke, d. 1469), by whom he had a son Henry, who succeeded him [see under Somerset, William, third Earl of Worcester]; secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas, eighth lord de la Warr, by whom he had Sir Charles Somerset, who was captain of the Rysbank at Calais, and Sir George Somerset of Bedmundsfield in Suffolk; thirdly, Eleanor Sutton, daughter of Edward, fifth lord Dudley. His will, proved 20 Nov. 1526, is printed in ‘Testamenta Vetusta,’ p. 622. An anonymous portrait of Worcester belongs to the Duke of Beaufort.

[Doyle's Official Baronage; Gairdner's Letters and Papers of Richard III and Henry VII, and Campbell's Materials for the Reign; Memorials of Henry VII, (Rolls Ser.); Busch's England under the Tudors; Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, ed. Brewer; Brewer's Reign of Henry VIII; Burke's Peerage; Rudder's Gloucestershire, p. 254; Chronicle of Calais and Rutland Papers (Camd. Soc.); Paston Letters, ed. Gairdner, iii. 345.]

W. A. J. A.

SOMERSET, EDWARD, fourth Earl of Worcester (1553–1628), born in 1553, was the only son of William Somerset, third earl of Worcester [q. v.], by his wife Christian, daughter of Edward, first baron North [q. v.] In his youth he was considered ‘the best horseman and tilter of his time,’ and, in spite of his Roman catholicism, he became a favourite with Queen Elizabeth, who said that he ‘reconciled what she believed impossible, a stiff papist to a good subject’ (Lloyd, State Worthies, 1670, p. 582). On 22 Feb. 1588–9 he succeeded his father as fourth Earl of Worcester, and on 26 May