Kate Ashley’s Testimony

Confession of Kate Ashley, rape of Elizabeth, #1Fig. 1            Part One of  the written Testimony 


“What familiaritie she ([Elizabeth) hath betwixt the Lord Admirall, and the Lady Elizabeth’s Grace?

    Relevant to what I found in Act II (to be shown later) are the following phrases from the above testimony: Modernized Kat testimony, analysis #1

Fig. 2:  Continuing:  Part Two of  the written testimony

Kate Ashley's Confession, rape of Elizabeth, #2 Testimony, #3Figs. 3, 4 Part Two, #1 Part Two, #2Fig. 5, 6

   When then asked about whether or not she knew of any person who she knew had any communication with the Lord Seymour “touchyng the Mariage betwixt the Lady Elizabeth and my Lord Admyrall” is the following curious seemingly sexualized  comment allegedly said by Seymour about Elizabeth: Kate Ashley's Confession, rape of Elizabeth, #4Fig. 7      

   Accurate or not, the testimony offered about Seymour demonstrates he showed no tenderness of feeling or care for Elizabeth.  Kat Ashley’s testimony paints the picture of a sexual predator as well as what in today’s world would qualify him as a personality disorder.  Reading about him in accounts other than in documents relating to his role as conspirator against Edward VI, he strikes me as being a sociopath.

Other Testimonies (“Confessions:”):

Confession of Thomas Parrye, Elizabeth's coffer, #1

Parrye, #2Fig. 7

   The testimonie of Thomas Parrye is that Kat Ashley regretted having told him “the Tale of the fynding her Grace [the teenage Elizabeth] in his [Seymour’s] Armes” as related to her by the Queen, Catherine Parr.  According to Ashley, Catherine was jealous of her husband’s relationship with Elizabeth, and worried about his easy access to Elizabeth’s bed chamber.  Catherine came upon the two in an embrace (“he having her in his Armes”), became angry and subsequently had a falling out with both Seymour and Elizabeth, resulting in Elizabeth’s removal from Seymour’s house.  Parrye states he was unclear why Elizabeth left Seymour’s residence, whether Elizabeth was sent away by Catherine, or went of her own accord.

   Parrye further states that Kat Ashley regretted having told him so much (“hadd gone so farre with me”), but does say she will go into greater detail at another time (“I will tell you more another Tyme”) and begged me (“that I wold not disclose thes Matters”) and “required me gret Secrecy”.  Her fear was that if the story ever got out, it would bring much dishonor to Elizabeth.

The Confession of Robert Tyrwhyt:

Rape, Confession of Robert TyrwhytFig. 8

   This testimony to the Lord Protector (by Thomas Tyrwhyt) essentially says he had previously given a copy of Kat Ashley’s testimony to Elizabeth, that Elizabeth read the content carefully, was “myche abashed, and halffe brethles” at was claimed under oath, and validated to him (Tyrwhyt) she recognized the hand of both Kat Ashley and Thomas Parrye.  Elizabeth was angry that Parrye had made a promise not to reveal the content of what happened between Seymour and herself to Ashley, saying “That yt was a grett Matter for hyme to promys sych a Promys and to brake yt.”  Tyrwhyt than says Elizabeth would travel to see the Lord Protector and “to utter the Trowth”.  We shall see Elizabeth’s testimony to the Lord Protector shortly.

   Of course, the truth of any of this still remains ambiguous.  All the more so since all testimony was given either under the direct threat of torture, during some torture, or the threat of torture if any part of their testimony was proven  or shown to be false.

   Interesting is the lack of finger-pointing in any of the above testimony.  The accounts, on the surface, align with each other on many points:  that Elizabeth and Seymour had a dalliance, that Kat Ashley told others (Queen Catherine, Thomas Parrye) of  the behavior of both people involved, stated others also witnessed what appeared as probable sexual behavior on the part of Seymour toward Elizabeth, Catherine’s suspicions and jealousy about her husband’s relationship with the teenage Elizabeth, and the removal of Elizabeth from Seymour’s household).

Lady Elizabeth’s Testimony:   (Partial)

Elizabeth's testimony to the Lord ProtectorFig. 9

   Stated directly to the Lord Protector, Elizabeth makes good on her promise (testified to in the testimony of Thomas Tyrwhyt above) “to utter the Trowth”.  In the last part of her testimony, Elizabeth states there are rumors being circulated at home and abroad that are insults to ” . . . my Honor, and Honestie”.  Namely, that she is presently in the Tower, and is with child by the Lord Admiral, Thomas Seymour.  At least in the above testimony, she does not appear to deny what others rumor to be her pregnancy, but says that in the near future she will come to Court and “I may shewe my selfe there as I am.”

Is any of this encoded in Richard III, Act II?  Click HERE to continue.





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