Thomas Seymour’s Behavior With Princess Elizabeth I Scandalized Her Governess
Soon as he moved into Katherine Parr’s house, Thomas Seymour moved on Princess Elizabeth, and began to flirt with her nonstop. Under the guise of fun and games, he burst into the thirteen-year-old old girl’s room at all hours of the day and night, sometimes dressed just in his nightgown. He would tickle, pinch, wrestle, “romp with”, and smack her butt as she lay in bed. Eyebrows were raised in the household. Elizabeth’s governess, Kat Ashley, was so scandalized by the creepy behavior that she complained to Parr. As Elizabeth’s household staff later testified, Seymour subjected the young girl to early morning visits in her bedroom as soon as he moved in. As the governess put it, he would: “make as though to come at her“, and she would shrink back from him.
Elizabeth tried to thwart him, and began to wake up earlier so he wouldn’t catch her in bed when he stopped by. In response, he began to visit her earlier still, to ensure that she was still in bed when he dropped by. It became clear that Seymour wanted to catch the young Elizabeth when she was barely dressed. As her governess testified in a later deposition, if Elizabeth was in her nightgown when Seymour burst into her bedroom, he would proceed with an icky routine. He would tickle, “romp”, slap her behind, “strike her in the back or the buttocks familiarly“, and otherwise endeavor to cop a feel. However, if the princess was fully dressed when Seymour arrived, he would promptly turn around and leave her bedroom.