|Lady Cromwell of Oakham
Lady St. John
"Portrait of an Unknown Woman," possibly Elizabeth Seymour by Hans Holbein the Younger
|Spouse(s)||Sir Anthony Ughtred
Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell
John Paulet, 2nd Marquess of Winchester
Edward Cromwell, Esq.
|Father||Sir John Seymour of Wulfhall|
|Buried||Basing, Hampshire, England|
One of nine children, born at Wulfhall, Savernake, Wiltshire, she was the sister of Jane Seymour, third Queen Consort of Henry VIII, and aunt of King Edward VI. Elizabeth's first husband was Sir Anthony Ughtred (or Oughtred), who died in 1534. The marriage was childless.
Jane and Elizabeth served as maids of honour to Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn, their second cousin. The Seymours gained wealth and power as Henry's attentions turned to Jane. On 30 May 1536, eleven days after Anne's execution, Henry and Jane were married.
Elizabeth Seymour was chief lady-in-waiting to Jane, who died twelve days after giving birth to Edward VI in 1537. Before 1538, Elizabeth had married Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell, son of Henry's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, at Wulfhall, Savernake, Wiltshire. They had five children.
Elizabeth's husband, Gregory, was part of the official welcoming party for Anne of Cleves, when she arrived from Germany  and Elizabeth was appointed as an attendant in the new Queen's household. After Henry and Anne's marriage was annulled, Elizabeth became lady-in-waiting to his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.
With Thomas Cromwell's execution in 1540 for treason and heresy, there was a brief decline in his family's fortunes. Elizabeth served as lady-in-waiting to Henry's sixth wife, Catherine Parr. After Henry VIII's death in 1547, Elizabeth's brother Thomas secretly married Catherine Parr, who died a few days after giving birth to her only child Mary Seymour, in September 1548.
Two of Elizabeth's brothers, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley and Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, were executed for treason during the reign of Edward VI. She became a widow again upon the death of Gregory Cromwell in 1551. Around 1 April 1554, she married as his second wife John Paulet, Baron St John. She died in 1563, aged 50. After her death, her husband married for a third time, and inherited the title of Marquess of Winchester.
Victorian scholars had identified a portrait (shown above) by Hans Holbein the Younger as a likeness of Catherine Howard. Historian Antonia Fraser has argued that this image is far more likely to be Elizabeth Seymour. The sitter wears widow's apparel. Catherine Howard would have had no reason to be dressed as a widow; but Elizabeth Seymour would, as her first husband had died in 1534. The portrait has long been associated with King Henry's tragic young Queen and various people and places contest it to be a picture of Catherine Howard. The gift shop at the Tower of London depicts the picture as being Catherine Howard on its souvenirs. The painting shown on this page is exhibited at the Toledo Museum USA under 1926.57. The National Portrait Gallery, which exhibits a similar painting under NPG 1119, but dendrochronology has it determined to be from after 1612. This painting at Montacute House in Somerset, remains undecided about the sitter's identity.