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Tyrwhit, Elizabeth


Subject Literature » Renaissance Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405194495.2012.x


Elizabeth Tyrwhit (c. 1510–78), a member of Katherine Parr's court, is best known as the compiler of a Protestant prayer-book and as governess to the Princess Elizabeth. Tyrwhit was born in Brede, Sussex to Sir Goddard Oxenbridge and his second wife, Anne Fiennes. By 1537 she was serving at the court of Henry VIII and by 1539 was married to Robert Tyrwhit, a relation of Katherine Parr's first husband, Edward Borough. Following Parr's marriage to Henry VIII in 1543, Robert was made master of the horse and later steward of Parr's household; Elizabeth served as a lady of the queen's privy chamber. Elizabeth Tyrwhit participated in the evangelical circle that Parr encouraged at the court. When these activities led to informal charges against the queen, Tyrwhit was among the ladies implicated by Stephen Gardiner and Thomas Wriosthesley. After Henry's death in 1547, Parr married Thomas Seymour, the lord admiral and uncle to Edward VI, and the Tyrwhits moved with her, first to Chelsea and then to Sudeley Castle. They remained in the employ of Seymour after Parr's death, although later they were called to testify against him in the dispute with his brother, Edward Seymour, Protector Somerset. Worries that Thomas Seymour might marry the Princess Elizabeth and so consolidate his power led to the brief internment of Elizabeth's closest servants in the Tower of London and to her placement with ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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