Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger, c. 1521-1554 and Wyatt's Rebellion

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger, c. 1521-1554 and Wyatt's Rebellion

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger, c. 1521-1554 and Wyatt's Rebellion

Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger, c. 1521-1554 and Wyatt's Rebellion

Excerpt

While working on my last book, The Shadow of the White Rose, Edward Courtenay Earl of Devon, 1526 to 1556,I realized that I was only telling part of a story, as there are many links between Edward Courtenay and Thomas Wyatt the Younger, son of Thomas Wyatt the Elder. Thomas Wyatt the Elder receives partial credit for introducing the sonnet into English literature, later refined by William Shakespeare. Thomas the Younger is mainly known for leading a rebellion against the advent of the Catholic Queen Mary Tudor.

This work is the product of many years of research in which I reviewed all that 600 years of history has recorded, and as when researching Edward Courtenay, I was particularly intrigued by references to missing or altered documents. The most valuable references are those from the period of Wyatt’s lifetime and immediately thereafter, such as the account recorded by John Proctor, who was a schoolmaster from Tunbridge Wells and published the events of the rebellion the following year, 1554. Although Proctor’s account may be slightly biased, his account is a valuable asset in comparison to those of other historians who do not offer as much detail. One additional account that is especially useful is provided by Raphael Holinshed, whose chronicles offer a rare and detailed account of a complete court trial of one of the conspirators; it is included in this edition.

Other notable historians of the period only recorded bits and pieces over the span of Wyatt’s life, but when these fragments are assembled, a portrait begins to emerge of a well-educated, intelli-

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