The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Major Francis Seymour

Major Francis Seymour

A carte-de-visite portrait of the British Army officer and courtier Major Francis Seymour, later General Sir Francis Seymour, 1st Baronet, GCB.

Born on 2 August 1813, he was the eldest son of Henry Augustus Seymour (1771–1847). In 1834, he was commissioned as an ensign in the 19th Regiment of Foot and promoted to lieutenant in 1837. In the winter of 1838-39 he accompanied Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on a visit to Italy. Upon Albert's marriage to Queen Victoria in 1840, Seymour became his Groom-in-Waiting, an office he held until the Prince Consort’s death in 1861. He then occupied the same position in the Queen’s household until 1876, when he became an Extra Groom-in-Waiting.

In 1840, Seymour was promoted to captain, exchanging to the Scots Fusilier Guards in 1842. In 1854, he served with the Guards in the Crimean War and was present at the battles of Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman. He was wounded at Inkerman and also later at the Siege of Sevastopol. In 1854, he was brevetted colonel and appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1857.

Promoted to major in 1858, lieutenant-colonel in 1863 and major-general in 1864, Seymour was made a baronet in 1869 and went on to command the troops in Malta from 1872 to 1874. He was promoted to lieutenant-general in 1873, colonel of the 11th (North Devonshire) Regiment of Foot in 1874, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1875 and general in 1877. He was also appointed Master of the Ceremonies in 1876 and sometime appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Saxe-Ernestine House Order. He retired in 1881 after being promoted to a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath that year.

On 25 August 1869 Seymour married Agnes Austin, the eldest daughter of Rev. H. D. Wickham of Horsington, Somerset. The couple had three daughters and one son, Albert Victor Francis Seymour, born when Seymour was 74 years old, who later served as a Page of Honour to Queen Victoria.

Seymour died at Kensington Palace on 10 July 1890 and his baronetcy was inherited by his two-year-old son.

Photographed by the Southwell Brothers of London.


Code: 125689
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© Paul Frecker 2019