Thomas Bilson: Difference between revisions

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===Final years===
[[Image:1stEarlOfSomerset.jpg|thumb|left|125px|The 1st Earl of Somerset.]]
He was appointed a judge in the 1613 [[annulment]] case of [[Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex]] and his wife [[Frances Carr, Countess of Somerset|Frances]] née Howard; with [[John Buckridge]], [[bishop of Rochester]], he was one of two extra judges added by the King to the original 10, who were deadlocked. This caused bitterness on the part of [[George Abbot (Archbishop of Canterbury)|George Abbot]], the [[archbishop of Canterbury]], who was presiding over the nullity commission. Abbot felt that neither man was impartial, and that Bilson bore him an old grudge.<ref>Anne Somerset, ''Unnatural Murder: Poison at the Court of James I'', pp. 159–160.</ref> Bilson played a key role in the outcome, turning away the Earl of Essex's appeal to appear a second time before the commission, and sending away [[Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton]] who was asking on behalf of Essex with a half-truth about the position (which was that the King had intervened against Essex).<ref>Somerset, p. 164.</ref> The outcome of the case was a divorce, and Bilson was then in favour with [[Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset]], a favourite in the court who proceeded to marry Frances. Bilson's son, the[[Thomas lawyerBilson (MP for Winchester)|Sir Thomas Bilson (1579–1630),]] was nicknamed "Sir Nullity Bilson", because his knighthood followed on the outcome of the Essex annulment case.<ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Archived copy |accessdate=2008-10-05 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=8 January 2011 |df=dmy-all }}</ref><ref>Somerset, p. 168.</ref>
In August 1615 Bilson was made a member of the [[Privy Council]].<ref name="bham">{{cite web|url=|title=1eng||accessdate=12 April 2014}}</ref> In fact, though this was the high point of Bilson's career as courtier, and secured by Somerset's influence, he had been led to expect more earlier that summer. Somerset had been importunate to the point of pushiness on behalf of Bilson, hoping to secure him a higher office, and had left Bilson in a false position and James very annoyed. This misjudgement was a major step in Somerset's replacement in favour by [[George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham|George Villiers]], said to have happened in physical terms under Bilson's roof at [[Farnham Castle]] that same August.<ref>Alan Stewart, ''The Cradle King: A Life of James VI & I'' (2003), p. 271.</ref><ref>Somerset, p. 286.</ref> Bilson died in 1616 and was buried in [[Westminster Abbey]].<ref name="1858KJV" />