|Queen consort of England and Ireland|
|Tenure||12 July 1543 – 28 January 1547|
Blackfriars, London, England
|Died||5 September 1548 (aged 36)|
Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, England
St Mary's Chapel, Sudeley Castle
|Father||Sir Thomas Parr|
Catherine Parr (sometimes alternatively spelled Katherine, Katheryn, Kateryn or Katharine) (1512 – 5 September 1548) was queen consort of England and Ireland (1543–47) as the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII, and the final queen consort of the House of Tudor. She married him on 12 July 1543, and outlived him by one year. With four husbands she is the most-married English queen.
Catherine enjoyed a close relationship with Henry's three children and was personally involved in the education of Elizabeth I and Edward VI. She was influential in Henry's passing of the Third Succession Act in 1543 that restored both his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, to the line of succession to the throne.
Catherine was appointed regent from July to September 1544 while Henry was on a military campaign in France and in case he lost his life, she was to rule as regent until Edward came of age. However he did not give her any function in government in his will. In 1543, she published her first book, Psalms or Prayers , anonymously.On account of Catherine's Protestant sympathies, she provoked the enmity of anti-Protestant officials, who sought to turn the King against her; a warrant for her arrest was drawn up in 1545. However, she and the King soon reconciled. Her book Prayers or Meditations became the first book published by an English queen under her own name. She assumed the role of Elizabeth's guardian following the King's death, and published a second book, The Lamentation of a Sinner .
Henry died on 28 January 1547. After the king's death, Catherine was allowed to keep the queen's jewels and dresses as queen dowager. About six months after Henry's death, she married her fourth and final husband, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley. The marriage was short-lived, as she died on Wednesday, 5 September 1548 due to complications of childbirth.Parr's funeral was held on 7 September 1548. Parr's funeral was the first Protestant funeral held in English in England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Catherine Parr was born in 1512, probably in August.She was the eldest child (surviving to adulthood) of Sir Thomas Parr, lord of the manor of Kendal in Westmorland, (now Cumbria), and of the former Maud Green, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Green, lord of Greens Norton, Northamptonshire, and Joan Fogge. Sir Thomas Parr was a descendant of King Edward III, and the Parrs were a substantial northern family which included many knights. Catherine's paternal grandparents were Sir William Parr and Elizabeth FitzHugh, a daughter of Henry, Baron FitzHugh of Ravensworth Castle and Lady Alice Neville, sister of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick ("Warwick, the Kingmaker"). Catherine had a younger brother, William, later created first Marquess of Northampton, and younger sister, Anne, later Countess of Pembroke. Sir Thomas was a close companion to King Henry VIII, and was rewarded as such with responsibilities and/or incomes from his positions as Sheriff of Northamptonshire, Master of the Wards, and Comptroller to the King, in addition to being the lord of Kendal. Catherine's mother was a close friend and attendant of Katherine of Aragon, and Catherine Parr was probably named after Queen Katherine, who was her godmother.
It was once thought that Catherine Parr had been born at Kendal Castle in Westmorland. However, at the time of her birth, Kendal Castle was already in very poor condition.During her pregnancy, Maud Parr remained at court, attending the Queen, and by necessity the Parr family was living in their townhouse at Blackfriars. Historians now consider it unlikely that Sir Thomas would have taken his pregnant wife on an arduous two-week journey north over bad roads to give birth in a crumbling castle in which neither of them seemed to spend much time. Catherine's father died when she was young, and she was close to her mother as she grew up.
Catherine's initial education was similar to other well-born women, but she developed a passion for learning which would continue throughout her life. She was fluent in French, Latin, and Italian, and began learning Spanish after becoming queen.According to biographer Linda Porter, the story that as a child, Catherine could not tolerate sewing and often said to her mother "my hands are ordained to touch crowns and sceptres, not spindles and needles" is almost certainly apocryphal.
In 1529, when she was seventeen, Catherine married Sir Edward Burgh (pronounced and sometimes written as Borough), a grandson of Edward Burgh, 2nd Baron Burgh. Earlier biographies mistakenly reported that Catherine had married the older Burgh.Following the 2nd Baron Burgh's death in December 1528, Catherine's father-in-law Sir Thomas Burgh was summoned to Parliament in 1529 as Baron Burgh.
Catherine's first husband was in his twenties and may have been in poor health. He served as a feoffee for Thomas Kiddell and as a justice of the peace. His father also secured a joint patent in survivorship with his son for the office of steward of the manor of the soke of Kirton in Lindsey. The younger Sir Edward Burgh died in the spring of 1533, not surviving to inherit the title of Baron Burgh.
Following her first husband's demise, Catherine Parr may have spent time with the Dowager Lady Strickland, Katherine Neville, who was the widow of Catherine's cousin Sir Walter Strickland, at the Stricklands' family residence of Sizergh Castle in Westmorland (now in Cumbria). In the summer of 1534, Catherine married secondly John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer, her father's second cousin and a kinsman of Lady Strickland. With this marriage, Catherine became only the second woman in the Parr family to marry into the peerage.
The twice-widowed Latimer was twice Catherine's age. From his first marriage to Dorothy de Vere, sister of John de Vere, 14th Earl of Oxford, he had two children, John and Margaret. Although Latimer was in financial difficulties after he and his brothers had pursued legal action to claim the title of Earl of Warwick, Catherine now had a home of her own, a title and a husband with a position and influence in the north.
Latimer was a supporter of the Catholic Church and had opposed the king's first annulment, his subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn, and the religious consequences. In October 1536, during the Lincolnshire Rising, Catholic rebels appeared before the Latimers' home threatening violence if Latimer did not join their efforts to reinstate the links between England and Rome. Catherine watched as her husband was dragged away. Between October 1536 and April 1537, Catherine lived alone in fear with her step-children, struggling to survive. It is probable that, in these uncertain times, Catherine's strong reaction against the rebellion strengthened her adherence to the reformed Church of England.In January 1537, during the uprising of the North, Catherine and her step-children were held hostage at Snape Castle in Yorkshire. The rebels ransacked the house and sent word to Lord Latimer, who was returning from London, that if he did not return immediately they would kill his family. When Latimer returned to the castle, he somehow talked the rebels into releasing his family and leaving, but the aftermath would prove to be taxing on the whole family.
The King and Thomas Cromwell heard conflicting reports as to whether Latimer was a prisoner or a conspirator. As a conspirator, he could be found guilty of treason, forfeiting his estates and leaving Catherine and her step-children penniless. The King himself wrote to the Duke of Norfolk, pressing him to make sure Latimer would "condemn that villain Aske and submit to our clemency".Latimer complied. It is likely that Catherine's brother William Parr and his uncle, William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Horton, who both fought against the rebellion, intervened to save Latimer's life.
Although no charges were laid against him, Latimer's reputation, which reflected upon Catherine, was tarnished for the rest of his life. Over the next seven years, the family spent much of their time in the south. For several years, Latimer was blackmailed by Cromwell and forced to do his bidding. After Cromwell's death in 1540, the Latimers reclaimed some dignity. In 1542 the family spent time in London as Latimer attended Parliament. Catherine visited her brother William and her sister Anne at court. It was here that Catherine became acquainted with her future fourth husband, Sir Thomas Seymour. The atmosphere of the court was greatly different from that of the rural estates she knew. There, Catherine could find the latest trends, not only in religious matters, but in less weighty secular matters such as fashion and jewellery.
By the winter of 1542, Lord Latimer's health had worsened. Catherine nursed her husband until his death in 1543. In his will, Catherine was named as guardian of his daughter, Margaret, and was put in charge of his affairs until his daughter's majority. Latimer left Catherine the manor of Stowe and other properties. He also bequeathed money for supporting his daughter, and in the case that his daughter did not marry within five years, Catherine was to take £30 a year out of the income to support her step-daughter. Catherine was left a rich widow, but after Lord Latimer's death she faced the possibility of having to return north. It is likely that Catherine sincerely mourned her husband; she kept a remembrance of him, his New Testament with his name inscribed inside, until her death.
Using her late mother's friendship with Henry's first queen, Catherine of Aragon, Catherine took the opportunity to renew her own friendship with the former queen's daughter, Lady Mary. By 16 February 1543, Catherine had established herself as part of Mary's household, and it was there that Catherine caught the attention of the King. Although she had begun a romantic friendship with Sir Thomas Seymour, the brother of the late queen Jane Seymour, she saw it as her duty to accept Henry's proposal over Seymour's. Seymour was given a posting in Brussels to remove him from the king's court.[ citation needed ]
Catherine married Henry VIII on 12 July 1543 at Hampton Court Palace. She was the first Queen of England also to be Queen of Ireland following Henry's adoption of the title King of Ireland. Catherine and her new husband shared several common royal and noble ancestors making them multiple cousins. By Henry's mother and Catherine's father they were third cousins once removed sharing Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland and Lady Joan Beaufort (granddaughter of Edward III) and by their fathers they were double fourth cousins once removed sharing Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent (son of Princess Joan of Kent) and Lady Alice FitzAlan (granddaughter of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster) and John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (son of Edward III) and Katherine Swynford.[ citation needed ]
On becoming queen, Catherine installed her former stepdaughter, Margaret Neville, as her lady-in-waiting, and gave her stepson John's wife, Lucy Somerset, a position in her household. [ citation needed ]Catherine was partially responsible for reconciling Henry with his daughters from his first two marriages, and also developed a good relationship with Henry's son Edward. When she became queen, her uncle Lord Parr of Horton became her Lord Chamberlain.
Henry went on his last, unsuccessful, campaign to France from July to September 1544, leaving Catherine as his regent. Because her regency council was composed of sympathetic members, including her uncle, Thomas Cranmer (the Archbishop of Canterbury) and Lord Hertford, Catherine obtained effective control and was able to rule as she saw fit. She handled provision, finances and musters for Henry's French campaign, signed five royal proclamations, and maintained constant contact with her lieutenant in the northern Marches, Lord Shrewsbury, over the complex and unstable situation with Scotland. It is thought that her actions as regent, together with her strength of character and noted dignity, and later religious convictions, greatly influenced her stepdaughter Lady Elizabeth (the future Elizabeth I of England).
The Queen's religious views were viewed with suspicion by anti-Protestant officials such as Stephen Gardiner (the Bishop of Winchester) and Lord Wriothesley (the Lord Chancellor). Lamentacion of a synner (Lamentation of a Sinner), was published in late 1547. The book promoted the Protestant concept of justification by faith alone, which the Catholic Church deemed to be heresy. It is unlikely that she developed these views in the short time between Henry's death and the publication of the book. Her sympathy with Anne Askew, the Protestant martyr who fiercely opposed the Catholic belief of transubstantiation, also suggests that she was more than merely sympathetic to the new religion.[ citation needed ]Although brought up as a Catholic, she later became sympathetic to and interested in the "New Faith". By the mid-1540s, she came under suspicion that she was actually a Protestant. This view is supported by the strong reformed ideas that she revealed after Henry's death, when her second book,
In 1546, the Bishop of Winchester and Lord Wriothesley tried to turn the king against her. An arrest warrant was drawn up for her and rumours abounded across Europe that the King was attracted to her close friend, the Duchess of Suffolk.However, she saw the warrant and managed to reconcile with the King after vowing that she had only argued about religion with him to take his mind off the suffering caused by his ulcerous leg. The following day an armed guard who was unaware of the reconciliation tried to arrest her while she walked with the King.
Shortly before he died, Henry made provision for an allowance of £7,000 per year for Catherine to support herself. He further ordered that, after his death, Catherine, though a queen dowager, should be given the respect of a queen of England, as if he were still alive. Catherine retired from court after the coronation of her stepson, Edward VI, on 31 January 1547, to her home at Old Manor in Chelsea.[ citation needed ]
Following Henry's death, Catherine's old love and the new king's uncle, Thomas Seymour (who was soon created 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley), returned to court. Catherine was quick to accept when Seymour renewed his suit of marriage. Since only four months had passed since the death of King Henry, Seymour knew that the Regency council would not agree to a petition for the queen dowager to marry so soon. Sometime near the end of May, Catherine and Seymour married in secret.[ citation needed ] King Edward VI and council were not informed of the union for several months. When their union became public knowledge, it caused a small scandal. The King and Lady Mary were very much displeased by the union. After being censured and reprimanded by the council, Seymour wrote to the Lady Mary asking her to intervene on his behalf. Mary became furious at his forwardness and tasteless actions and refused to help. Mary even went as far as asking her half-sister, Lady Elizabeth, not to interact with Queen Catherine any further.
During this time, Catherine began having altercations with her brother-in-law, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. Like Thomas, Edward was the King's uncle, and also was the Lord Protector. A rivalry developed between Catherine and his wife, her own former lady-in-waiting, Anne Seymour, Duchess of Somerset, which became particularly acute over the matter of Catherine's jewels.The Duchess argued that as queen dowager, Catherine, was no longer entitled to wear the jewels belonging to the wife of the king. Instead she, as the wife of the protector, should be the one to wear them. Eventually, the Duchess won the argument, which left her relationship with Catherine permanently damaged; the relationship between the two Seymour brothers also worsened as a result, since Thomas saw the whole dispute as a personal attack by his brother on his social standing.
In November 1547, Catherine published her second book, The Lamentation of a Sinner . The book was a success and widely praised.[ citation needed ]
In March 1548, at the age of 35, Catherine became pregnant. This pregnancy was a surprise as Catherine had not conceived during her first three marriages. During this time, Seymour began to take an interest in Lady Elizabeth. Seymour had reputedly plotted to marry her before marrying Catherine, and it was reported later that Catherine discovered the two in an embrace. On a few occasions before the situation risked getting completely out of hand, according to the deposition of Kat Ashley, Catherine appears not only to have acquiesced in episodes of horseplay, but actually to have assisted her husband. [ citation needed ]Whatever actually happened, Elizabeth was sent away in May 1548 to stay with Sir Anthony Denny's household at Cheshunt and never saw her beloved stepmother again, although the two corresponded. Elizabeth immediately wrote a letter to the Queen and Seymour after she left Chelsea. The letter demonstrates a sort of remorse.
Kat Ashley, whose deposition was given after Catherine had died and Seymour had been arrested for another attempt at marrying Lady Elizabeth, had developed a crush on Seymour during her time at Chelsea and actually encouraged her charge to "play along." At one point she even made a comment at how lucky Elizabeth would have been to have a husband like Seymour.Ashley even told Lady Elizabeth that Seymour had confided his sentiments to her of wanting to marry Elizabeth before Catherine. After Catherine's death, Ashley strongly encouraged Elizabeth to write to Seymour offering her condolences; to "comfort him of his sorrow...for he would think great kindness therein."
In June 1548, Catherine, accompanied by Lady Jane Grey, moved to Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. The dowager queen promised to provide education for her. It was there that Catherine would spend the last few months of her pregnancy and the last summer of her life.
Catherine gave birth to her only child, a daughter, Mary Seymour, named after Catherine's stepdaughter Mary, on 30 August 1548. Catherine died on 5 September 1548, at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, from what is thought to have been "childbed fever".This illness was common due to the lack of hygiene around childbirth.
Catherine's funeral was held on 7 September 1548.It was the first Protestant funeral held in English. Her chief mourner was Lady Jane Grey. She was buried in St. Mary's Chapel on the grounds of Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, England. She is the only royal to be buried in a private residence.
Lord Seymour was beheaded for treason on 20 March 1549, and Mary Seymour was taken to live with the Dowager Duchess of Suffolk, a close friend of Catherine's. Catherine's other jewels were kept in a coffer with five drawers at Sudeley and this was sent to the Tower of London on 20 April 1549, and her clothes and papers followed in May.After a year and a half, on 17 March 1550, Mary's property was restored to her by an Act of Parliament, easing the burden of the infant's household on the duchess. The last mention of Mary Seymour on record is on her second birthday, and although stories circulated that she eventually married and had children, most historians believe she died as a child at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire.
In 1782, John Locust discovered the coffin of Queen Catherine in the ruins of the Sudeley Castle chapel. The coffin was identified by a lead plate with an inscription on the coffin. [ citation needed ]He opened the coffin and observed that the body, after 234 years, was in a surprisingly good condition. Reportedly the flesh on one of her arms was still white and moist. After taking a few locks of her hair, he closed the coffin and returned it to the grave.
The coffin was opened a few more times in the next ten years and in 1792 some drunken men buried it upside down and in a rough way. When the coffin was officially reopened in 1817, nothing but a skeleton remained. Her remains were then moved to the tomb of Lord Chandos whose family owned the castle at that time.The tomb was carefully restored by order of the late Duchess of Buckingham, Lady Anne Greville, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Chandos. In later years the chapel was rebuilt by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who erected a canopied tomb with a recumbent marble figure by John Birnie Philip.
The full-length portrait of Catherine Parr by Master John in the National Portrait Gallery was for many years thought to represent Lady Jane Grey. The painting has recently been re-identified as Catherine Parr, with whose name it was originally associated. The full-length format was very rare in portraits of this date, and was usually used only for very important sitters. Lady Jane Grey, although of royal blood, was a relatively obscure child of eight when this was painted (circa 1545); it was to be another eight years before the short-lived attempt at placing her on the throne. The distinctive crown-shaped jewel the sitter wears can be traced to an inventory of jewels that belonged to Catherine Parr, and the cameo beads appear to have belonged to Catherine Howard, from whom they would have passed to her successor as queen.
Catherine Parr first appeared as a character in cinemas in 1934, in Alexander Korda's film The Private Life of Henry VIII . Charles Laughton played the king, with actress Everley Gregg appearing as Catherine. The film makes no attempt to depict the historical Parr's character, instead portraying the Queen for comic effect as a domineering and over-protective nag.
In 1952, a romanticised version of Thomas Seymour's obsession with Elizabeth I saw Stewart Granger as Seymour, Jean Simmons as the young Elizabeth and screen legend Deborah Kerr as Parr in the popular film Young Bess . In 1970, in "Catherine Parr", a 90-minute BBC television drama (the last in a 6-part series, entitled The Six Wives of Henry VIII ) Catherine was played by Rosalie Crutchley opposite Keith Michell's Henry. In this, Catherine's love of religion and intellectual capabilities were highlighted. Crutchley reprised her role as Catherine Parr for the first episode of the 6-part follow-up series on the life of Elizabeth I in 1971, Elizabeth R . In 1972, Barbara Leigh-Hunt played a matronly Catherine in Henry VIII and his Six Wives , with Keith Michell once again playing Henry.
In 2000, Jennifer Wigmore played Catherine Parr in the American television drama aimed at teenagers, Elizabeth: Red Rose of the House of Tudor. A year later, Caroline Lintott played Katherine in Professor David Starkey's documentary series on Henry's queens. In October 2003, in a two-part British television series on Henry VIII , Catherine was played by Clare Holman. The part was relatively small, given that the drama's second part focused more on the stories of Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard. In The Simpsons episode "Margical History Tour," Catherine is portrayed by Agnes Skinner as an elderly widow during Marge's retelling of Henry's reign. Henry (portrayed by Homer) regrets his marriage to her because of her age. In March 2007, Washington University in St. Louis performed the A.E. Hotchner Playwriting Competition winner Highness, which documents the life of Catherine Parr and her relationships with King Henry and his daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth I, to whom she was a stepmother.
Catherine Parr was portrayed by actress Joely Richardson on the fourth and final season of Showtime's The Tudors , which was first broadcast in spring 2010.Richardson's portrayal was largely faithful to what has been recorded of Parr's character. Catherine features in The Dark Rose, Volume 2 of The Morland Dynasty a series of historical novels by author Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. The lead female character, Nanette Morland, is educated alongside Catherine and is later re-acquainted with her when she becomes Queen. She has been the subject of several novels, including two titled The Sixth Wife, and she is a supporting character in C. J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake mysteries, Revelation , Heartstone and Lamentation .
In 2015, the Stratford Festival in Stratford Ontario debuted a new play called The Last Wife about Catherine Parr and her relationships with Henry VIII, Thomas Seymour and Henry's three children. The play was written by Kate Hennig. Maev Beaty played Katherine Parr. In the retelling of Henry VIII's sixth wife by Sara Pascoe in Drunk History (UK version, series 2, episode 9) Catherine Parr is portrayed by Emma Bunton.[ citation needed ] Catherine Parr is a character in the 2017 musical Six, by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. In the West End production, the role of Catherine Parr has been played by Izuka Hoyle, Maiya Quansah-Breed, and Danielle Steers. A United States run in Chicago in May 2019 saw Catherine played by Anna Uzele. Six was set to open on Broadway in April 2020, with Catherine to be played again by Anna Uzele.
Rick Wakeman recorded the piece "Catherine Parr" for his 1973 album, The Six Wives of Henry VIII . On his 2009 live version of the album the track's spelling is changed to "Katherine Parr".
The popular myth that Catherine Parr acted more as her husband's nurse than his wife was born in the 19th century from the work of Victorian moralist and proto-feminist, Agnes Strickland. David Starkey challenged this assumption in his book Six Wives, in which he points out that such a situation would have been vaguely obscene to the Tudors—given that Henry had a huge staff of physicians waiting on him hand and foot, and Catherine was expected to live up to the heavy expectations of Queenly dignity. Parr is usually portrayed in cinema and television by actresses who are much older than the queen, who was in her early 30s when she was Henry's wife and was about 36 years old at the time of her death. This change is usually an artistic licence taken to highlight Parr's maturity in comparison to Henry's previous queens, or at least a symptom of the longer lifespans enjoyed by modern audiences (who might be confused as to why a 30-year-old is considered much older and more experienced).[ citation needed ]
Catherine's good sense, moral rectitude, compassion, firm religious commitment and strong sense of loyalty and devotion have earned her many admirers among historians. These include David Starkey, feminist activist Karen Lindsey, Lady Antonia Fraser, Alison Weir, Carolly Erickson, Alison Plowden, Susan James and Linda Porter. Biographers have described her as strong-willed and outspoken, physically desirable, susceptible (like Queen Elizabeth) to roguish charm and even willing to resort to obscene language if the occasion suited. [ full citation needed ]
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Several novels also feature Katherine Parr:[ clarification needed ]
Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, KG was a brother of Jane Seymour, the third wife of King Henry VIII. With his brother, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector of England, he vied for control of their nephew, the young King Edward VI. In 1547 Seymour became the fourth husband of Catherine Parr, who had been the sixth and last wife and queen of Henry VIII. During his marriage to Catherine Parr, Seymour involved the future Queen Elizabeth I, who resided in his household, in flirtatious and possibly sexual behaviour.
Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, was the daughter of the Scottish queen dowager Margaret Tudor and her second husband Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. In her youth she was high in the favour of her uncle, Henry VIII of England, but twice incurred the King's anger, first for her unauthorised engagement to Lord Thomas Howard, who died in the Tower of London in 1537 because of his misalliance with her, and again in 1540 for an affair with Thomas Howard's nephew Sir Charles Howard, the brother of Henry's wife Catherine Howard. On 6 July 1544, she married Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, one of Scotland's leading noblemen. Her son Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, married Mary, Queen of Scots, and was the father of James VI and I.
Sudeley Castle is located in the Cotswolds near Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, England. The present structure was built in the 15th century and may have been on the site of a 12th-century castle. The castle has a notable garden, which is designed and maintained to a very high standard. The chapel, St. Mary's Sudeley, is the burial place of Queen Catherine Parr (1512–1548), the sixth wife of King Henry VIII, and contains her marble tomb. Unusually for a castle chapel, St Mary's of Sudeley is part of the local parish of the Church of England. Sudeley is also one of the few castles left in England that is still a residence. As a result, the castle is only open to visitors on specific dates, and private family quarters are closed to the public. It is a Grade I listed building, and recognised as an internationally important structure.
A queen dowager, dowager queen or queen mother is a title or status generally held by the widow of a king. In the case of the widow of an emperor, the title of empress dowager is used. Its full meaning is clear from the two words from which it is composed: queen indicates someone who served as queen consort, while dowager indicates a woman who holds the title from her deceased husband.
Elizabeth Seymour was the daughter of Sir John Seymour of Wulfhall, Wiltshire and Margery Wentworth. Elizabeth and her sister Jane Seymour served in the household of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. In his quest for a male heir, the king had divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, whose only surviving child was a daughter, Mary. His marriage to Anne Boleyn had also resulted in a single daughter, Elizabeth. The queen's miscarriage of a son in January 1536 sealed her fate. The king, convinced that Anne could never give him male children, increasingly infatuated with Jane Seymour, and encouraged by the queen's enemies, was determined to replace her. The Seymours rose to prominence after the king's attention turned to Jane.
Anne Seymour, Duchess of Somerset was the second wife of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, who held the office of lord protector during the first part of the reign of their nephew King Edward VI. The Duchess was briefly the most powerful woman in England. During her husband's regency she unsuccessfully claimed precedence over the queen dowager, Catherine Parr.
Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk, was an English noblewoman, the second child and eldest daughter of King Henry VIII's younger sister, Princess Mary, and Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. She was the mother of Lady Jane Grey, de facto Queen of England and Ireland from 10 July until 19 July 1553, as well as Lady Katherine Grey and Lady Mary Grey.
Katherine Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, suo jure12th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, was an English noblewoman living at the courts of King Henry VIII, King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth I. She was the fourth wife of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, who acted as her legal guardian during his third marriage to Henry VIII's sister Mary. Her second husband was Richard Bertie, a member of her household. Following Charles Brandon's death in 1545, it was rumoured that King Henry had considered marrying Catherine as his seventh wife, while he was still married to his sixth wife, Catherine Parr, who was Katherine's close friend.
Katherine Ashley, also seen as Astley, was governess to Queen Elizabeth I of England and became her close friend in later life. She was known to the Queen as "Kat", and it is by the name "Kat Ashley" that she is generally known to history. She should not be confused with her niece Katherine Champernowne, mother successively of Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh.
Lady Jane Grey, also known as Lady Jane Dudley and as "the Nine Days' Queen", was an English noblewoman and de facto Queen of England and Ireland from 10 July until 19 July 1553.
Mary Seymour, born at her father’s country seat, Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, was the only daughter of Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, and Katherine Parr, widow of Henry VIII of England. Although Katherine was married four times, Mary was her only child. Complications from Mary's birth would claim the life of her mother on 5 September 1548, and her father was executed less than a year later for treason against Edward VI.
Elisabeth Brooke was the eldest daughter of George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham of Kent and Anne, his wife. She was the niece of Sir Thomas Wyatt the elder, the courtier-poet credited with bringing the sonnet form into the English language, and Elizabeth Brooke who was associated with Henry VIII of England. Elisabeth openly lived in adultery with William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton and bigamously married him. At times, she was accepted at court as the Marchioness of Northampton. She was the sister-in-law of Katherine Parr, King Henry VIII's sixth queen. Her first cousin, Thomas Wyatt the Younger, was the leader of a rebellion against Queen Mary I known as Wyatt's Rebellion. The whole family was implicated. She became one of the most influential courtiers again during the reign of Elizabeth I.
Sir Thomas Parr was an English knight, courtier and Lord of the Manor of Kendal in Westmorland during the Tudor period. He is best known as the father of Catherine Parr, queen consort of England and the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII.
Events from the 1540s in England.
Wick is a village in the district of Wychavon in the county of Worcestershire, England. It is located 2 miles from the town of Pershore in the Vale of Evesham, and nestles in a large bend in the River Avon. It is bounded by areas of parkland listed by the Wychavon District Council as Locally Important Parks and Gardens.
Maud Green was the mother of Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII of England. She was a close friend and lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon. She was also co-heiress to her father, Sir Thomas Green of Green's Norton in Northamptonshire along with her sister, Anne, Lady Vaux.
Anne Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, Baroness Herbert of Cardiff was lady-in-waiting to each of Henry VIII of England's six wives. She was the younger sister of his sixth wife, Catherine Parr.
Elizabeth FitzGerald, Countess of Lincoln, also known as The Fair Geraldine, was an Irish noblewoman and a member of the celebrated FitzGerald dynasty. She became the second wife of Sir Anthony Browne Jr. and later the third wife of English admiral Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln. She was the inspiration for The Geraldine, a sonnet written by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.
Catherine Howard was queen consort of England from 1540 until 1541 as the fifth wife of Henry VIII. She was the daughter of Lord Edmund Howard and Joyce Culpeper, cousin to Anne Boleyn, and niece to Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Thomas Howard was a prominent politician at Henry's court, and he secured her a place in the household of Henry's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, where she caught the king's interest. She married him on 28 July 1540 at Oatlands Palace in Surrey, almost immediately after the annulment of his marriage to Anne. He was 49, and she was still a teenager.
Alice Neville, Baroness FitzHugh was the wife of Henry FitzHugh, 5th Baron FitzHugh. She is best known for being the great-grandmother of Queen consort Catherine Parr and her siblings, Anne and William, as well as one of the sisters of Warwick the 'Kingmaker'. Her family was one of the oldest and most powerful families of the North. They had a long-standing tradition of military service and a reputation for seeking power at the cost of the loyalty to the crown as was demonstrated by her brother, the Earl of Warwick.
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Title last held byCatherine Howard
| Queen consort of England |
12 July 1543 – 28 January 1547
Title next held byAnne of Denmark
|New title|| Queen consort of Ireland |
12 July 1543 – 28 January 1547