Catherine Parr

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Catherine Parr

Catherine Parr (c.1512 – 5 September 1548) was the sixth wife of Henry VIII of England. Both Catherine Parr and Anne of Cleves survived the King - Catherine died the year following Henry's death in King Edward VI's reign and Anne of Cleves - the last of Henry's wives to die - survived Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Catherine Howard, King Henry VIII of England, Catherine Parr and King Edward VI of England. Only two queens survived Anne of Cleves - Mary I of England and Elizabeth I of England.

Life[change | change source]

Catherine Parr (also spelled Katherine or Katharine) was an English woman and the daughter of Thomas Parr of Kendal, a county squire who had distinguished himself in the service of both King Henry VII of England and his son, King Henry VIII.

At the age of fifteen, Catherine married Sir Edward Borough, but he died shortly afterwards in 1529 and Catherine became a widow. Her second husband, Sir John Neville, Lord Latimer was a rich landowner in Yorkshire and had an estate there called Snape Hall. Lord Latimer died in 1542, leaving Catherine as a widow for the second time, and without any children.

By this time Catherine was in love with Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley and was about to marry him, but Henry VIII himself took a liking to Catherine as well and, no doubt influenced by their long-term acquaintance, she married Henry instead on July 12, 1543 in Hampton Court Palace.

As queen consort, Catherine managed to bring Henry's daughters Elizabeth and Mary back to court. For Elizabeth in particular, Catherine was a much-needed mother figure and friend, and Elizabeth frequently acknowledged Catherine as her foremost educational mentor.

Catherine was a good wife to Henry, but her strong will and outspoken nature led her to debate topics of religion a little too openly for the court's taste, and Henry's advisors persuaded him that Catherine was attempting to subvert his religious authority. As a result, in 1546 Catherine found an arrest warrant for her signed by Henry. Catherine managed to comfort the King by saying that she only argued about religion to take his mind off his bad leg, leading Henry to spare her life.

On January 28, 1547, Henry VIII died. Not long afterwards, Catherine was married to Thomas Seymour and soon became pregnant. She gave birth to their daughter, Mary, at Sudeley Castle on 30 August 1548, but she did not recover from the birth and died soon afterwards on 5 September 1548. She was buried in St. Mary's Chapel at Sudeley Castle. She got married 4 times.