Catherine Parr

Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr from NPG.jpg
Queen consort of England and Ireland
Tenure12 July 1543 – 28 January 1547
Born1512 (1512)
Blackfriars, London, England
Died5 September 1548[1](aged 36)
Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, England
St Mary's Chapel, Sudeley Castle
IssueMary Seymour
FatherSir Thomas Parr
MotherMaud Green
SignatureCatherine Parr's signature

Catherine Parr (sometimes alternatively spelled Katherine, Katheryn, Kateryn or Katharine) (1512 – 5 September 1548[1][2]) 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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[1][5] Parr's funeral was held on 7 September 1548.[6] Parr's funeral was the first Protestant funeral held in English in England, Scotland, and Ireland.[5]

Early life

Catherine Parr was born in 1512, probably in August.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10][11] Catherine's father died when she was young, and she was close to her mother as she grew up.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Catharina Parr
العربية: كاثرين بار
asturianu: Catalina Parr
azərbaycanca: Ketrin Parr
تۆرکجه: کاترین پار
български: Катрин Пар
bosanski: Katherine Parr
brezhoneg: Katherine Parr
català: Caterina Parr
Cymraeg: Catrin Parr
Ελληνικά: Αικατερίνη Παρ
español: Catalina Parr
Esperanto: Catherine Parr
français: Catherine Parr
한국어: 캐서린 파
hrvatski: Katarina Parr
Bahasa Indonesia: Catherine Parr
italiano: Caterina Parr
עברית: קתרין פאר
ქართული: ქეთრინ პარი
Nederlands: Catharina Parr
português: Catarina Parr
română: Catherine Parr
Simple English: Catherine Parr
slovenčina: Katarína Parrová
slovenščina: Katarina Parr
српски / srpski: Катарина Пар
svenska: Katarina Parr
Türkçe: Catherine Parr
українська: Катерина Парр
Tiếng Việt: Catherine Parr