Facts About King Henry VIII's Wives: Catherine Parr

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Facts about the last of King Henry VIII's six wives, Catherine Parr.

King Henry VIII is the most infamous of English monarchs, a man who turned from a gifted and impressive renaissance prince to a cruel, obese, autocrat. He is renowned for being the only King with more wives than mistresses, marrying a total of 6 times.

So who were the women King Henry VIII married? Read on to find out the crucial facts about Henry VIII's sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr, who (just) survived being married to Henry.

Name: Catherine Parr, Katherine Parr, Katharine Parr

Parents: Sir Thomas Parr and Lady Maud Green

Birth: About 1513, in Kendal Castle, Westmorland

Siblings: Catherine Parr had an older brother and a younger sister. William Parr, born in about 1512, married three times but had no children. William died in 1571.

Anne Parr was born in about 1514. She was a lady-in-waiting to five of Henry VIII's six wives, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and finally her sister, Catherine Parr. She married William Herbert in 1538, and had three surviving children. Anne Parr died in 1552.

Appearance: Catherine Parr was tall, with mid-brown hair and blue eyes. She was fair-skinned and vivacious.

Religion: Catherine Parr was perhaps the best-educated of King Henry VIII's six wives. She was very interested in religion, and the “new faith”, She published two books, one while she was married to Henry VIII, and a second, Lamentacions of a synner, after Henry's death. The second book was particularly protestant. She came very close to being arrested in 1546, for heresy, and only survived by throwing herself on Henry's mercy, as a confused woman who needed religious guidance.

Marriages: Catherine Parr married four times.

Her first marriage, when she was about 16 years old, was to Edward Borough. This was either the Edward Borough who was an elderly Baron, or, more probably, his sickly grandson, who was aged about 25. The marriage was childless.

In 1534, aged about 20, Catherine Parr married John Neville, Baron Latymer. Latymer was then aged about 45. The marriage was childless. For the last couple of years of their marriage, the couple lived in London and spent time at Court. Latymer died in 1543.

Catherine Parr was, in 1543, still only about 30 years old, twice-widowed, and relatively wealthy. She formed a romantic attachment to Thomas Seymour, the brother of the late Queen Jane Seymour. King Henry noticed Catherine, and proposed to her, leaving Catherine little choice but to marry him, which she did in July 1543.

King Henry VIII died in January 1547. Catherine Parr was now an even wealthier widow, aged about 34. After trying and failing to marry Princess Mary or Princess Elizabeth, Thomas Seymour, now Baron Seymour of Sudeley, married Catherine Parr in April 1547.

Children: Catherine had one child, Mary Seymour, born on 30th August 1548. Mary Seymour disappeared from the historical record when she was about 2 years old, and probably died then.

Death: Catherine Parr died on 5th September 1548, from childbirth fever. She left her entire fortune to her husband, Thomas Seymour. When Seymour was executed for treason, the money and property was all forfeited to the Crown, leaving young Mary Seymour a penniless orphan.

Souces: Death and terror: executions at the Tower of London - http://www.webhistoryofengland.com/?p=86

King Henry VIII and his six wives - love, marriage, and children - http://hubpages.com/hub/King-Henry-VIII-and-his-six-wives—love–marriage–and-children

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Posted on Feb 6, 2012