Catherine Parr Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1512 - 1547 *** Full Name: Catherine Parr *** Occupation: Queen of England and Ireland and Henry’s VIII’s Sixth and Last Wife *** Date of Birth: Catherine Parr was born in 1512 *** Place of Birth: Catherine Parr was born in Blackfriars, London, England *** Family background: Her father was Sir Thomas Parr, he was the Lord of the Manor of Kendal in Westmoreland and her mother was Maud Green. Her father was a descendent of King Edward III and was also one of Henry VIII close companions. Her mother was one of Catherine of Aragon’s attendants and was also considered a close friend and it is believed she named her daughter for the Queen *** Early life and childhood: She grew up with her younger brother William and her younger sister Anne *** Education: Catherine Parr was well educated and developed a keen passion for learning and became fluent in Italian, Latin and French and also started learning Spanish *** Catherine Parr died on September 5, 1548
Catherine Parr Fact 1: Catherine Parr was born 1512 and during the 16th century period in history when Portugal and Spain were exploring the oceans of the world and colonizing new lands.
Catherine Parr Fact 2: When she was seventeen years of age she was married to Sir Edward Borough but the marriage would only last four years as her husband Edward died in 1533.
Catherine Parr Fact 3: The following year she married again, this time to John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer. Within the Parr family she became only the second woman to marry into the nobility.
Catherine Parr Fact 4: However, her second husband was a strong Catholic church supporter and when Catholic rebels appeared at their home during the Lincolnshire Rising in 1536, John was dragged away leaving Catherine and his son John and his daughter Margaret behind. With no means to support themselves the household struggle for survival.
Catherine Parr Fact 5: In fact, Catherine and the two children would be held as hostages at Snape Castle until Lord Latimer arrived to secure their safety. The King would have doubts as to his loyalty but with the interference of Catherine’s uncle William and her brother William speaking on his behalf the King was assuaged.
Catherine Parr Fact 6: During 1542 the family travelled to London, Latimer to attend Parliament giving his wife the opportunity to visit with her brother William and her sister Anne at court. It was also an opportunity to catch up with the latest fashion and jewelry trends. The Royal court was vastly different to life in the North.
Catherine Parr Fact 7: Towards the end of that year her husband’s health began to deteriorate until he died in 1543 leaving Catherine a wealthy widow but with the responsibility of looking after his only daughter and seeing her settled.
Catherine Parr Fact 8: After the death of her second husband she took advantage of the relationship her own mother had with Catherine of Aragon and took the opportunity to re-establish her own relationship with Lady Mary, the former Queen’s daughter.
Catherine Parr Fact 9: In February of 1543 she had established a place for herself in Mary’s household. It would be here that she would come into contact with the King and would catch his attention.
Catherine Parr Fact 10: At the same time as King Henry VIII was pursuing Catherine Parr she was also being pursued by Sir Thomas Seymour. He was the brother of the late Queen Jane Seymour but as both men had proposed she dared not refuse the King. Seymour was sent to Brussels to save his embarrassment.
Catherine Parr Fact 11: Henry VIII and Catherine Parr were married on July 12th 1543 at Hampton Court Palace. Catherine would be the first Queen to reign over Ireland at the same time.
Catherine Parr Fact 12: When she became Queen Catherine Parr she gave her step-daughter and step-daughter-in-law places in her household. Catherine Parr would also assist in reconciling King Henry with both his daughters as well as becoming very fond of Edward.
Catherine Parr Fact 13: Henry would travel to France on his campaign leaving Catherine Parr as his regent. As regent she had the power to do what she felt needed to be done. She managed the provisions, finances and musters for her husband’s French campaign as well as signing five Royal proclamations, she kept a keen eye on what was transpiring in the North of the land. She was in complete control and it is believed a great influence on Lady Elizabeth who herself would one day become Queen.
Catherine Parr Fact 14: Having been raised a Catholic she would later become very sympathetic to the New Faith and would become suspected of actually being a Protestant.
Catherine Parr Fact 15: Just prior to the King’s death, he made provision for Catherine Parr, an annual allowance of £7,000 and although she would become a dowager queen she was shown the respect of a Queen of England as if the King had not died. After his death she moved to her previous home in Chelsea, the Old Manor.
Catherine Parr Fact 16: After the King’s death, Thomas Seymour returned to London and began to pursue Catherine Parr once more. The couple married in secret barely six months after the King had died.Catherine Parr Fact 17: When the young King Edward discovered the marriage he was not best pleased and there developed a considerable scandal.
Catherine Parr Fact 18: During 1547 Catherine Parr invited Lady Jane Grey and the Lady Elizabeth to her home at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire and expressed a wish to educate the two women.
Catherine Parr Fact 19: Having not fallen pregnant during any of her three previous marriages it was a complete shock to discover she was pregnant. During her pregnancy she suspected there was something going on between her husband and the Lady Elizabeth but although nothing definitive happened she had Elizabeth removed from her home.
Catherine Parr Fact 20: Catherine Parr would give birth to a daughter and named her Mary after her step-daughter. Catherine died on September 5, 1548 six days after giving birth. Her body laid to rest in the grounds of Sudeley Castle. Her resting place would be disturbed on various occasions down the years and by 1817 the owners of the Castle at that time, the Greville’s, had her tomb carefully restored and later still Sir George Gilbert Scott would have a chapel built for her resting place.
Influence and Legacy of Catherine Parr: Catherine Parr was Henry VIII’s last wife, she outlived him and looked after him during his final years and saw to his comfort as best she could. However after his death she would become embroiled in situations out of her control and there is even some suggestion she was poisoned by her own husband to further his plans to marry Lady Elizabeth.
The Wives of King Henry VIII: The wives of King Henry VIII are remembered by the short verse "Divorced, Beheaded, Died - Divorced, Beheaded, Survived". Catherine of Aragon was divorced, Anne Boleyn was beheaded, Jane Seymour died, Anne of Cleves was divorced, Catherine Howard was beheaded and Catherine Parr survived after the death of King Henry VIII.
Short Facts about Catherine Parr for Kids:
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