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This article is about Henry VIII's sixth wife. For other uses, see Catherine (disambiguation).
The majority of the following article contains the fictional portrayal of one or more historical figures. Details in this article may differ from real world facts. For more information on the historical figure(s), consult the links provided within or at the bottom of the article.

"The motto she chose when she became queen was "To be useful in all that I do." She is putting that motto into very real practice, and I respect her more with every day that passes."
Beatrice Townhill[6]

Catherine Parr (c. 1512 – 5 September 1548) was the last wife of King Henry VIII. She previously served as a lady-in-waiting to his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. Catherine was married to Henry from 1543 until his death in 1547. She was then referred to as the Queen Dowager until her own death the following year, at which time she was married to Thomas Seymour.

Biography[]

Early life[]

Catherine Parr was born around 1512.[3] Her mother Maud was a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon, King Henry VIII's first wife.[7] She had at least two siblings, William and Anne.

1540 – 1548[]

Catherine had already been at court for several years when she was appointed a lady-in-waiting to Henry's fifth wife, Catherine Howard, in 1540. She was married to her second husband, Lord Latimer, at the time. The same year, she spoke to the King about releasing her cousin George Throckmorton from the Tower. She spoke so "gently and with such dignity" that he agreed to release him. After Catherine Howard was executed in 1542, Henry became interested in Catherine Parr and began sending her gifts in 1543. She was nursing her elderly husband whom was expected to pass away soon.

Following her husband's death, Catherine was initially not receptive to Henry's proposal as she was already infatuated with Thomas Seymour. After Henry sent Thomas away, Catherine accepted Henry's proposal, feeling it was her duty. On 12 July 1543, Catherine and Henry were married at Hampton Court. The following year, Henry allowed Catherine to rule as regent while he was away fighting in France. In 1546, there was a rift between Catherine and Henry, likely due to her passion about religion. Thomas Wriothesley was going to carry out a warrant signed by Henry for the Queen's arrest. She was luckily forewarned and was able to earn Henry's forgiveness, just before Wriothesley arrived.

Henry's health rapidly deteriorated until he passed away on 28 January 1547. Now the Queen Dowager, Catherine was quickly remarried to Thomas Seymour. Catherine and her husband first moved into the Old Manor in Chelsea. Her stepdaughter, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth's cousin, Lady Jane Grey, came to live with them. Catherine oversaw both of their educations. By March 1548, Catherine, at the age of thirty-five, was expecting her first child. Thomas, at the same time, had begun acting inappropriately towards Elizabeth. Catherine sent Elizabeth away soon after. She gave birth to a daughter, whom she named Mary, on 30 August 1548 at Sudeley Castle. Catherine became sick and died a week later.

Personality and traits[]

Catherine was described as "open and friendly" with a "formidable intellect." She held learning in high esteem and loved teaching young people. In 1545, Catherine set up a school for girls and believed that was not a "great difference between the female mind and the male one." She was in charge of the education of Elizabeth, Lady Jane Grey, and Edward, all of whom loved her as if she were their real mother. Catherine was also a good friend to her stepdaughter Mary, whom she named her daughter after.

One of Catherine's passions was religion, to which she strongly leaned towards Protestantism. She loved discussing and learning about religion. However, her fervor for religion appeared to be too much for her husband. He mistook her passion for nagging, leading to him lashing out. Catherine was able to smooth it out. She was also an accomplished writer and released several books about religion.

Behind the scenes[]

Catherine-Parr

Jennifer Wigmore as Catherine

Appearances[]

In chronological order:

References[]

See also[]



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Nebka | Hatshepsut "Asha" | Claudia | Bran | Tor Scaldbane | Jenkin Lloyd | Eva De Puebla
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Give Us the Vote! | Standing Alone | Hero at Dunkirk | What If They Find Us?

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