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"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[3]

Catherine Parr (c. 1512 – September 5, 1548) was the last of King Henry VIII's wives. Catherine was married to the King from 1543, until his death in 1547. She was later referred to as the "Queen Dowager". She was also a lady-in-waiting to Henry's fifth wife, Catherine Howard.

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

Catherine Parr was born around 1512. Her mother was a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife. She had at least one brother, William Parr.

1540 – 1548Edit

Catherine had been at court for several years, when she was appointed a lady-in-waiting to Henry's fifth wife, Catherine Howard in 1540. After Catherine Howard's execution, Henry VIII became interested in Catherine Parr and began sending her gifts in 1543. At the time, Catherine was nursing her elderly husband, Lord Latimer, and was already infatuated with Thomas Seymour. Nevertheless, after her husband's death, Catherine felt it was her duty and accepted Henry's proposal.

On July 12, 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. The Queen was passionate about religion, which irritated the King. Thomas Wriothesley took this moment to convince Henry to sign a warrant for the Queen's arrest. However, Catherine was forgiven by Henry, after telling him "I am but a woman." King Henry passed away January 28, 1547, leaving Catherine with a large fortune.

In April 1547, Catherine married Thomas Seymour, the brother of Jane Seymour, in secret. Catherine and her husband moved into the Old Manor in Chelsea. Her stepdaughter, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth's cousin, Lady Jane Grey, came to live with them. By March 1548, Catherine, at the age of thirty-five, was expecting her first child, when Thomas began acting inappropriately towards Elizabeth. Catherine sent Elizabeth away, but the damage to her marriage was done. She gave birth to a daughter, Mary on August 30, 1548, and died a week later.

Personality and traitsEdit

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.

She was very enthusiastic about religion and "leaned towards Protestantism." One of her favorite hobbies was discussing and learning about religion. Her fervor for religion may have been to much for her husband, who eventually became irritated with her. She was also an accomplished writer and released several books about religion.

Behind the scenesEdit

Catherine-Parr

Jennifer Wigmore as Catherine

AppearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


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