Spotlight: Katherine Parr


Name: Katherine Parr / Katherine Seymour / Katherine Nevill / Katherine Borough

Title/s: Lady Borough / Lady Latimer / Queen of England, Ireland and France / Lady Seymour / Dowager Queen

Birth / Death: 1512 – 5 September 1548

Spouse: Sir Edward Borough ?-1533 / John Nevill, Baron Latimer 1493-1543 / Henry VIII 1491-1547 / Thomas Seymour, Baron Sudeley 1508?-1549

Children: Mary Seymour 1548-1550?

Parents: Thomas Parr 1483?-1517 & Maud Green 1492-1531

Siblings: William 1513-1571 / Anne 1515-1552

Noble Connections: Both of Katherine’s parents had been at the court of Henry VIII. Her brother became the Marquess of Northampton and her sister married the Earl of Pembroke. Katherine of Aragon was Katherine Parr’s godmother.

Events of their Lifetime: War over Boulogne, death of Henry VIII and accession of Edward VI, deaths of Katherine of Aragon 1536, Anne Boleyn 1536, Jane Seymour 1537 and Katherine Howard 1542, the King’s Great Matter & the disastrous alliance with Cleves

Controversy: There was controversy over Katherine Parr’s fourth marriage, to Thomas Seymour. It was said that the union was conducted in secret, and that the council weren’t informed for several months. She married very quickly after the death of Henry VIII.

Works of Fiction:
Sandra Byrd, The Secret Keeper (2012)
Suzannah Dunn, The Sixth Wife (2007)
Carolly Erickson, The Last Wife of Henry VIII (2007)
Jean Evans, Katherine Parr (1972)
Elizabeth Fremantle, Queen’s Gambit (2013)
Mary Luke, The Ivy Crown (1984)
Jean Plaidy, The Sixth Wife (1953)

Portrayals on Screen:
Rosalie Crutchley, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 1970, 1 episode
Clare Holman, Henry VIII, 2003, directed by Pete Travis
Caroline Lintott, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 2001, 4 episodes
Joely Richardson, The Tudors, 2010, 5 episodes

Further Reading:
Antonia Fraser, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1992)
William Haugaard, ‘Katherine Parr: the Religious Convictions of a Renaissance Queen’, Renaissance Quarterly, 22 (1969)
Susan James, Catherine Parr: Henry VIII’s Last Love (1999)
Karen Lindsey, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: a Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII (1995)
David Loades, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1996)
Lauren Mackay, Inside the Tudor Court: Henry VIII and His Six Wives Through the Writings of the Spanish Ambassador Eustace Chapuys (2014)
Ann Nonny, The Merry Wives of Henry VIII: a Tudor Spoof Collection (2012)
Elizabeth Norton, Catherine Parr (2010)
Linda Porter, Katherine the Queen: the Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr, the Last Wife of Henry VIII (2010)
Paul Rival, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1971)
David Starkey, Six Wives: the Queens of Henry VIII (2003)
Alison Weir, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1991)
Brandon Withrow, Katherine Parr: a Guided Tour of the Life and Thought of a Reformation Queen (2009)

Arms:

Coat of Arms of Katherine Parr as Queen Consort
Coat of Arms of Katherine Parr as Queen Consort

Portrait:

Katherine Parr 1545 by Master John.
Katherine Parr 1545 by Master John.
Katherine Parr in the Melton Constable Portrait 16th Century
Katherine Parr in the Melton Constable Portrait 16th Century
Katherine Parr at the National Portrait Gallery.
Katherine Parr at the National Portrait Gallery.
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