CATHERINE PARR

Catherine Parr is Henry VIII's sixth wife, generally regarded as the wife that survived the King. Yet the version of Henry VIII she had to endure was the worst, and her life after the death of the King was tragic. Whilst Catherine Parr outlived Henry VIII, she enjoyed few happy moments. 

catherine parr portrait

CATHERINE PARR EARLY LIFE

Catherine Parr was born in 1512 to Sir Thomas Parr of Kendall, an official of the royal household. She was well educated with a scholarly attitude, making her one of Henry VIII's cleverest wives; she was no eyesore either! Prior to her marriage with the King, Catherine was widowed twice but did not have any existing children. 

CATHERINE MEETS HENRY VIII

Following the typical form of Henry VIII's marriages, the King met Catherine Parr during her service to the royal household. However, unlike Anne Boleyn or Jane Seymour, Catherine Parr held a position in Princess Mary's court - not in his wife's household. (Catherine Howard was dead by this point, anyway.) Crucially, Henry VIII chose Catherine Parr himself, whereas all of his previous wives had been pushed upon him in some way, even Anne Boleyn.   

henry viii portrait
keep your head book mockup

LOVE TUDOR HISTORY, PRE-ORDER KEEP YOUR HEAD 

LEARN HOW TO SURVIVE AS HENRY VIII'S WIFE

05.11.24
thomas seymour portrait

CATHERINE PARR LOVES ANOTHER 

After Henry VIII proposed to her in 1543, Catherine requested time to consider the marriage. She had lots to think about, namely her reformist views at a time when the reformation had stalled, and her love for another man: Thomas Seymour. Ultimately, Catherine decided to accept the King's proposal. She likely realised that, with his ailing health, Henry wouldn't be around much longer anyway. 

CATHERINE AS A STEPMOTHER

Where his previous wife, Catherine Howard, had been apathetic toward his children, Catherine Parr was devoted. In fact, Catherine Parr brought unity to the royal family, arranging for King Henry's children to pay regular visits to him. She also paid a great interest in their education, helping Prince Edward and Princess Elizabeth with Latin exercises.   

Princess Elizabeth I
letter written by catherine parr

THE AUTHOR CATHERINE PARR

An ever-remarkable woman, Catherine was not one to sit intellectually idle. Putting her scholarly education and exceptional written ability into practice, Catherine Parr was the first Queen to write a book. Between 1544 to 1545, Catherine published devotional books containing prayers and reflections of the Psalms. Later, in 1546, the last year of her life, she began writing Lamentacion of Complaynt of a Sinner, chronicling her journey from Catholicism to Protestantism.  

keep your head book mockup

LOVE TUDOR HISTORY, PRE-ORDER KEEP YOUR HEAD 

LEARN HOW TO SURVIVE AS HENRY VIII'S WIFE

05.11.24

THE DEATH OF HENRY VIII

On 28 January 1547, King Henry VIII died. His exact cause of death is unknown, but it was likely a combination of his worsening ailments or kidney failure (probably caused by his unhealthy lifestyle). Either way, his marriage to Catherine Parr lasted five long years. But with Henry VIII's death came freedom - now Catherine Parr could marry her long-awaited love, Thomas Seymour.   

henry viii portrait
thomas seymour

LIFE WITH THOMAS SEYMOUR

A few months after Henry VIII's death, Catherine Parr married Thomas Seymour in a secretive ceremony that would cause much scandal. Though she had waited five years to marry her sweetheart, their marriage was not a happy one. Still devoted to Henry's children, Catherine had adopted the orphaned Princess Elizabeth. This would prove a huge mistake, as Thomas Seymour's dark side quickly reared its head and he began visiting the 14-year-old princess in only his nightshirt. Later that year, Catherine was delighted to become pregnant. Unfortunately, the widowed Queen died after the delivery of her daughter in 1548 from puerperal fever.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT RELIGION WAS CATHERINE PARR?

Catherine Parr was an ardent protestant who published work on her devotion to Christianity.

HOW DID CATHERINE PARR DIE?

Catherine Parr died of puerperal fever after giving birth to her daughter in 1548.

WHAT DID CATHERINE PARR LOOK LIKE?

Catherine Parr was a mature, attractive woman with a vivacious personality and love for jewels and fine clothes. She had red hair and hazel eyes

HOW OLD WAS CATHERINE PARR WHEN SHE MARRIED HENRY?

Catherine Parr was 30-years-old when she married Henry VIII.

SIGN UP FOR UPDATES

This field is mandatory

The e-mail address is invalid

I hereby agree that this data will be stored and processed for the purpose of establishing contact. I am aware that I can revoke my consent at any time.*

This field is mandatory

* Indicates required fields
There was an error submitting your message. Please try again.
Thank you! We will get back to you as soon as possible.

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.