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Marriage Negotiations: Letter of Maud Parr to Lord Dacre

Bolton Castle, North Yorkshire.

Bolton Castle, North Yorkshire. (Image page is error, author unknown)

Between the Spring of 1523 and 1524, Maud Parr entered into marriage negotiations for her daughter Katherine. Her first choice came upon the Hon. Henry le Scrope (c.1511-25 March 1525), son and heir to Sir Henry le Scrope, 7th Baron Scrope of Bolton by his wife Mabel Dacre. Lord Scrope was family being related by various ancestors of Katherine, i.e., Henry, 4th Lord FitzHugh and Marjory Willoughby [Katherine’s great-great-grandparents]; Sir Henry Scrope, 1st Baron of Masham and Joan [Katherine’s 5x great-grandparents]; and Sir Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland and Lady Joan Beaufort. His wife, Mabel, was a granddaughter of Katherine’s great-aunt, Mabel Parr, Lady Dacre.

The marriage was stalled for various reasons; the modest character of Katherine dowry and lineage [which was just as strong as Lord Scrope]. The failure was fortunate as Henry died in 1525, which would have left Katherine a widow shortly before she would turn thirteen.

Most honourable and my very good lord,

I heartily commend me to you. Whereas it pleased you at your last being here to take pains in the matter in consideration of marriage between the lord Scroop’s son and my daughter Katharine, for the which I heartily thank you, at which time I thought the matter in good furtherance. Howbeit, I perceive that my lord Scroop is not agreeable to that consideration. The jointure is little for 1100 marks, which I will not pass, and my said lord will not repay after marriage had; and 200 marks must needs be repaid if my daughter Katharine dies before the age of sixteen, or else I should break Master Parr’s will [meaning the will of Katherine’s late father, Sir Thomas], which I should be loth to do, and there can be no marriage until my lord’s son [lord Scroop] comes to the age of thirteen, and my daughter to the age of twelve, before which time if the marriage should take none effect, or be dissolved either by death, wardship, disagreement, or otherwise which may be before that time notwithstanding marriage solemnized, repayment must needs be had of the whole, or else I might fortune to pay my money for nothing. The conversation I had with you at Greenwich, was that I was to pay at desire 1100 marks, 100 on hand–and 100 every year, which is as much as I can spare, as you know, and for that my daughter Katharine is to have 100 marks jointure, whereof I am to have 50 marks for her finding till they live together, and then they are to have the whole 100 marks and repayment to be had if the marriage took not effect. My lord it might please you to take so much pain as to help to conclude this matter, if it will be, and if you see any defect on my part it shall be ordered as ye deem good, as knoweth Jesu, who preserve your good lordship.

Written at the Rye the 13 day of July,

Your cousin Maud Parr

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About tudorqueen6 (136 Articles)
I have been studying the genealogy and the history of the Parr family since 2007. I studied Women's Studies with an emphasis on English Women's History at the University of Maryland. My goal is to educate those who love Tudor History and to push aside the never ending myth that Queen Katherine Parr was nothing more than a nursemaid to King Henry VIII. I am planning on writing a book specifically on the family genealogy and relations which made Queen Katherine an important woman in her own right -- even before her own birth.

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  1. Family of Queen Katherine: Thomas Dacre, 2nd Lord of Gilsland | tudorqueen6

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