Lady Anne Herbert [Parr], Countess of Pembroke died at Baynard’s Castle on 20 February 1552; at the age of thirty-six. Lady Pembroke had out-lived her sister, the Dowager Queen Katherine (d. 5 September 1548), who had also died in the year of her thirty-sixth birthday (Katherine was born in 1512, no official date is recorded). Unlike her sister and brother, the Marquess of Northampton, Lady Pembroke left two sons and a daughter to continue her legacy. Lady Pembroke was buried with huge pomp in Old St. Paul’s Cathedral in London next to her ancestor Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster [and his first wife, Blanche of Lancaster] on 28 February 1552.
On the 28th February was buried the noble countess of Pembroke, sister to the late Queen Katharine, wife of King Henry VIII. She died at Baynard’s Castle and was so carried into Paul’s. There were a hundred poor men and women who had mantle frieze gowns, then came the heralds; after this the corpse, and about her, eight banner rolls of arms. Then came the mourners both lords and knights and gentlemen, also the lady and gentlewomen mourners to the number of two hundred. After these were two hundred of her own and other servants in coats. She was buried by the tomb of the Duke of Lancaster. Afterwards her banners were set up over her and her arms set on divers pillars. (Diary of Henry Machin citizen of London Camden Soc vol 42)
The tomb is located between the choir and the North aisle. The tomb was by the magnificent tomb of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and Blanche of Lancaster, between the pillars of the 6th bay of the Choir. (Benham) The Pembroke tomb was a magnificent structure consisting of effigies of the earl and his Lady Pembroke lying on a sarcophagus, attended by kneeling children, and the whole covered by an elaborate canopy resting on stone shafts. (Clinch) Her memorial there read: “a most faithful wife, a woman of the greatest piety and discretion” and “Her banners were set up over her arms set on divers pillars.“ On her tomb her epitath read that she had been “very jealous of the fame of a long line of ancestors.“ Her husband, Lord Pembroke, died on 17 March 1570 and by his wishes was also buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral on 18 April 1570 next to Lady Pembroke.
In her honor, in the old chapel at Wilton House was preserved a stained glass window in which were painted the kneeling figures of Lord Pembroke and his two sons also that of his wife Anne Parr and her daughter (also named Anne). The glass is now removed to the new Church at Wilton and will be found in the first window to the right on entering. Lady Pembroke is represented as wearing a rich mantle covered with her armorial bearings.
The lady’s mantle bears the following quarterings
- Argent, two bars azure within a bordure engrailed Sable–Parr
- Or, three water bougets Sable–Ros of Kendal
- Azure, three bucks trippant Vert–Green
- Gules, a chevron between three cross-crosslets, and in chief a lion passant Or–Mablethorpe
- Azure, three chevronels braced in base, and a chief Or–Fitzhugh
- Vaire, a fess Gules–Marmion
- Or, three chevronels Gules, a chief Vaire–St. Quentin
- Gules, a bend between six cross-crosslets Or–Furneaux
- Barry of eight Argent and Gules a fleur-de-lis Sable–Stavely
- This last quartering now replaced by a fragment of flowered glass was no doubt that of Gernegan–barry of ten Or and Azure an eagle displayed Argent.
- Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society. “Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine,” Vol 18, 1879.
- Adam Nicholson. “Quarrel with the King,” HarperCollins, Oct 6, 2009. pg 63-4.
- George Clinch. “St. Paul’s Cathedral, London,” Methuen, London, 1906. pg 47.
- William Benham. “Old St. Paul’s Cathedral,” Seeley and Co., London, 1902.
- Wenceslaus Hollar. “Tomb of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke,” British Museum Online, engraving, 1658.
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