Helena the Red

Helena, wife to Sir William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton, etc. would have been the sister-in-law of Queen Katherine Parr. The couple had no children. Helena caught the eye of Northampton when she arrived as a lady to Princess Cecilia of Sweden. When the Princess left England, Helena decided to stay. She caught the eye of Northampton and the queen stepped in to help the couple by giving Helena quarters at Hampton Court Palace. The couple was married a few months before Northampton’s death; the queen attended. Helena, who was allowed to hold on to her title of “Marchioness of Northampton” would re-marry and have issue. She became one of the top ladies of Elizabeth I and was considered the highest lady at court under the queen’s cousin, Lady Margaret Douglas (grandmother of James I of England).

'The Master of the Countess of Warwick', ‘Portrait of a lady, aged 21, possibly Helena Snakenborg’, dated 1569.

‘The Master of the Countess of Warwick’, ‘Portrait of a lady, aged 21, possibly Helena Snakenborg’, dated 1569.

For more info on the Marchioness see: 16 APRIL 1635: THE DEATH of the Marchioness of Northampton

History Witch


I love red-heads.

Elin Ulfsdotter Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton (hell of a last name) was the Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth I of England. She was born in Sweden in 1548 and lived to be 86 years old. At the time of her death, she had 92 direct descendants. Wow.

One of the many titles she carried (and the one I find most interesting) was “Chief Mourner” in the funeral procession for Queen Elizabeth.

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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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