Queen Katherine: Letter to Lady Wriothesley

Queen Katherine writes to Lady Wriothesley after the death of her son. The letter suggests that the two were not the best of friends. Katherine comes off a tad parental in her letter.

Good my lady Wriothesley,

Understanding it hath pleased God, of late, to disinherit your son of this world, of intent he should become partner and chosen heir of the everlasting inheritance (which calling and happy vocation ye may rejoice), yet when I consider you are the mother by flesh and nature, doubting how you can give place quietly to the same, inasmuch as Christ’s mother, endued with all godly virtues, did utter a sorrowful, natural passion of her Son’s death, whereby we have all obtained everlastingly to live: therefore…I have thought with mine own hand to recommend unto you my simple counsel and advice desiring you not to so utter your natural affection by inordinate sorrow that God have cause to take you as a m[urm]urer against His appointments and ordinances.

For what is excessive sorrow but a plain evidence against you, that your inward mind doth repine against God’s doings, and a declaration that you are not contented God hath put your son — but nature, but His by adoption — in possession of the heavenly kingdom? Such as have doubted of the everlasting life to come doth sorrow and bewail the departure hence. But those which be persuaded that, to die here, is life again, do rather hunger for death, and count it a foolish thing to bewail it as utter destruction. How much, Madam, are you to be counted godly wise that will and can prevent, through your godly wisdom, knowledge, and humble submission, that thing that time would at length finish? If you lament your son’s death, you do him great wrong and show yourself to sorrow for happiest thing there ever came to him, being in the hands of his best Father. If you be sorry for your own commodity, you show yourself to live to yourself…


Mueller J. (ed.) Katherine Parr – Complete Works and Correspondences, Chicago, 2011, pp. 80-81.

1 thought on “Queen Katherine: Letter to Lady Wriothesley

  1. The acceptance of death, especially of a child, is just unimaginable to me. How Catherine uses her faith to give her strength to cope, is beyond me, but I am Atheist (I’m an Aussie, we are proud to be Atheist here, lol)
    I admire Catherine so much, she is the strong woman I saw in my mother, who overcame frightening situations, with resolve to stand true to her beliefs, and to what she saw as the truth.
    Thank you for this post. I enjoy your posts immensely, they make me think, and I always learn something.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s