12 FEBRUARY: The Throckmorton Brothers

Coughton Court, Warwickshire, England

Coughton Court, Warwickshire, England

The Throckmorton family of Coughton Court in Warwickshire is one of the oldest Catholic families in England. The Throckmortons were prominent in the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I (Tudor). Sir George Throckmorton was a favorite of King Henry VIII during his early years as King. He owed his position probably due to his brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Parr, comptroller of the King’s household and loyal friend of the King. However, his marriage to the Lancastrian Vaux family may have had something to do it. Throckmorton’s wife, Lady Katherine (Vaux), was the younger half-sister of Lord Parr, both being children from one of Lady Elizabeth’s (born FitzHugh) two marriages; Lord Parr and Lord Vaux. The Vaux family was loyal to Henry VI and especially Margaret of Anjou when she was exiled to France. George’s father-in-law, Nicholas, became a protege and favorite of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII Tudor. As the stepson of Lord Vaux (Lord William Parr died shortly after the coronation of Richard III in 1483), Thomas Parr is noted to have been a possible pupil in the household of Henry VIII’s grandmother as a young lad.

The connection to the Parr family made Throckmorton an uncle by marriage to queen consort Katherine Parr, the Marquess of Northampton, and Lady Anne Herbert (wife of William, 1st Earl of Pembroke). The Parrs also shared common ancestry with the Throckmorton’s through their maternal great-grandmother Matilda Throckmorton (Lady Green), daughter of Sir John Throckmorton and Eleanor de la Spiney (great-grandparents of Sir George). George Throckmorton, however, would become involved in a scandal to keep the King from divorcing his first wife, Queen Katherine of Aragon, to marry her lady-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn. Throckmorton didn’t approve and supported the queen. Most members, including Sir Thomas Parr’s widow and his cousin, Lady Maud Parr (Green), stuck by Katherine of Aragon until her household was dissolved.

12 FEBRUARY 1570: THE DEATH of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton

Sir Nicholas Throckmorton by Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist. © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Nicholas Throckmorton by Unknown Anglo-Netherlandish artist. © National Portrait Gallery, London

A cousin of Katherine Parr, Throckmorton was a staunch Protestant, and a supporter of Lady Jane Grey, though he served as a Member of Parliament under all the Tudor monarchs including the Catholic queen, Mary I. His importance during the reign of Elizabeth I was mainly as an ambassador to France and to Scotland. Throckmorton was the son of Katherine’s paternal aunt, Hon. Katherine Vaux and cousin Sir Robert Throckmorton of Coughton Court (a supporter of Queen Katherine of Aragon). Throckmorton was a page in the household of Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond by 1532-6; his cousin, William Parr (brother of Queen Katherine) had been raised and educated with Fitzroy and the Earl of Surrey and his maternal uncle, also named William Parr, was head of the household there. Throckmorton then became a servant in the household of his cousin, William, Baron Parr by 1543. Throckmorton, along with his brother Clement, would go on to serve in the household of their cousin Queen Katherine Parr by 1544-7 or 8. After the reign of Henry VIII, Throckmorton continued to serve at court. Upon the death of the Dowager Queen, he returned to the household of his cousin, the 1st Marquess of Northampton (William Parr).

12 FEBRUARY 1581: THE DEATH of Sir Robert Throckmorton

Robert Throckmorton by British School (c) National Trust, Coughton Court; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Robert Throckmorton by British School (c) National Trust, Coughton Court; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Sir Robert Throckmorton (c.1513-12 February 1581) was the eldest son of Sir George Throckmorton of Coughton Court and Hon. Katherine Vaux. As such, Robert was the elder brother of Nicholas, above. Throckmorton, like his father, was Catholic. His role in the succession crisis of Queen Mary is not clear, but it seems that he backed Mary’s claim because of the positions he was given. He was knighted in 1553 and appointed Constable of Warwick Castle among other positions. His Catholicism explains his disappearance from the Commons in the reign of Elizabeth I, although the most Catholic of his brothers, Anthony Throckmorton, was to sit in the Parliament of 1563. Judged an ‘adversary of true religion’ in 1564, Throckmorton remained active in Warwickshire until his refusal to subscribe to the Act of Uniformity led to his removal from the commission of the peace. (A. L. Rowse) Throckmorton married twice and had issue by both wives who would continue his legacy at Coughton Court.


20 JANUARY 1569: THE DEATH of Myles Coverdale

Stained glass at St. Mary's, Sudeley Castle (where Queen Catherine is buried). The window is shared with Lady Jane Grey and John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos.

Stained glass at St. Mary’s, Sudeley Castle (where Queen Catherine is buried). The window depicts Myles Coverdale (L) with Lady Jane Grey (C) and John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos (R).

20 JANUARY 1569: THE DEATH of Myles Coverdale, Bishop of Exeter. Coverdale assisted William Tyndale in the complete version of the Bible, printed probably at Hamburgh in 1535. After the death of King Henry, Coverdale became the Dowager Queen’s personal almoner. He assisted her in her endeavours to popularise Erasmus’ works. He preached her funeral sermon in September 1548. Coverdale died in London and was buried in the church of St. Bartholomew. When that church was demolished in 1840 to make way for the new Royal Exchange, his remains were moved to St. Magnus.

Family of Queen Katherine Parr: William Herbert, 1st Baron Powis

Powis Castle, Welshpool, Powys, Wales, UK photo by Cluke.

Powis Castle, Welshpool, Powys, Wales, UK photo by Cluke.

William Herbert, 1st Baron Powis of Powis Castle (c.1573[1] – 7 March 1655/6[1][2][3]) was a Welsh nobleman and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1597 and 1629.

Herbert was born in Powis Castle, the son of Sir Edward Herbert (June 1544–1593) and his wife Mary Stanley, daughter of Sir Thomas Stanley, Under-Treasurer of the Royal Mint.[1][2] His paternal grandparents were William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke and Lady Anne (Parr).[1][2] He was a nephew of Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke and Lady Anne Herbert, Lady Talbot. By his grandmother, Lady Pembroke (Anne Parr), he was a great-nephew of Queen Katherine Parr.

Marquesses of Powis and Earls of Powis, First Creation. The arms of William Herbert, 1st Marquess and Earl of Powis, grandson of the 1st Baron Powis.

The arms of the Herbert Marquesses of Powis and Earls of Powis, First Creation (1674). Sir William Herbert, 1st Marquess and Earl of Powis was the grandson of the 1st Baron Powis.[4]

Herbert was a member of the Herbert family, a Welsh noble family who descended from Sir William ap Thomas of Raglan Castle. His grandfather, Sir William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke of the second creation (within the Herbert family) was the grandson of the first creation also named William (1423-1469). From birth, William Herbert had the backing of his family’s powerful clan. It also didn’t hurt that his grandfather, the Earl of Pembroke had been a large influence at court during the last few years of Henry VIII and in the reign of his children Edward VI and Elizabeth I (the Protestant monarchs). His grandmother Anne Parr was sister to Queen Katherine. Lord Pembroke’s marriage to the queen’s sister advanced the family and Anne gave legitimacy to the Herbert family. Anne’s descendants also had the luxury of becoming the sole heir of the Parr inheritance once Anne’s brother, William, 1st Marquess of Northampton died in 1571 without issue.

Herbert inherited Powis Castle (at the time it was called “Poole Castell”) from his father.[5] Sir Edward Herbert bought the lordship and castle in 1587 from Edward Grey, a feudal Lord of Powis.[1] Edward Grey was the illegitimate child of the last Lord Powis and Jane Orwell; therefore his father’s estates, which he inherited, came with limitations within Lord Powis’s will.[6] One of those limitations was the obvious title, Baron Powis, which would be bestowed on the Herbert’s in the reign of James I. Edward Grey’s father, Sir Edward Grey, 4th Baron Powis had married firstly to Lady Anne Brandon, daughter of the Duke of Suffolk and his second wife Anne Browne.[7] The marriage however produced no children.[7]

Herbert was High Steward to Elizabeth I of England. In 1597, he was elected Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire. He served as Custos Rotulorum of Montgomeryshire from 1602 to 1641. Upon the coronation of James I in 1603, Herbert was made a Knight of the Bath.[1][2] In 1604, he was elected MP for Montgomeryshire again. He was appointed High Sheriff of Montgomeryshire in 1613. In 1614, he was re-elected MP for Montgomeryshire and was re-elected in 1624, 1625, 1626 and 1628. He was created Baron Powis (a new creation) of Powis Castle on 2 April 1629.[1][2] The creation made him the legitimate successor of the ancient princes of Powis, with undisputed primacy in Montgomeryshire. (CSP Dom. 1628-9, pp. 503, 511, 584)

Before 1600, Lord Powis married Lady Eleanor Percy, third daughter of Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland and his wife, Hon. Katherine Neville.[1][2] Lady Northumberland was the daughter and co-heiress of John Neville, 4th Baron Latimer of Snape, the step-son of Queen Katherine Parr by her second marriage to his father, the 3rd Baron, also named John.

They had several children including:

  • Percy Herbert, later 2nd Baron Powis.[1][2]
  • Katherine Herbert, who married firstly to Sir Richard Vaughan of Lydiard and secondly to Sir James Palmer, Knt. By her second husband, she was the mother of Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine.[2] Lord Castlemaine was married to Barbara Villiers; mistress to King Charles II of Great Britain who was created Duchess of Cleveland.
  • Lucy Herbert, who married in early 1633 to William Habington (or Abington) of Hinlop.[2][4]

He was succeeded by his son Percy Herbert, 2nd Baron Powis.

Books of Hours belonging to Lady Eleanor Powis, wife to Sir William, 1st Baron Powis.  Lady Eleanor used her Book of Hours to remind her of important anniversaries writing these dates against the Feast Days of the Catholic Calendar at the front of her book. She includes the birthdays of herself, her husband William, and her children. © National Trust Collections

Books of Hours belonging to Lady Eleanor Powis, wife to Sir William, 1st Baron Powis. Lady Eleanor used her Book of Hours to remind her of important anniversaries writing these dates against the Feast Days of the Catholic Calendar at the front of her book. She includes the birthdays of herself, her husband William, and her children. © National Trust Collections

Lady Powis died on 24 October 1650 and was buried in the vault of Lady Latimer (her maternal grandmother Dorothy de Vere, the 1st wife of Sir John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer of Snape, himself the 2nd husband of Katherine Parr) in Hackney, Middlesex, London.[1] Lord Powis died five years later, abt 83 years of age, and was buried at St. Mary’s Church in Hendon, Middlesex, London.[1]


  1. George Edward Cokayne. Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, Or Dormant , Volume 6. G. Bell & sons, 1895. pg 295.
  2. Sir Bernard Burke. A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire, Harrison, 1866. pg 275.
  3. There is confusion as to his death date. Burke states 1655. Cokayne and the History of Parliament states 1656.
  4. The Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature, Volume 1. John Wiley & Sons, Feb 7, 2012. pg 416. Google eBook
  5. European Heraldry. House of Herbert.
  6. A letter dated 8 October 1590 from Sir Edward Herbert at “The Poole Castell.” Kynaston Peerage Papers No 148.
  7. Morris Charles Jones. The Feudal Barons of Powis, 1868.
  8. Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, 2011. pg 300.


© Meg McGath, 20 January 2013.

Queen Katherine Parr: “The Jersey Portrait”

The portrait known as “The Jersey Portrait,” was once thought to depict Lady Jane Grey. Through thorough research however, the conclusion is that this is a portrait of Queen Katherine Parr.

“Parr is known to have commissioned numerous portraits of herself while married to Henry VIII, and this portrait was no doubt one of the many produced and given to friends and family.” (Susan James)

From Dr. Edwards, author of the site “Some Grey Matter“: “The Earl of Jersey informed me via email on 12 November 2012 that an unnamed friend of his mother had previously conducted an unpublished study of the painting. That friend concluded independently that the sitter was Katherine Parr. The friend’s findings were reviewed by experts at Sotheby’s auction house, and Sotheby’s “concurred” with the findings. None of this was known to me prior to 12 November, and neither the friend nor Sotheby’s have published that independent report.”

Little is known about the painting. It is oil on wood panel, consistent with sixteenth-century practices. It is about three-quarter life-size, according to the current Earl of Jersey, measuring 34 inches high by 24 inches wide. The frame bears a label of unknown age and origin identifying the sitter as Queen Mary. No detailed provenance information has ever been published, so that it is not possible to know when or how it came into the Jersey collection at Osterley House. It is worth noting that the original Tudor-era Osterley House had been built in the 1570s by Sir Thomas Gresham, who held Lady Jane’s sister Lady Mary Keyes [Grey] in custody from 1569 to 1572. The Osterley House built by Gresham fell into ruin in the eighteenth century, however, making it unlikely that the portrait originated there. Osterley was acquired and rebuilt in the 1760s by Sir Francis Child, ancestor of the 9th Earl of Jersey. The painting almost certainly entered the Jersey collection after 1760 as decoration for the new house. The painting survives and is now owned by The Earldom of Jersey Trust and held at Radier Manor in the Isle of Jersey. (Edwards)

For more information on the portrait: “Some Grey Matter: THE JERSEY PORTRAIT

Family of Queen Katherine: Elizabeth Seymour, Lady Cromwell

Unknown lady once thought to be Queen Katherine Howard; possibly Elizabeth Seymour, sister of Queen Jane.

Elizabeth Seymour (c. 1511 – between 13 April 1562 and 9 June 1563)[1] was the daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth. She is best known as the sister of Queen Jane Seymour, third wife to King Henry VIII and aunt to Edward VI. She was also wife to Gregory Cromwell, son of Sir Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex. Upon the Dowager Queen Katherine Parr’s fourth marriage to Lord Seymour, Elizabeth became the Dowager Queen’s sister-in-law.


One of ten children,[7] born at Wulfhall, Wiltshire, she was the sister of Jane Seymour, third queen consort of King Henry VIII, and aunt of King Edward VI. Two of Elizabeth’s brothers, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley and Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, were executed for treason during the reign of Edward VI. Like Katherine Parr, the Seymours’ descended from King Edward III. Wives 1, 3, and 6 were the only descendants of King Edward. The Seymours’ descended through their mother, Margery; through King Edward’s second surviving son, Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence. Katherine Parr and Katherine of Aragon were descendants of Lionel’s younger brother and the third surviving son of Edward III, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster.

Jane and Elizabeth served as maids of honour to Henry’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. Apparently Elizabeth was found of Queen Anne and was an attendant at the birth of Princess Elizabeth. Coincidentally, Queen Anne was their second cousin by their great-grandmother Elizabeth Cheney. By Cheney’s first marriage to Sir Frederick Tilney she was the mother of Elizabeth, Lady Surrey who was grandmother to both Queen Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard. By her second marriage she was mother to Anne, Lady Wentworth, grandmother of Elizabeth and her siblings.

When King Henry began to tire of Queen Anne, Elizabeth was some what disappointed but delighted that the King had taken interest in her sister Jane.

The Seymour’s gained wealth and power as Henry’s attentions turned to Jane.

On 30 May 1536, eleven days after Anne’s execution, Henry and Jane were married. Elizabeth Seymour was chief lady-in-waiting to Jane, who died twelve days after giving birth to Edward VI in 1537.

Elizabeth was part of the official welcoming party for Anne of Cleves, when she arrived from Germany. After Henry and Anne’s marriage was annulled, Elizabeth became lady-in-waiting to his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. With Thomas Cromwell’s execution in 1540 for treason and heresy, there was a brief decline in his family’s fortunes. Elizabeth served as lady-in-waiting to Henry’s sixth wife, Katherine Parr. After Henry VIII’s death in 1547, Elizabeth’s brother Thomas secretly married Katherine Parr, who died a few days after giving birth to her only child Mary Seymour, in September 1548.

In 1551, when her brother Lord Somerset and his wife were arrested, Elizabeth was given charge of their daughters. After the death of Edward, the Seymour’s were somewhat shunned at court.

Marriage and issue

Elizabeth’s first husband was Sir Anthony Ughtred (or Oughtred), Governor of Jersey who died on 20 December 1534.[1][2] They were married circa 1530 at of Wolf Hall, Savernake, Wiltshire, England. The marriage was childless.

In August 1537, Elizabeth had married Gregory Cromwell, 1st Baron Cromwell, son of Henry’s chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, at Wulfhall, Savernake, Wiltshire.[2] They had five children.

  • Henry Cromwell, 2nd Baron Cromwell, succeeded his father. Before 1560, he married to Lady Mary Paulet, daughter of Sir John Paulet, 2nd Marquess of Winchester and Elizabeth Willoughby, daughter of Sir Robert Willoughby, 2nd Lord Willoughby de Broke and Lady Dorothy Grey [granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth Woodville and Lady Katherine Neville. Lady Bonville]. They had two sons and one daughter.[1]
  • Katherine Cromwell, married Sir John Strode of Parnham.
  • Frances Cromwell, who married Richard Strode, Esq.
  • Thomas Cromwell, Esq.
  • Edward Cromwell

She became a widow again upon the death of Gregory Cromwell in 1551. Around 1 April 1554, she married as his second wife John Paulet, Lord St. John [later 2nd Marquess of Winchester]. Paulet was the father of Elizabeth’s daughter-in-law, Lady Mary. Elizabeth Seymour died at Launde, Leicestershire between 13 April 1562 and 9 June 1563 at Launde, Leicestershire, England.[2] She was buried before 9 June 1563 in Basing, Hampshire. According to the Complete Peerage, the inscription on the wall at her vault at Basing read, “Hic jacet Dna Cromwell, quondam conjux Johis, Marchionis Winton.” As Paulet did not attain the title of Marquess of Winchester until after Elizabeth’s death, Elizabeth was known as “Lady Cromwell”; thus her vault reads “Lady Cromwell.”


Queen Jane Seymour [L] and possibly her sister Elizabeth as Dowager Lady Cromwell [R]

Victorian scholars had identified a portrait (shown above) by Hans Holbein the Younger as a likeness of Katherine Howard. Historian Antonia Fraser has argued that this image is far more likely to be Elizabeth Seymour. The sitter wears widow’s apparel. Katherine Howard would have had no reason to be dressed as a widow; but Elizabeth Seymour would, as her first husband had died in 1534. The portrait has long been associated with King Henry’s tragic young Queen and various people and places contest it to be a picture of Katherine Howard. The gift shop at the Tower of London  and many other places still depict the picture as being Katherine Howard on souvenirs. The National Portrait Gallery, which exhibits the painting at Montacute House in Somerset, remains undecided about the sitter’s identity.[3] The National Portrait Gallery who has professional curators is still examining the portrait.

According to their site:

Unknown woman, formerly known as Catherine Howard
after Hans Holbein the Younger
late 17th century
NPG 1119

This portrait of an unknown woman, formerly known as Catherine Howard (NPG 1119), highlights one of the many problems found when dating versions and copies. The original version, now in The Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, was identified as Catherine Howard but this has since proved to be incorrect.

The painting style of the copy is more consistent with late seventeenth or early eighteenth-century workmanship. There is a variation in the quality of paint handling throughout the image. For example, the hands, face and fabric appear fairly simply painted, while the jewellery is very finely painted.

It is possible that the sitter was a member of the Cromwell family who once owned the picture. Previously it had been in the collection of a descendant of Oliver Cromwell. It is possible that this was a copy made for a descendant eager to trace or prove ancestry.

For more details see:


  • Elizabeth Seymour (c.1513-c.1530)
  • Lady Oughtred (c.1530-1534)
  • Lady Cromwell (1537-1551
  • Lady St. John (1554-1563)


Ancestry of Elizabeth Seymour


  1. Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 111-112, 311.
  2. Douglas Richardson; Kimball G. Everingham (2005). Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. Genealogical Publishing Company. pg 246. ISBN 0-8063-1759-0.
  3. Portrait NPG 1119; Unknown woman, formerly known as Catherine Howard, npg.org.uk
  4. Douglas Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 311.
  5. Douglas Richardson. Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 247.
  6. Douglas Richardson. Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 572-573.
  7. Douglas Richardson. Plantagenet Ancestry, 2nd Edition, 2011. pg 82.
  • G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910–1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume III, pages 555, 557 and 558.
  • Cecil Aspinall-Oglander, Nunwell Symphony (London, U.K.: The Hogarth Press, 1946), appendix

Katherine Parr: Vellutello’s Edition of Petrarch Works

Katherine Parr’s copy of Vellutello’s edition of Petrarch’s works (1544).

Katherine Parr: Vellutello’s Edition of Petrarch Works © The British Library Board

Thanks to the British Library, in this photo we can see the BEAUTIFUL purple velvet and detail of Katherine’s personal copy of Vellutello’s Edition of Petrarch Words. Most photos on the net show the book as a bluish green back round.

This volume of Petrarch’s works, with an exposition by Alessandro Vellutello, was first published in Venice. The book is bound in purple velvet and embroidered with gold and silver thread and coloured silks. The coat of arms topped with the royal crown may have been embroidered by Katherine. The book appears to have been bound after the death of Henry VIII (in January 1547) and before Katherine’s marriage to Sir Thomas Seymour (in May of the same year). Had it been bound whilst Henry was still alive, it would be expected that the supporters (the creatures flanking the coat of arms) would be the lion and the greyhound. As there is no reference to Seymour, it seems it was made sometime in the short space of Katherine’s widowhood.

Vellutello's edition of Petrarch's works. Close up of arms.

Vellutello’s edition of Petrarch’s works. Close up of arms.

The British Library site states that the coat of arms are that of Katherine Parr, but my recent review of the coat of arms reveals perhaps that it is the arms of Katherine’s brother, Sir William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton and Earl of Essex. The coat of arms and quartertings are the same for the most part when compared to his stall plates from Windsor Chapel that were taken down and broken during the reign of Mary I and are now featured in the British Museum in London.
Garter stall plate of William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton, 1552. The plate was in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, among other Garter plates, but upon the ascension of Queen Mary, Parr was stripped of his titles. His stall plate was taken down and broken apart.

Garter stall plate of William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton, 1552. The plate was in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, among other Garter plates, but upon the ascension of Queen Mary, Parr was stripped of his titles. His stall plate was taken down and broken apart.

It was subsequently owned by the Fitzhugh family (whose emblem of the creature breathing flames and gorged with a coronet, is depicted on the left). The creature on the right – a wyvern argent also gorged with a coronet – belongs to the Parr family.

The book went on public display in 2009 for the Henry VIII: Man and Monarch exhibit at the British Library. The event was to mark the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s accession.

Copy of Il Petrarcha con l’espositione d’A. Vellutello; con le figure a i triomphi et con piu cose utili in varii luoghi aggiunte (1544) owned by Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth wife. British Library, C.27.e.19.
Shelfmark: c27e19
Held By: BL [British Library]
Country: England
Period: 16c
Cover Material: Velvet
Decorative Technique: Embroidered
Style: Armorial
Edges: Gilt and gauffered
BookBinder Owner: Parr, Katharine, Queen Consort of Henry VIII (1512-1548)
Author: Petrarch
Title: aIl Petrarcha con l:espositione d:A. Vellutello
Place of Publication: Venice.
Date of Publication: 1544.
Notes: Rebacked by BM/BL bindery. Edges gilt, gauffered and painted in red. Arms of Queen Katherine Parr of England.


Family of Queen Katherine Parr: Sir John Neville, 4th Baron Latimer

Effigy of John Neville, 4th Lord. By jmc4 – Church Explorer

Sir John Neville, 4th Baron Latimer of Snape Castle (1520[1][2] – 22 April 1577) was an English nobleman of the powerful House of Neville.

Early life

Born about 1520 (he was 23 when his father died, 2 March 1543), he was the only son of John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer of Snape Castle and his first wife Dorothy, sister and co-heiress of John de Vere, 14th Earl of Oxford. After the death of his mother, Lord Latimer married secondly, Elizabeth Musgrave, by whom he had no children. After her death in 1530, Latimer married again in 1534 the widowed Katherine, Dowager Lady Borough [Parr].

From the beginning of his father’s marriage to Katherine, she tried to be a good step-mother to both children, but John proved to be difficult. There is some indication that Margaret, his sister, was their father and Katherine’s favourite. If that is true, it may explain the turbulence which would follow as John got older. As a “teenager”, John proved to be a confident sulking, lying, and over-sensitive boy. Lord Latimer did not name his son as heir to his properties and made sure that his son could not meddle with his inheritance or father’s legacy. In Lord Latimer’s will, Katherine was named guardian of his daughter and was put in charge of Lord Latimer’s affairs which were to be given over to his daughter at the age of her majority.

In January 1537, John, his sister Margaret, and step-mother Katherine, were held hostage at Snape Castle during the uprising of the North. The rebels ransacked the house and sent word to Lord Latimer, who was returning from London, that if he did not return immediately they would kill his family. When Lord Latimer returned to the castle he somehow talked the rebels into releasing his family and leaving, but the aftermath to follow with Lord Latimer would prove to be taxing on the whole family.[3]

Later life

Nevill became Baron Latimer on his father’s death in 1543. Although the relationship proved difficult during his youth, Katherine, did not forget Nevill. Katherine stayed close with her former stepchildren. In fact, Katherine made John’s wife, Lucy Somerset, a lady-in-waiting when she became queen consort to King Henry VIII.[1][3]

In May 1544, Nevill was involved with the siege of Edinburgh in Scotland and it was there that he was knighted. Nevill then went to war in France where he took part in the siege of Abbeville.

John became an emotionally unstable man later in life. In the summer of 1553, John was sent to Fleet Prison on charges of violence done to a servant. He was arrested for attempted rape and assault in 1557 and in 1563, he killed a man. Of the situation in 1553, Thomas Edwards wrote to the Earl of Rutland describing the violence which had taken place with the servant quoting “too great a villainy for a noble man, my thought.” That this public violence occurred after the death of his step-mother, Katherine, might suggest that at least she had some sort of control over Nevill while she was alive.[3]

Marriage and issue

In 1545, Latimer married Lady Lucy Somerset, daughter of Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester and his second wife, Elizabeth Browne.[4] The new Lady Latimer was a cousin to Queen Katherine as the great-granddaughter of the Marquess of Montagu, brother to Lady Alice FitzHugh [great-grandmother of Queen Katherine]. Lady Lucy became a lady-in-waiting to her husband’s former step-mother, Queen Katherine Parr.

Together they had four daughters that all produced children by their first marriages:

  • Hon. Elizabeth Neville (c. 1545 – 1630), married firstly Sir John Danvers of Dauntsey, and secondly Sir Edmund Carey. Elizabeth’s descendants by Danvers included the Dukes of Leeds [extinct in 1964]; Earls of Lichfield; Earls of Leicester of Holkham from which Sarah of York descends.
  • Hon. Katherine Neville (1546 – 28 October 1596), married firstly Henry Percy, 8th Earl of Northumberland, and secondly Francis Fitton of Binfield. Lord and Lady Northumberland were parents to Sir Henry, 9th Earl of Northumberland. Her descendants include Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales; HM Queen Elizabeth II by her mother; Sarah, Duchess of York; and others. Katherine was buried in the Chapel of St. Nicholas in Westminster Abbey, within the Percy family, Dukes of Northumberland.
  • Hon. Dorothy Neville (1547 – 23 March 1609), married Sir Thomas Cecil, Queen Elizabeth’s counselor, later Earl of Exeter. Cecil was the half-brother of the Earl of Salisbury. Her descendants also include Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales.

Latimer’s daughter, the Hon. Dorothy Neville who became Countess of Exeter when her husband Thomas Cecil was elevated to Earl in 1605

  • Hon. Lucy Neville (c. 1549 – April 1608), married Sir William Cornwallis of Brome Hall. Their daughters made advantageous marriages to nobility such as the marriage of their daughter Anne to the 7th Earl of Argyll by whom she had issue. Another daughter, Elizabeth, became Viscountess Lumley as the wife of Sir Richard, 1st Viscount Lumley.

Lord Latimer died without sons in 1577; his four daughters became his joint heiresses. The barony became abeyant until 1913, when its abeyance was terminated in favour of Latimer’s distant descendant Francis Money-Coutts, 5th Baron Latymer.

Effigy and tomb of the 4th Lord Latimer in Nevilles’ Chapel, Wells, North Yorkshire Well Village Website © Well Parish Council 2011

He was buried in St. Michael’s Church, Well, North Yorkshire which adjoined Neville’s home, Snape Castle. The church had a long standing history with the Neville family going back to John and Queen Katherine Parr’s ancestor, Sir Ralph Neville, the 1st Earl of Westmorland. Westmorland married Lady Joan Beaufort; the only daughter of Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster by his mistress, later wife, Katherine Roet. Ralph was responsible for the building of the present church c. 1330. Latimer’s mural monument lies in Nevilles’ Chapel within Well’s Church. Latimer’s daughter, Hon. Dorothy, Countess of Exeter inherited Snape Castle and is also buried there with her husband Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter.[5] According to a card placed upon the tomb, the four coat of arms on his tomb represent that of his four daughters and their husband.

His wife, Lucy, was buried in Hackney Parish Church in London. Her grand tomb has her effigy surrounded by her four daughters.[6] Her tomb is one of only a few in England which feature such noble bearings; the other being the tomb of George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland at Skipton which is surrounded by no fewer than seventeen richly adorned shields which include that of Brandon, Dacre, de Clare, St. John, and more.[7] The Earl himself was a descendant of Katherine Parr’s great-aunt, Mabel Parr, Lady Dacre. Lady Latimer’s tomb not only includes the arms many of those on Clifford’s tomb as Neville, Beauchamp, Dacre, Berkeley, and Percy but also those of de Vere Earl of Oxford, Walcot, and Cecil.[6] Lord Latimer’s arms (the Neville) are at one end of the tomb. The statues of the four daughters were two on each side of the monument; at the side of each the shield of the husband impaling the Neville arms. These arms are thus repeated five times. At the other end are Lady Latimer’s arms: the lions and fleur de lis that is France and England, quarterly, the arms of the Dukes of Beaufort, descended from the eldest legitimated son of John of Gaunt, her father being Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester.[6]

Document on the magnificent tomb of Lady Lucy Somerset, Lady Latimer; wife of the 4th Lord Latimer and lady to HM Queen Katherine Parr. Courtesy of JMC4 Church Explorer.[8]

In Robinson’s History of Hackney we find:

“The effigy of Lady Latimer was exquisitely sculptured and was fixed on the top of the table monument She appears to be dressed in a scarlet robe with a coronet on her head and the other part of the dress was richly gilt This effigy was probably intended for a portrait of her.”[6]

Memorial to Lady Lucy Latimer in the old church. Watercolour by T. Fisher c.1795 [9]

Her epitaph reads:

Such as she, is such surely shall yee bee; Such as shee was, such if yee bee, be glad: Faire in her youth though fatt in age she grew; Virtuous in bothe whose glosse did never fade. Though long alone she ledd a widowe’s life, Yet never ladye live da truer wife. From Wales she sprang, a Branch of Worcester’s race, Grafte in a stock of Brownes her mother’s side: In Court she helde a maide of honor’s place, Whilst youth in her, and she in Court did byde. To John, Lord Latimer, then became she wife; Four daughters had they breathing yet in life. Earl of Northumberland tooke the first to wife; The nexte the heire of Baron Burleigh chose: Cornwallis happ the third for terme of life: And Sir John Danvers pluckt the youngest Rose. Their father’s heirs, them mothers all she sawe: Pray for, or praise her: make your list the Lawe, Made by Sir William Cornwallis, Knight, this Ladye’s Sonne in Lawe.[6]


By his father, Latimer descended from King Edward III of England twice. Latimer’s great-grandparents were Sir Henry Neville, heir to the barony of Latimer and Earldom of Warwick, and the Hon. Joan Bourchier. Neville was a grandson of Sir Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland and his second wife, Lady Joan Beaufort. Lady Joan was the legitimized daughter of Prince John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster by his mistress, later wife, Katherine Roet. Bourchier was a granddaughter of Sir William, 1st Count of Eu and Lady Anne of Gloucester, daughter of Prince Thomas of Woodstock [youngest son of Edward III] and his wife, Lady Eleanor de Bohun. This connection to the Bourchier family made Latimer a cousin of the Earls of Bath, Lords Dacre of the South, the Lady Margaret Bryan [governess of the King’s children], Lady Anne Bourchier [husband of Katherine Parr’s brother William Parr], and even the Duchess of Somerset Anne Stanhope.

Latimer’s mother was the granddaughter of the 12th Earl of Oxford and Elizabeth Howard. Oxford was himself a descendent of Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile by their daughter Princess Joan of Acre. The Countess of Oxford, Elizabeth Howard, was a descendant of John I of England by his son Richard of England, Earl of Cornwall, King of the Romans as well as a descendant of Henry I’s illegitimate son Reynold de Dunstanville, 1st Earl of Cornwall.

The ancestry of John Neville, 4th Lord Latimer


  1. ^ Linda Porter. Katherine the Queen; the Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr, the Last Wife of Henry VIII. Macmillan, 2010. pg 66-67.
  2. According to Linda Porter’s Katherine, the Queen, Neville was 14 at the time of his father’s marriage to Catherine Parr.
  3. Susan E. James. Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s Last Love. The History Press, 2009.
  4. G. E. Cokayne. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, Vol. VIII, G. Bell & sons, 1898. pg 200. Google eBook
  5. Village of Well, North Yorkshire, http://www.wellvillage.org.uk/history/
  6. Richard Simpson. Some Accounts of the Monuments in Hackney Church, Billing and Sons, 1881; Chapter: Lady Latimer.
  7. W. Harbutt Dawson. History of Skipton, Simpkin, Marshall, London, 1882.
  8. JMC4 Church Explorer . London, Hackney, Flickr, 2008.
  9. T. Fisher. Hackney Council, The Churchyard Memorials: Memorial to Lady lucy Latimer in the old church, c.1795.

Written and researched by Meg McGath
27 August 2012

Family of Queen Katherine Parr: Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall

Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall

Cuthbert Tunstall (c. 1474/5 Hatchford, Richmondshire, England – 18 November 1559 Lambeth Palace, London, England) was an English church leader during the reign of four Tudor monarchs. Through out his lengthy career he was Bishop of Durham, Bishop of London, Archdeacon of Chester, Lord Privy Seal, Royal adviser, and a diplomat. He was “lucky” enough to have served as Bishop of Durham [among other offices] and actually survive the reigns of three Tudor monarchs; King Henry VIII, Edward VI [Protestant], Mary I [Catholic]. Under the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I, Tunstall would be arrested in 1559 after refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy and die under house arrest at Lambeth Palace [home to the Archbishops of Canterbury].

“Tunstall’s long career of eighty-five years, for thirty-seven of which he was a bishop, is one of the most consistent and honourable in the sixteenth century. The extent of the religious revolution under Edward VI caused him to reverse his views on the royal supremacy and he refused to change them again under Elizabeth.”The Anglican historian Albert F. Pollard

Tunstall was illegitimate at birth, although his parents later married and the irregular circumstances of his background were never held against him. He was the son of Sir Thomas Tunstall, one of two sons of Sir Thomas of Thurland. Sharing a great-great-grandfather, Sir Thomas of Thurland Castle [Tunstall’s grandfather], Tunstall was a first cousin, twice removed on his father’s side to Queen Katherine Parr and her siblings Lady Anne Herbert and Sir William, 1st Marquess of Northampton. Tunstall was appointed as the executor of Sir Thomas Parr’s will. After his death, Tunstall continued to stay close to the Parr family. Tunstall advised Lady Maud Parr on the education of her children; especially that of her daughters. Maud named Tunstall as one of the executors of her will as well.

Tunstall was an outstanding scholar and mathematician, he had been educated in England, spending time at both Oxford and Cambridge, before a six year spell at the University of Padua in Italy, from which he received two degrees. His Church career began in 1505, after he returned to England. He was ordained four years later. At the time of his ordination four years later he had caught the attention of the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Warham, who sponsored Tunstall’s advancement and brought him to court. Tunstall was also a close to Wolsey, who recognized his potential to serve his country and diplomacy.

Cuthbert Tunstall [a portrait painted before the Reformation showed him with a rosary. It was obviously painted over].

Tunstall was close to all the great names of English humanism in the early sixteenth century, especially Sir Thomas More. The European humanist Erasmus greatly admired Tunstall’s modesty, scholarship, and charm. Tunstall helped Erasmus in his publishing.

Tunstall was a great publisher of many books including De arte supputandi libri quattuor (1522), which enhanced his reputation among the leading thinkers of Europe. This book would be used later by Mary Tudor and his cousin Catherine Parr as queen.

Like More, Tunstall was on intimate terms with King Henry VIII. During the King’s ‘Great Matter‘, Tunstall defended Queen Katherine of Aragon, but not with the vigour or absolute conviction of Bishop Fisher. Tunstall had been bold enough to tell Henry that he could not be Head of the Church in spiritual matters and he may have been one of the four bishops of the northern convocation who voted against the divorce, but he recognized that the queen’s cause was hopeless and never attempted opposition to the King. In fact, he attended Anne Boleyn’s coronation. But Tunstall felt he could not keep quiet, he wrote a letter personally to Henry about the rejection of Christendom, and other matters that bothered him. Henry disagreed and refuted every point Tunstall made. These exchanges led to a search of Tunstall’s home by order of the King, but no incriminating evidence was found. Rumor was that Sir Thomas More warned Tunstall in time to dispose of anything that might incriminate him.

Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall [right] confronts Katherine of Aragon in "The Tudors".

Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall [right] portrayed by Gordon Sterne confronts Katherine of Aragon in “The Tudors“.

Tunstall agreed to take the oath, unlike More and Fisher. He and Archbishop Lee of York were required to explain to the imperial ambassador, Eustace Chapuys, and subsequently the very angry Katherine of Aragon the justification for the annulment of her marriage. They did not succeed in getting her to agree or acknowledge the fact that she was no longer queen.

After the ‘great matter’ was resolved, Tunstall turned his loyalty back to the King. Tunstall was an executor of King Henry VIII’s will. Tunstall would go on to serve in the reigns of Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I.

On 19 July 1553, Mary was proclaimed Queen. After being imprisoned in The Tower under the rule of Edward VI, Mary released him and he went back to being Bishop of Durham. During the reign of Mary, Tunstall was very lenient on the Protestants involved in the “Marian Persecutions.”

Lambeth Palace, London. The oldest parts of the present buildings date from the 1400’s. The most obvious external feature is the gatehouse which is framed on either side by two towers, built by in tudor brick by Archbishop Morton in 1495. This is consequently known as Morton’s Tower.

It was during Elizabeth’s reign that Tunstall refused to take Elizabeth’s Oath of Supremacy and was subsequently arrested. Even though he had been Elizabeth’s godfather, he was deprived of his diocese in September 1559, and held prisoner at Lambeth Palace, where he died within a few weeks, aged 85. He was one of eleven Catholic bishops to die in custody during Elizabeth’s reign. He was buried in the chancel of Lambeth church under the expense of the Archbishop that had overseen his confinement, Parker.

Thurland Castle Gate; Lancashire.gov.uk

Thurland Castle; Lancashire.gov.uk

De arte supputandi libri quattuor

De arte supputandi libri quattuor Cuthbert Tunstall London: R. Pynson, 1522 [DeM] L.1 [Tunstall] SSR

De arte supputandi libri quattuor
Cuthbert Tunstall
London: R. Pynson, 1522 [DeM] L.1 [Tunstall] SSR

De Morgan in his Arithmetical Books was laudatory about Tunstall: “This book is decidedly the most classical which was ever written on the subject in Latin, both in purity of style and goodness of matter. The author had read every thing on the subject, in every language which he knew … and had spent much time, he says, ad ursi exemplum, in licking what he found into shape. … For plain common sense, well expressed, and learning most visible in the habits it had formed, Tonstall’s book has been rarely surpassed, and never in the subject of which it treats”. As hinted by De Morgan, Tunstall’s work is not original, but a confessed compilation. Tunstall‘s motivation for writing it was a suspicion that that the accounts goldsmiths with whom he was dealing were incorrect; he renewed his study of arithmetic in order to check their figures. His work was the first printed in Great Britain to be devoted wholly to mathematics.

Copy of Tunstall’s book from Lehigh University.

This is the first of three 16th-century editions in De Morgan’s library. De Morgan’s designation of it on the title page as “very rare” has since been disproved: nineteen other copies are recorded in Britain on ESTC, chiefly held in Oxford and Cambridge libraries, with another five in North America. (DeMorgan Library, London)

Tunstall Chapel

In Durham Castle, Tunstall constructed a Chapel in 1540. For more info: Tunstall Chapel.


  1. William Fordyce. “The history and antiquities of the county palatine of Durham:comprising a condensed account of its natural, civil, and ecclesiastical history, from the earliest period to the present time; its boundaries, ancient, parishes, and recently formed parochial districts and chapelries, and parliamentary and municipal divisions; its agriculture, mineral products, manufactures, shipping, docks, railways, and general commerce; its public buildings, churches, chapels, parochial registers, landed gentry, heraldic visitations, local biography, schools, charities, sanitary reports, population, &c,” Volume 1, A. Fullarton and co., 1857. Google eBook.
  2. Edward Foss. “The Judges of England: With Sketches of Their Lives, and Miscellaneous Notices Connected with the Courts at Westminster, from the Time of the Conquest,” Volume 5, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1857. pg 237-40.
  3. Katherine Parr. “Katherine Parr: Complete Works and Correspondence,” editor Janel Mueller, University of Chicago Press, Jun 30, 2011.
  4. Linda Porter. “Katherine, the Queen,” Macmillian, 2010.

English Ancestry of The Six Wives: Descent from Edward I

The Six Wives of King Henry VIII

Yes, all six wives of King Henry VIII had English ancestry; some more than others.

Henry VIII after Hans Holbein c. 1535-44

Miniature of Henry VIII [1540-1570] after Hans Holbein the Younger. Watercolour and bodycolour on vellum, diameter 3.6 cm, Royal Collection, Windsor Castle.

FACT: King Henry VIII descends from Edward I of England only six times!

  • By his paternal grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, Henry descended from Edward I by Margaret’s paternal grandparents; John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset and his wife Lady Margaret of Kent [born Holland], later Duchess of Clarence.
    • Lord Somerset was a grandson of Edward III [grandson of Edward I and his first wife, Eleanor of Castile] by his father Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster.
    • Lady Margaret of Kent was a granddaughter of Princess Joan of Kent, Princess of Wales [wife of Edward, Princes of Wales, heir to Edward III, and mother to Richard II]; granddaughter of Edward I and his second wife, Marguerite of France, by their second son, Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent.
  • By his maternal grandfather, Edward IV, Henry descended from Edward I by Edward’s parents; Lord Richard, Duke of York and Lady Cecily [born Neville], Duchess of York:
    • The Duke of York’s parents, Lord Richard, 3rd Earl of Cambridge and his wife Lady Anne [born Mortimer], Countess of Cambridge both descended from Edward I.
      • Cambridge was a grandson of Edward III by his father, Edmund of Langley, Duke of York, 4th surviving son of Edward III.
      • Lady Anne Mortimer was a granddaughter of Edward III by her paternal grandmother, Lady Philippa of Clarence, 5th Countess of Ulster; granddaughter of Edward III by his second surviving son, Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence. Lady Anne also had a second connection to Edward I, by her maternal grandfather, Sir Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent; son of Princess Joan, Princess of Wales. Princess Joan was, as mentioned before, a granddaughter of Edward I and his second wife Marguerite.
    • Lady Cecily, Duchess of York, was the youngest daughter of Sir Ralph, Earl of Westmorland and his second wife, Lady Joan Beaufort. Lady Joan was the only daughter of Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and his third wife, Katherine [Roet]. John of Gaunt was of course the son of Edward III.

292px-Tudor_Rose_Royal_Badge_of_England.svgWould it surprise you to know that even Katherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves had Edward I in their pedigree?

In fact, Katherine of Aragon descended from two wives of Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, Titular King of Castile [the son of Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault]; Blanche of Lancaster AND Constanza of Castile, heir to the throne of Castile.

Royal Emblem of Queen Katherine of Aragon

1. Katherine of Aragon – daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile [2 times]

  • By her mother — Isabella of Castile’s paternal grandmother, Katherine of Lancaster, daughter of Prince John of Gaunt [son of Edward III] and his second wife, Constanza of Castile, she descended from Edward I and Eleanor of Castile.
  • Isabella of Castile’s maternal great-grandmother, Philippa of Lancaster, was also a daughter of Prince John of Gaunt, but by his first wife, Blanche of Lancaster. Lady Philippa was brother to King Henry IV [Bolingbroke]. Queen Katherine’s Hampton Court Pedigree shows this line from Edward I’s son, Edward II, onwards.

Royal Emblem of Queen Anne Boleyn

2. Anne Boleyn – daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn and Lady Elizabeth Howard [5 times]

  • By both paternal great-great-grandparents [through the Butler’s of Ormonde], Sir James, 4th Earl of Ormonde and Joan Beauchamp; she descended from Edward I and Eleanor’s daughter Princess Elizabeth of Rhuddlan. The Earl and Countess of Ormonde were parents to the 7th Earl of Ormonde.
  • By her paternal great-great-grandmother, Lady Anne Montacute, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Salisbury [also an ancestor of Queen Katherine Parr] she descends from Princess Elizabeth’s elder sister, Princess Joan of Acre. Lady Anne was the mother of Anne Hankford, Countess of Ormonde as wife to the 7th Earl.
  • By her maternal [Howard] line she descended from Edward I and Eleanor of Castile via her great-great-grandmother Lady Margaret Mowbray, wife of Sir Robert Howard; Lady Margaret descended from Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, by way of Lady Eleanor Fitzalan [wife of Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk].
  • By Sir Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, she descended from Edward I and Marguerite of France through their son, Thomas of Brotherton Plantagenet, Duke of Norfolk [Hampton Court Pedigree shows this line from Edward I’s son, Thomas of Brotherton onwards]

Royal Emblem of Queen Jane Seymour

3. Jane Seymour – daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth [twice]

  • By her maternal great-grandmother, Hon. Margaret Clifford, whose father John Clifford, 7th Lord descended from Joan of Acre, daughter of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile. Lord Clifford’s great-great-grandmother was Lady Margaret de Clare, Countess of Gloucester [daughter of Princess Joan] who married Sir Hugh Audley, 1st and last Earl of Gloucester.
  • By Hon. Margaret Clifford’s mother, Lady Elizabeth Percy, whose grandmother was Lady Philippa of Clarence, 5th Countess of Ulster who was the daughter of Lionel of Antwerp, the second son of Edward III. [Hampton Court Pedigree shows this line from Edward I’s son, Edward II, onward]

Royal Emblem of Queen Anne of Cleves

4. Anne of Cleves – daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves and Marie von Julich [twice]

  • By both paternal great-grandparents, Johan I Duke of Cleves and Elizabeth of Nevers; who were great-grandchildren of Marguerite of Dampierre, suo jure Countess of Flanders. Marguerite was the great-granddaughter of Margaret of England, Duchess of Brabant; daughter of Edward I and Eleanor. [Hampton Court Pedigree shows the lineage of Johan I of Cleves from Edward’s daughter, Margaret of England who’s son became Johan III, Duke of Brabant]

Royal Emblem of Queen Katherine Howard

5. Katherine Howard – daughter of Lord Edmund Howard and Jocasa Culpepper [3 times]

  • Like Anne Boleyn, by her paternal line [Howard] she descended from Edward I and Eleanor by Elizabeth of Rhuddlan by way of Lady Eleanor Fitzalan [wife of Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk].
  • By Sir Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, she descended from Edward I and Marguerite of France through their son, Thomas of Brotherton Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Norfolk [Katherine’s Hampton Court Pedigree shows this line from Edward I’s son, Thomas of Brotherton onwards]
  • By her maternal great-great-grandfather, Sir William Ferrers, 5th Baron Groby, she descends from Princess Joan of Acre, daughter of Edward I and Eleanor, via her daughter Lady Elizabeth de Clare, wife of Sir Theobald, 2nd Lord Verdun.

Royal Emblem of Queen Katherine Parr

6. Katherine Parr – daughter of Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal and Maud Greene [6 times]

  • By her paternal grandmother the Hon. Elizabeth FitzHugh, daughter of Lady Alice Neville [sister of “Warwick, the Kingmaker”] she descended from Lady Joan Beaufort and her second husband Sir Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland; Lady Joan was the legitimized daughter of Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, third son of Edward III and thus she descended from Edward I and Eleanor of Castile. [Katherine’s Hampton Court Pedigree shows this line from Edward I’s son, Edward II onwards]
  • By her paternal great-great-grandmother, Lady Alice Montacute, suo jure Countess of Salisbury [wife of Sir Richard, 5th Earl of Salisbury, son of Lady Joan and Sir Ralph mentioned above]. Both parents of the Countess of Salisbury descended from Edward I; by her father the 4th Earl of Salisbury she descended from Princess Joan of Acre, daughter of Edward I and Eleanor by her son 2nd Lord Monthermer by her second husband Lord Monthermer, Earl of Gloucester. By her mother Lady Eleanor de Holland [daughter of Lady Joan of Kent, Princess of Wales and niece of King Richard II] she descended from Prince Edmund of Woodstock, son of Edward I and his second wife Marguerite of France.
  • By her maternal great-great-grandfather, Sir Thomas Greene, Sheriff of Northamptonshire, she descended from Princess Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, daughter of Edward I and Eleanor; Sir Thomas Greene descended from Princess Elizabeth’s daughter Lady Eleanor Bohun, Countess of Ormonde. His wife, Hon. Philippa de Ferrers descended from Elizabeth of Rhuddlan’s elder sister, Princess Joan of Acre, TWICE; by her daughters Lady Margaret de Clare, Countess of Gloucester and Lady Eleanor de Clare, Lady Despenser.

For more on their pedigrees, featuring the windows from Hampton Court Palace — see also —

The Hampton Court Pedigrees

Written and researched by Meg McGath, 2012.

5 September 1548: The Death of Queen Katherine Parr

The nursery and apartments of the dowager queen with Lady Anne Herbert standing by [the queen's sister] © Meg McGath, 2012.

The nursery and apartments of the dowager queen with Lady Anne Herbert standing by [the queen’s sister] © Meg McGath, 2012.

Unfortunately for Katherine, Dr. Huicke, so advanced in matters of diet and exercise for proper prenatal care, was a man of his time when it came to matters of hygiene. Having survived disease, civil insurrection, mob violence, charges of heresy and treason, four husbands including King Henry VIII, and the vicissitudes of life in sixteenth-century England for thirty-six years, Katherine succumbed most likely to puerperal or child-bed fever contracted from her doctor’s dirty hands and just a lack of hygiene in general. Two other Tudor queens had succumbed to the same disease and shortly died after; Jane Seymour [Henry’s third queen and mother of Edward VI who succeeded King Henry in January of 1547] and Elizabeth of York [queen to King Henry VII and mother of King Henry VIII; who gave birth to her final child, coincidentally named Princess Katherine, on 2 February 1503].

The three Tudor queens who would die shortly after giving birth; Queen Elizabeth of York, Queen Katherine, and Queen Jane Seymour. Their death is attributed to child-bed fever which was very common in Tudor times.

On the 5th September 1548, the Queen, lying on her death bed made her final will. Katherine was sick in body, but of good mind, perfect memory and discretion; being persuaded, and perceiving the extremity of death to approach her; disposed and ordained by permission, assent, and consent of her most dear, beloved husband, the Lord Seymour, a certain disportion, gift, testament, and last will of all her goods, chattels, and debts, by these words or other, like in effect, being by her advisedly spoken to the intent of a testament and last will in the presence of the witnesses and records under-named.

The witnesses of the queen’s will were Robert Huick, Doctor of Physic, and John Parkhurst. In her will, the queen gave her husband

“with all her heart and desire, frankly and freely give, will, and bequeath to the said Lord Seymour, Lord High Admiral of England, her married espouse and husband, all the goods, chattels, and debts that she then had, or right ought to have in all the world, wishing them to be a thousand times more in value than they were or been; but also most liberally gave him full power, authority, and order, to dispose and prosecute the same goods, chattels, and debts at his own free will and pleasure, to his most commodity.”

The queen lies in state inside St. Mary's Chapel at Sudeley Castle where she is buried, © Meg McGath, 2012.

The queen lies in state inside St. Mary’s Chapel at Sudeley Castle where she is buried, © Meg McGath, 2012.

Queen Katherine Parr died on Wednesday, the 5th of September, in the year of 1548; ‘between two and three of the clock in the morning.’

Nursery and Queen's apartment window from outside © Meg McGath, 2012.

Nursery and Queen’s apartment window from outside © Meg McGath, 2012.

John Parkhurst wrote two Latin epitaphs on Katherine Parr, circa 1548. Here is the first one.

On the incomparable woman, Katherine, formerly Queen of England, France, and Ireland, my most gentle mistress. An epitaph, 1547[8].

In this new sepulchre Queen Katherine sleeps,
Flower, honor, and ornament of the female sex.
To King Henry she was a wife most faithful;
Later, when gloomy Fate had taken him from the living,
Thomas Seymour (to whom the trident, Neptune, you extended)
was the distinguished man she wed.
She bore a baby girl; after the birth, when the sun had run
A seventh round, cruel Death did kill her.
For the departed, we her household flow with watery eyes;
Damp is the British earth from moistened cheeks.
Bitter grief consumes us, we unhappy ones;
But she rejoices ‘midst the heavenly host.

The queen lies in state inside St. Mary's Chapel at Sudeley Castle where she is buried, © Meg McGath, 2012.

The queen lies in state inside St. Mary’s Chapel at Sudeley Castle where she is buried, Lady Jane Grey and two yeomen watch over the queen’s body © Meg McGath, 2012.

Related Articles:


  • Linda Porter. ‘Katherine, the queen,’ Macmillan, 2012.
  • Susan James. ‘Catherine Parr: Henry VIII’s Last Love,’ The History Press, Gloucestershire, 2008, 2009 [US Edition].
  • Janel Mueller. ‘Katherine Parr: Complete Works and Correspondences,’ University of Chicago Press, Jun 30, 2011.
  • Emma Dent. ‘Annals of Winchcombe and Sudeley,’ London, J. Murray, 1877.