Ladies-in-Waiting: Lucy, Lady Latimer

Lucy Somerset Lady Latimer
Effigy of Lucy (née Somerset), Lady Latimer in Hackney Parish Church by Unknown artist, hand-coloured etching, early 19th century, 8 3/8 in. x 5 1/4 in. (212 mm x 132 mm) paper size. Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966 Reference Collection NPG D43022

Lady Lucy Somerset, Baroness Latimer (c.1524 – 23 February 1583) was an English noblewoman and the daughter of Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester and his second wife, Elizabeth Browne.

By her mother, Lucy descended from the brother of “Warwick, the Kingmaker” (Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick), John Neville, 1st Marquess of Montagu. The Marquess was also brother to Lady Alice FitHugh (born Neville); great-grandmother of Queen Katherine Parr. Warwick and Montagu were casualties of the War of the Roses. Montagu’s surviving children included Lucy’s grandmother, also named Lucy. Lucy married Sir Anthony Browne and they were parents to Lady Elizabeth Somerset, who became Countess of Worcester upon her marriage to Sir Henry Somerset. Lady Worcester’s sister, Anne, married to Charles Brandon, later Duke of Suffolk, in 1508. As such, the Countess was aunt to Ladies Anne and Mary Brandon. Lady Worcester became a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII. However, Lady Worcester was an informant against the Queen when she was tried in 1536. Queen Anne was tragically sentenced to death and was executed shortly after.

Lucy Somerset may have served as a Maid of Honour to Queen consort Catherine Howard. Queen Catherine was the other ill fated wife of King Henry VIII. After Catherine was found to have had liaisons with other men before and possibly during her marriage to the King, she was also beheaded like her cousin, Queen Anne. Interesting fact: The holder of Catherine’s jewels after her execution would become the next sister-in-law to King Henry–Lady Herbert, lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine Howard.

Lady Lucy married in 1545 to John Neville, 4th Baron Latimer, the stepson of King Henry’s sixth consort, Katherine Parr. As a teenager, John had proved to be a confident sulking, lying, and over-sensitive boy. His father, the 3rd Baron, did not name him as heir to his properties and made sure that his son could not meddle with his inheritance or the Baron’s legacy. In the 3rd Latimer’s will, Katherine Parr was named guardian of his daughter and was put in charge of his affairs which were to be given over to his daughter at the age of her majority. Despite the turbulance of the 4th Baron’s youth, Katherine Parr kept her stepchildren close, especially the Baron’s sister, Margaret. As Queen, Katherine made the new Lady Latimer a lady-in-waiting. Parr and the new Lady Latimer also happened to be cousins as their great-grandparents were siblings.[1]

Unfortunately, the 4th Baron became an emotionally unstable man later in life. The imbalance must have made it difficult for Lady Latimer. 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.”[1]

The couple had four daughters who all married quite well.

  • Hon. Elizabeth Neville (c. 1545 – 1630), married firstly Sir John Danvers of Dauntsey, and secondly Sir Edmund Carey, a cousin to Queen Elizabeth I. Her children include Sir Charles Danvers, who was executed for his part in the Essex Rebellion in 1601.  Elizabeth’s descendants by John Danvers included the Dukes of Leeds [extinct in 1964]; the Earls of Lichfield; and the Earls of Leicester of Holkham from which Sarah, Duchess of York (mother of Princess Beatrice and Eugenie of York) descends.
Elizabeth Neville Danvers
Monument to Lady Elizabeth Carey (1545/50–1630), also known as Elizabeth Danvers, née Neville) in St Michael’s parish church, Church Stowe, Northamptonshire, England. The stonework is by Nicholas Stone, master mason to James I (and then Charles I). It was put up during the subject’s lifetime (1620). It is said to be ‘one of the finest pieces of sculpture of the age’. (Wikipedia)
  • 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, the late Princess of Wales (mother of the future King William and the Duke of Sussex).
Dorothy Neville, Countess of Exeter
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 in 1577. 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, Lucy, 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 Swynford. Ralph Neville was responsible for the building of the present church c. 1330. The 4th Lord Latimer’s mural monument lies in Nevilles’ Chapel within Well’s Church. Latimer’s daughter, Dorothy, Countess of Exeter inherited Snape Castle and is also buried there with her husband Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter.[4] According to a card placed upon the tomb of the 4th Baron, the four coat of arms on his tomb represent that of his four daughters and their husband.

The Latimers died without sons and their four daughters became joint heiresses. The barony became abeyant until 1913, when its abeyance was terminated in favour of the 4th Baron Latimer’s descendant Francis Money-Coutts, who became the 5th Baron Latymer.

Tomb of Lucy, Lady Latimer
Document on the magnificent tomb of Lady Lucy Somerset, Lady Latimer; wife of the 4th Lord Latimer and lady to HM Queen Katherine Parr.

Lady Latimer died on 23 February 1583. She was buried away from her husband in Hackney Parish Church in London. Her grand tomb has her effigy surrounded by her four daughter’s coats of arms.[2] 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.[3] The Earl himself was a descendant of Queen 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.[2] 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 Beaufort, as she descended from the eldest legitimated son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster; John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset as well as his sister, Lady Joan, Countess of Westmorland.[2]

lucy somerset neville
Tomb of Lucy, Lady Latimer in St. John Church, Hackney, London, UK. Photo Credit: Here.

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.”

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.[2]

Links

Sources

  1. Susan E. James. Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s Last Love. The History Press, 2009.
  2. Richard Simpson. Some Accounts of the Monuments in Hackney Church, Billing and Sons, 1881; Chapter: Lady Latimer.
  3. W. Harbutt Dawson. History of Skipton, Simpkin, Marshall, London, 1882.
  4. History: Village of Well, North Yorkshire. http://www.wellvillage.org.uk/history/

 

copyright_meg_tudorqueen

Advertisements

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]

Ancestry

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

References

  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

Katherine Parr: Lady Latimer of Snape Castle

Lady Latimer

Katherine’s arms as Lady Latimer from her tomb at Sudeley Castle ©Meg McGath

In the year of 1533, Katherine is thought to have spent her widowhood with her cousins, the Strickland family at Sizergh Castle in Westmorland (now Cumbria). In the summer of 1534 she married John Neville, 3rd Baron Latymer, of Snape, North Yorkshire. At age 40, Lord Latimer was twice Katherine’s age. Latimer was her father’s second cousin, a twice-widowed descendant of George Neville, 1st Baron Latimer; Warwick, the ‘Kingmaker’s’, ‘idiot uncle’ and a 2nd great-grand uncle to Katherine [The Kingmaker’s sister, Lady Alice, was Katherine’s paternal great-grandmother]. From his first marriage to Dorothy de Vere, sister of John de Vere, 14th Earl of Oxford [m. by 1520], he had two children, his son and heir John and Margaret. After the death of his first wife on 7 February 1527, Neville remarried to Elizabeth Musgrave, daughter of Sir Edward Musgrave, c. 20 June 1528. They had no children and Neville was widowed again in 1530.[3] Neville was one of fifteen children born to Richard Neville, 2nd Lord Latimer and Anne Stafford, daughter of Sir Humphrey Stafford. Latimer’s branch of the Neville family was in line for the title of Earl of Warwick [via his great-grandmother, Lady Elizabeth Beauchamp, daughter of the 13th Earl of Warwick] and because of this, Lord Latimer, dealt with quite a bit of sibling rivalry. Legal actions were taken by his younger brothers and Latimer, at the time of his marriage to Katherine, was having financial difficulties. But as Lady Latimer, Katherine now had a home of her own, a husband with a position and influence in the north, a ready-made family, and a title. Katherine would become the only female Parr, apart from her great-aunt, Mabel, to marry into the peerage. Katherine’s brother-in-law, William Herbert, would later become Earl of Pembroke during the reign of Edward VI promoting her sister from Lady Herbert to Countess of Pembroke from which the current Earls and other branches descend from. From the beginning of the marriage, Katherine tried to be a good wife. Her affection for her husband would grow deep enough to cherish a remembrance of him, his New Testament with his name inscribed inside, which she kept until her death. Katherine would also prove to be a good step-mother to her step-children; a trait which she would again show after her marriage to the King. Her “teenage” step-son, John, proved to be difficult. There is some indication that Margaret, his sister, was their father’s favorite. Never the less, Katherine would continue a relationship with the two after her marriage to King Henry, bringing Margaret to court as her maid-in-waiting and securing a position for John’s wife, Lucy, the new Lady Latimer in her household.[1]

Latimer was a supporter of the old religion and bitterly opposed the king’s divorce and remarriage and it’s religious ramifications. In 1536, within two weeks of the riot in Louth, a mob appeared before the Latimer’s home threatening violence if Lord Latimer did not join their cause. Katherine watched as her husband was dragged away by the rebels. As prisoner of the rebels, conflicting stories of which side Latimer was truly on began to reach Cromwell and the King in London. The rebellion in Yorkshire put him in a terrible dilemma. If he was found guilty of any kind of treason his estates would be forfeited leaving Katherine and her step-children penniless. The King himself, wrote to the Duke of Norfolk pressing him to make sure Latimer would ‘condemn that villain Aske and submit [himself] to our clemency’.[2] Latimer was more than happy to comply. Both Katherine’s brother, William Parr and uncle, William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Horton fought with the Duke of Norfolk and the Duke of Suffolk against the rebellion. It is to most likely to Katherine’s credit that Lord Latimer survived; both her brother and uncle probably intervened at one point and saved Lord Latimer’s life.[1]

From the months of October 1536 and April 1537 Lady Latimer lived alone in fear with her step-children, struggling to survive. It is probable that in these uncertain times that Katherine’s strong reaction against the rebellion strengthened her adherence to the reformed church. In January 1537, Katherine and her step-children 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.[1]

The family would later move south after the executions of the rebels which pleased Cromwell and the King. Although now charges were found, Latimer’s reputation which reflected upon Katherine, was tarnished for the rest of his life. He spent the last seven years of his life blackmailed by Cromwell. Katherine would spend much of her time in the south during the years of 1537-42. Her husband was called away frequently to do the biding of Cromwell and the King and be present during Parliament. With Cromwell’s fall in 1540, the Latimer’s reclaimed some dignity and as Lord Latimer attended Parliament in 1542 he and Katherine spent time in London that winter. Her brother, William and sister, Anne had been present at court. Anne entered court service in 1531 as maid-in-waiting to Henry’s queens. It was here that she made acquaintances and met her future fourth husband Sir Thomas Seymour. The atmosphere of the court was much different from the rural and parochial estates. It was at court that Katherine could find the latest trends, not only in religious matters, but in frivolous matters such as fashion and jewellery which she loved.[1]

By the winter of 1542, Lord Latimer’s health had broken down after a grueling life of what some would call ‘political madness’. Katherine spent the winter of 1542-1543 nursing her husband. John Neville, Lord Latimer, died in 1543. In Lord Latimer’s will, Katherine was named guardian of his daughter, Margaret, 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. Latimer left Katherine Stowe Manor and other properties. He also bequeathed money for supporting his daughter and in the case that his daughter did not marry within five years, Katherine, was to take £30 per annum out of the income to support her step-daughter. Katherine was left a rich widow faced with the possibility of having to return north after Lord Latimer’s death.[1]

Using her late mother’s relationship with Henry’s first queen Katherine of Aragon, Katherine took the opportunity to renew her friendship with Lady Mary. By 16 February 1543, Katherine had established herself with Mary and was now part of her household although this has been disputed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

References:

  1. Susan E. James. Catherine Parr: Henry VIII’s Last Love. The History Press, 2009 US Edition. pg 61-73.
  2. Letters and Papers, Foreign & Domestic of the Reign of Henry VIII, II, no. 1174.
  3. The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982. ‘NEVILLE, Sir John I (1493-1543), of Snape, Yorks.

© Meg McGath

2 April 2011