The Hampton Court Pedigrees: The Six Wives of Henry VIII

All of King Henry’s wives had one thing in common, they all descended from Edward I; some by his first wife Eleanor of Castile or by his second, Marguerite of France; and in some cases both! In Hampton Court Palace in King Henry VIII’s apartment there are six stained glassed windows showing his wives pedigrees from King Edward I. As some were descended multiple times or by both wives the more prominent ancestry was featured.

henry_viii

From Atonia Fraser’s The Wives of Henry VIII, pg 363:

The following genealogy should be seen as a reflection of the narrowness of aristocratic society in a world of small population, rather than as some unconscious desire [that King Henry VIII might have] to commit forms of incest as has been suggested. The wives of Henry VIII were not “closely” related or to King Henry himself. The exception would be of the first cousins Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard; Henry’s 2nd and 5th wife whom shared the same grandfather, Sir Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk by his 1st wife Elizabeth Tilney (herself the daughter of Elizabeth Cheney by her first husband Sir Philip Tilney. Elizabeth married secondly Sir John Say. Her daughter Anne would become grandmother to Queen consort Jane Seymour, thus making Queen Anne, Queen Jane, and Queen Catherine Howard second cousins).

In actuality, King Henry was closely related to two of his wives; Katherine of Aragon and his last wife, Katherine Parr. All three shared common ancestry and the ancestor Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster. Thus, Katherine of Aragon was a 3rd cousin, once removed and 4th cousin (by Lancaster’s first two wives). Katherine’s lineage made her more eligible to the throne of England than her father-in-law, Henry VII. The lineage from both Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon gave their daughter, Princess Mary, the stronghold that she would have needed to be Queen Regnant from birth. Her claim to the throne was undeniable, yet Henry VIII threw away her chances–when he declared Mary illegitimate and moved on to wife no. 2, Anne Boleyn.

Parr, however, had multiple links via her father and mother. Queen Katherine Parr and Henry VIII’s closest relations: 3rd cousins via Lady Maud Parr (through Sir Richard Wydeville and Joan Bedlisgate; grandparents of Queen consort Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV); and by Lord Parr — 3rd cousins, once removed (through Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland and Lady Joan Beaufort; parents to Lady Cecily, Duchess of York, mother to Edward IV and Richard III); 4th cousins by John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Katherine Swynford (grandparents to John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset); 4th cousins, once removed and 5th cousins through Sir Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent and Lady Alice FitzAlan (parents of Lady Margaret, Countess of Somerset and Lady Alianore, Countess of March).

The Hampton Court Pedigrees 

The SIX pedigrees of Henry VIII’s Wives, Henry’s Apartments;
linking them all back to King Edward I of England

Katherine Of AragonQueen Katharine of Aragon 

(1509-1533)

Not for my Crown” (As Princess of Wales)

&

Humble and Loyal” (As queen consort)

Katharine of Arragon 1st wife of King Henry ye Eighth, her pedigree from King Edward ye First and his 1st wife Eleanor of Castile

Pedigree window of Katherine of Aragon
Pedigree window of Queen Katherine of Aragon

Katharine of Aragon was the daughter of

Ferdinand King of Spain
Ferdinand, King of Spain married Isabel of Leon
John, King of Leon married Isabel of Portugal
John, Prince of Portugal married Isabel of Braganza
John, Grand Master of Avis [de jure King of Portugal] married Philippa of Lancaster
John, Duke of Lancaster married Blanch Plantagenet
King Edward ye Third [of England] married Philippa of Hainault
King Edward ye Second [of England] married Isabel of France
King Edward ye First [of England] married 1st Eleanor of Castile
Queen Katherine's royal emblem, the Pomegranate, a symbol her mother Queen Isabel of Castile used in her own coat of arms.
Queen Katherine’s royal emblem, the Pomegranate, a symbol her mother Queen Isabel I of Castile (1474-1504) used in her own coat of arms as queen regnant from 1492.

anne_boleynQueen Anne Bullen 

(1533-1536)

The Most Happy

Anne Bullen the 2nd wife of King Henry ye Eighth, her pedigree from King Edward ye First and his second wife Margaret of France

Pedigree window of Queen Anne Boleyn.
Pedigree window of Queen Anne Boleyn.

Anne Bullen, daughter of

Thomas, Earl of Wiltshire
Thomas, Earl of Wiltshire married Elizabeth Howard
Thomas, Duke of Norfolk married Elizabeth Tylney
John, Duke of Norfolk married Katharine Molyns
Syr Robert Howard married Margaret Mowbray
Thomas, Duke of Norfolk married Elizabeth Fitzalan
John, Lord Mowbray married Elizabeth Segrave
John, Lord Segrave married Margaret of Brotherton
Thomas, Earl of Norfolk married Alice Halys
King Edward ye first [of England] married 2nd Margaret of France
Royal emblem of Anne Boleyn as queen, the falcon.
Royal emblem of Anne Boleyn as queen, the falcon.

jane_seymourQueen Jane Seymour 

(1536-1537)

Bound to Serve and Obey

Jane Seymour 3rd wife of King Henry ye Eighth, her pedigree from King Edward ye First and his 1st wife Eleanor of Castile

Pedigree window of Queen Jane Seymour
Pedigree window of Queen Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour was the daughter of

Syr John Seymour
Syr John Seymour married Margaret Wentworth
Syr Henry Wentworth married Anne Say
Syr Philip Wentworth married Mary Clifford
John, Lord Clifford married Elizabeth Percy
Henry, Lord Percy married Elizabeth Mortimer
Edmond, Earl of March married Philippa of Clarence
Lionel, Duke of Clarence married Elizabeth Burgh
King Edward ye Third [of England] married Philippa of Hainault
King Edward ye Second [of England] married Isabel of France
King Edward ye First [of England] married 1st Eleanor of Castile
Royal emblem of Queen Jane Seymour, the Phoenix.
Royal emblem of Queen Jane Seymour, the Phoenix.

p02h9h78Queen Anne of Cleve 

(1540)

God Send Me Well to Keep

Anne of Cleve, 4th wife of King Henry ye Eighth, her pedigree from King Edward ye First and his 1st wife Eleanor of Castile

Pedigree window of Queen Anne of Cleves
Pedigree window of Queen Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleve was the daughter of

 John, Duke of Cleve
John Duke of Cleve married Mary of Jüliers
John, Duke of Cleve married Maud of Hesse
John, Duke of Cleve married Elizabeth of Nevers
Adolphus of Cleves married Mary of Burgundy
John, Duke of Burgundy married Margaret of Bavaria
Philip, Duke of Burgundy married Margaret of Flanders
Lewis, Count of Flanders married Margaret of Brabant
John, Duke of Brabant married Margaret of France
John, Duke of Brabant married Margaret Plantagenet
King Edward ye first married 1st Eleanor of Castile
Anne of Cleves window emblem
Anne of Cleves Royal window emblem

otd-february-13-catherine-howard-jpgQueen Katharine Howard

(1540-1541)

No Other Will But His

Katharine Howard, 5th wife of King Henry ye Eighth, her pedigree from King Edward ye First and his 2nd wife Margaret of France

Pedigree window of Queen Katherine Howard
Pedigree window of Queen Katherine Howard

Katharine, daughter of

 Lord Edmond Howard

Lord Edmond Howard married Joyce Culpeper
Thomas, Duke of Norfolk married Elizabeth Tylney
John, Duke of Norfolk married Katharine Molyns
Syr Robert Howard married Margaret Mowbray
Thomas, Duke of Norfolk married Elizabeth Fitzalan
John, Lord Mowbray married Elizabeth Segrave
John, Lord Segrave married Margaret of Brotherton
Thomas, Earl of Norfolk married Alice Halys
King Edward ye first [of England] married 2nd Margaret of France
Katherine Howard window emblem
Katherine Howard’s Royal emblem was a Tudor Rose; there was no feature but this Fleur-de-Lis window emblem in her Pedigree

images-of-henry-viii-children-i19Queen Katherine Parr 

(1543-1547)

To be Useful in All That I Do

Katharine Parr, 6th wife of King Henry ye Eighth, her pedigree from King Edward ye First and his 1st wife Eleanor of Castile

Pedigree window of Queen Katherine Parr
Pedigree window of Queen Katherine Parr

Katharine daughter of

Syr Thomas Parr
Syr Thomas married Maud Green
Syr William Parr married Elizabeth FitzHugh
Henry, Lord FitzHugh married Alice Nevil
Richard, Earl of Salisbury married Alice Montacute
Ralph, Earl of Westmorland married Joanne Beaufort
John, Duke of Lancaster married Katharine de Roet
King Edward ye Third [of England] married Philippa of Hainault
King Edward ye Second [of England] married Isabel of France
King Edward ye First [of England] married 1st to Eleanor of Castile
Royal emblem of Queen Katherine Parr, maidenhead of the Lord Parrs of Kendal
Royal emblem of Queen Katherine Parr, maidenhead of the Lord Parrs of Kendal (taken from the de Ros Family)
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Ancestral Lineage: Boleyn vs. other English Queens?

Katherine Parr and Anne Boleyn, both were of equal birth -- Katherine's lineage, especially that of her father however, was better and more established at court than the Boleyn's. [David Starkey]
Katherine Parr and Anne Boleyn, both were of equal birth — Katherine’s lineage, especially that of her father however, was better and more established at court than the Boleyn’s. [David Starkey]
We have had this discussion before; who has the better lineage, who’s family was more “noble”, who was born “higher”, etc. Online, in the Wikipedia article for Anne Boleyn, it states that:

“According to Eric Ives, she was certainly of more noble birth than Jane Seymour, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s three other English wives.”[19]

When you look at the actual source listed on Wikipedia, [19], it states Eric Ives’s opinion that “She [Anne] was better born than Henry VIII’s three other English wives.”

Ives’s statement is preceded by who Anne Boleyn’s great-grandparents were, “[apart from Geoffrey Boleyn], a duke, an earl, and the granddaughter of an earl, the daughter of one baron, the daughter of another, and and an esquire [on the path to becoming a knight] and wife.” However, when Boleyn was born, her grandfather was not a Duke. He was only Earl of Surrey.  In fact, up until a few days ago, the wife of the eventual 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Princess Anne of York (daughter of Edward IV) was labeled incorrectly on Wikipedia as “Countess of Surrey.” See below, “Dukedom of Norfolk“.

I think what is in the Wikipedia article is rather misleading and a false statement. If they are going to quote Ives, they should use the actual quote. However, both historians Agnes Strickland and Dr. David Starkey have a different view on Katherine Parr’s lineage and “lower birth than Anne Boleyn.” Agnes Strickland quotes that Katherine Parr’s paternal ancestry was more distinguished than that of Thomas Boleyn and John Seymour. According to David Starkey, Katherine Parr’s lineage,

“unlike that of Henry’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, was better and more established at Court.”[4]

The Wiltshire Archeological and Natural History Magazine (Vol. 18, 1879), also states,

“She was of more distinguished ancestry than either Anne Boleyn or Jane Seymour.” (pg 85)

The “noble” birth I suppose refers to the fact that her mother was a “Lady” as a daughter of a Duke? That was her maternal lineage and Boleyn’s mother, at the time of her birth, was not the daughter of a Duke, but the daughter of an Earl. Anne Boleyn’s cousin Queen Katherine Howard, was the daughter of Lord Edmund Howard (as styled after 1514), a male line of the Dukes of Norfolk. In 1480, (Elizabeth Howard’s birth date that I have) the Howard family was not Duke of Norfolk; not even Earl of Surrey. After John Howard’s (great-grandfather of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard) elevation to Duke on 28 June 1483, his son, Thomas (later 2nd Duke and father to Elizabeth Howard), was created Earl of Surrey on the same date. However, the titles were forfeited and attained after the Battle of Bosworth field and the death of King Richard III (1485). The “2nd Duke” (grandfather to Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard) was restored as Earl of Surrey in 1489 (under Henry VII); and restored/created the (2nd) Duke of Norfolk in 1514 (under Henry VIII), and resigned the Earldom of Surrey to his son (also named Thomas, future 3rd Duke) on the same day; the future “3rd Duke” wouldn’t become Duke until the death of his father in 1524. Boleyn and Howard were married c.1500 while Elizabeth’s father was still Earl of Surrey. The Howard family had no idea if Surrey would be granted the Dukedom again (1489-1514 is a big gap and there were two different monarchs reigning, Henry VII and then Henry VIII in 1509). Therefore, when Anne was born — she was not the granddaughter of a Duke.

2nd to 4th Duke of Norfolk by European Heraldry.
2nd to 4th Duke of Norfolk by European Heraldry.

Duke of Norfolk

History lesson on the Howard’s — the Howard’s were not always the Dukes of Norfolk and in fact, the title was forfeited several times; in 1485, 1546, and 1572.[1] The title was inherited by Anne and Katherine’s ancestor Sir John Howard, the son of Thomas Mowbray’s [created Duke of Norfolk in 1397] elder daughter Lady Margaret Mowbray, Lady Howard (wife of Sir Robert Howard). Sir John Howard was created 1st Duke of Norfolk on 28 June 1483, in the title’s third creation. However, two years later, the title, along with the courtesy title of Earl of Surrey, was forfeit and attained upon his death at the Battle of Bosworth, 22 August 1485.[2]

When the title Duke of Norfolk was created for Thomas Mowbray on 1397, it was most likely bestowed upon him due to his mother, Elizabeth Segrave (1338-1399), eldest surviving daughter of Princess Margaret of England, suo jure 2nd Countess of Norfolk.

Interesting fact, Katherine Parr’s great-great-grandfather, Sir Thomas Tunstall, would re-marry to Hon. Joan Mowbray (Parr’s 2nd cousin, 5x removed), sister of the 1st Mowbray Duke of Norfolk. Although they had no issue the Tunstalls’ and the children of Joan by her first husband Sir Thomas Grey grew up together.

The title would descend from Mowbray’s eldest son, John Mowbray, the 2nd Duke of Norfolk [not an ancestor to the Howard Dukes of Norfolk]. The title would hold in the Mowbray family until the death of Mowbray’s great-great-granddaughter, Lady Anne Mowbray, 8th Countess of Norfolk (d.1481); who died without issue. Upon her death, her heirs normally would have been her cousins William, Viscount Berkeley (descendant of the 2nd Duke’s sister, Lady Isabel Mowbray) and John, Lord Howard (descendant of the 2nd Duke’s other sister, Lady Margaret Mowbray), but by an act of Parliament in January 1483 the rights were given to her husband Richard of Shrewsbury [Prince in The Tower], with reversion to his descendants, and, failing that, to the descendants of his father Edward IV.[8] This action may be a motivation for Lord Howard’s support of the accession of Richard III. He was created Duke of Norfolk and given his half of the Mowbray estates after Richard’s coronation on 28 June 1483.

After John Howard’s elevation to Duke, his son, Thomas, was created Earl of Surrey on 28 June 1483.[3] The titles were forfeited and attained after the Battle of Bosworth field. The “2nd Duke” (grandfather to Queen Anne Boleyn and Queen Katherine Howard) was restored as Earl of Surrey in 1489; and restored as the 2nd Duke of Norfolk in 1514, and resigned the Earldom to his son (also named Thomas) on the same day. Howard (later 3rd Duke of Norfolk) had been previously married to Anne of York, daughter of King Edward IV. As a sign of closeness between King Richard III and the Howard family, Anne was betrothed to Thomas Howard in 1484.[10] At the time of their marriage in 1494/95, Howard had no titles and wasn’t even knighted (knt. 1497) which was very unusual for a marriage to a Princess. As Princess of England, Anne had been previously contracted to marry Philip “the handsome”, future Duke of Burgundy (later Philip I of Castile as husband to Juana I of Castile, sister of Katherine of Aragon). On the death of her father in 1483, the marriage however, never took place. Therefore, Anne who died in 1511, was never Countess, but technically Anne of York, Lady Howard (Lady Anne Howard).[11]

As stated above, the former Earl of Surrey (later 2nd Duke) wasn’t created Duke of Norfolk until 1 Febraury 1513/14, 4/5 years after the death of Henry VII.[3] The title would again be forfeited after the arrest of the 3rd Howard Duke of Norfolk and his son Henry, Earl of Surrey during Queen Katherine Parr’s reign, 1546.[3] At this point in time, the Parr’s and Seymour’s thrived while the Howard’s fell from favor. The title was restored to Henry Surrey’s son who became the 4th Duke in 1554 under the Catholic Queen Mary [his father predeceased him] who’s title was also forfeited upon his execution on 2 June 1572. The most interesting thing here being that Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey had been brought up in the house of Henry Fitzroy, natural son of Henry VIII with Katherine’s brother, William Parr. The two were obviously more than acquainted and most likely good friend’s. There must have been some mixed feelings with the execution of Surrey.

“although she be a simple maid, having but a knight to her father, yet she is descended of right noble blood and parentage. As for her mother, she is nigh of the Norfolk’s blood, and as for her father, he is descended of the Earl of Ormonde, being one of the Earl’s heirs general.” (A letter from Lord Percy declaring Anne’s family was on the “same” level as his; from Ecclesiastical biography, ed. Christopher Wordsworth, p. 590. [5])

Butler of Ormonde
Butler, Earl of Ormonde. The 1st and 4th quarters were used “illegally” in the arms of Anne Boleyn as Marquess of Pembroke and Queen of England. European Heraldry

One can only conclude that Lord Percy was so in love with Anne that he would have done anything to help her succeed. Wordsworth online at Open Library also tells the story put forth about Anne and how she was styled Anne Rochford on her papers for Marquess of Pembroke. It seems that Anne Boleyn was doing everything against the rules of the society she lived in. Anne couldn’t use ‘Rochford’ as a surname – her mother should have used this title, as Jane Parker did when George Boleyn became ‘Viscount of Rochford’.

Anne’s paternal GRANDMOTHER, Lady Margaret Butler, was not an heiress to the Earldom of Ormonde being a female; therefore Thomas Boleyn [NOT Butler] was not “the Earl’s heirs general.” Earldom’s DID NOT pass through women; a woman could be created a Countess, but that title would have been created solely for that woman and her male heirs, like the “Marquess of Pembroke.” Perhaps if Lady Margaret had been the only child of the 7th Earl, the title would have passed to her and through her, but she was not the only child and according to law her male Butler relatives [cousins] would have inherited that title BEFORE her as Piers Butler did. After the death of the 7th Earl in 1515, Piers assumed the title as it was only heirs MALE that could inherit the title, not women (unless under special circumstances by orders of Parliament)!

Tomb of Sir Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormonde and Lady Margaret Fitzgerald. Saint Canices Cemetery, Kilkenny County, Kilkenny, Ireland.
Tomb of Sir Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormonde and Lady Margaret Fitzgerald, parents to the 9th Earl. Saint Canices Cemetery, Kilkenny County, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Concerning Thomas Boleyn’s claim to the Earldom of Ormonde:

In 1529, Piers Butler was forced to give up the title of 8th Earl of Ormond, which he assumed in 1515 and the title was granted to Sir Thomas Boleyn. In place of the Earldom of Ormonde, Piers received the title of Earl of Ossory instead; the subsidiary title held by the Earls of Ormond.
Why would the King force Piers to give his title up? At that time, Henry VIII was already romantically involved with Anne Boleyn and the answer is clear – Thomas received Earldom of Ormond due to Anne’s relationship with Henry VIII. That Boleyn owned the title of Earl of Ormond to his daughter’s influence, is proved by him losing the title after Anne’s execution – in May 1536 the Irish Parliament passed the act that reverted Butler lands and the title of Earl of Ormond to the Crown. Henry VIII finally granted the Earldom of Ormond to Piers Butler in October 1537 (Starkey states early February 1538 [9]), before Boleyn’s death. The Earldom of Ormond was bestowed upon Thomas Boleyn without lawful claim in 1529 according to common law.

What about the Earldom of Wiltshire that Thomas received the same year?

The title of 1st Earl of Wiltshire was held by Henry Stafford, a brother of the 3rd Duke of Buckingham, executed in 1521, and an uncle of Elizabeth Stafford who married Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk in 1513. Henry Stafford died without a male issue in 1523 and the title of Earl of Wiltshire expired with his death. The title was vacant until 1529 when Thomas Boleyn received both titles – the Earl of Ormond and Wiltshire. Why would Henry VIII bestow the title of Earl of Wiltshire upon Thomas Boleyn?
In the past, the title of Earl of Wiltshire was held by James Butler, 5th Earl of Ormond. Thomas Boleyn’s claim to the Earldom of Wiltshire was the result of his claim to the Earldom of Ormond due to his affinity with the Butler family from his mother’s side. This raises a question – if the title of the Earl of Wiltshire was vacant from 1523, why did Thomas Boleyn receive it as late as in 1529? It is reasonable to assume that Anne Boleyn influenced the King to elevate her father to such honour.
(p.62,63 [6])

Sir James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormonde, son and heir of Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormonde [the rightful heir to the Earldom]

Sir James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormonde, son and heir of Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormonde [the rightful heir to the Earldom]. The identification comes after a study by David Starkey.[9]

There were very few women who inherited Earldoms in their own right; such as the only daughter and child of the 4th Earl of Salisbury, Lady Alice Montacute, suo jure 5th Countess of Salisbury (great-great-grandmother to Queen Katherine Parr). So Anne descended from the 7 Earls of Ormonde, but they go back to Edward I at the highest. Even Katherine Parr descends from the 1st Earl of Ormonde via his daughter Lady Petronilla Butler, Lady Talbot [and that’s from Maud Green’s ancestry]. The title Earl of Ormonde was actually forfeited in 1513 [the 7th Earl] and Earl of Wiltshire in 1460.[1] The wife of the 7th Earl, Anne Hankford, was the granddaughter of Sir John, 3rd Earl of Salisbury who descended from Edward I, but Katherine Parr descended from the 5th Countess of Salisbury, Lady Alice Montacute and her husband Sir Richard Neville, who by right of his wife became the 5th Earl of Salisbury.

Anne Bullen, daughter of Thomas, Earl of Wiltshire [Stained Glass from Hampton Court]
Anne Bullen, daughter of Thomas, Earl of Wiltshire [Stained Glass from Hampton Court]
I’m also finding that she WAS known as Bullen, but at some point, the name was changed to Boleyn. The Parr family did that I think — but just dropped the “E”; their surname has been written as such; Parre. Bullen and Boleyn are completely different.

Queen Jane Seymour, wife no. 3.
Queen Jane Seymour, wife no. 3.

Jane Seymour descended from Edward III, but her paternal lineage is lacking in “royal” or “nobles”. Like the Boleyns, the Seymour family couldn’t trace their paternal lineage much further than a few generations; John Seymour was the first Seymour to pop up (b. 1400). The paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Darrell’s lineage (through her mother), had some interesting connections back to several illegitimate children; one from King John and a few from Henry I of England. It’s the maternal lineage that gave Jane her “royal” connection to Edward III by the wife of Sir Philip Wentworth (maternal great-grandmother of Queen Jane). Hon. Mary Clifford gave Queen Jane descent from the 1st Baron Neville of Raby Castle, William Montacute 1st Earl of Salisbury, Lady Elizabeth suo jure 4th Countess of Ulster (wife of Lionel of Antwerp and mother to Philippa of Clarence). The Countess of Ulster descended from Joan of Acre (daughter of Edward I) and Lady Maud of Lancaster, daughter of Henry 3rd Earl of Lancaster (nephew of Edward I of England). Lancaster’s other daughter, Lady Mary of Lancaster was an ancestor to Clifford. Clifford also descended from several illegitimate children by John I and Henry I of England.

Queen Katherine Howard, wife no. 5.
Queen Katherine Howard, wife no. 5.

As for Katherine Howard, she had the same ancestry as Anne Boleyn through her father Lord Edmund Howard. Her paternal lineage was “more noble” and of “better birth”. Looking at Howard’s mother (Jocasa Culpepper) however, she was of common stock. But Lady Howard did happen to descend from King Edward I by her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth of Groby Ferrers. By her, Lady Howard was a descendant of Princess Joan of Acre (second surviving daughter of Edward I by his first wife) and her first husband Sir Robert de Clare, 7th Earl of Gloucester. Elizabeth of Groby Ferrer’s mother, Philippa Clifford was a descendant of Hon. Maud Fiennes, wife to Lord Mortimer of Wigmore — she had the amazing pedigree that went back to Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine’s daughter, Queen Eleanor of Castile. Philippa Clifford also descended from several illegitimate children of the early “Plantagenet” kings; twice by John I and several of Henry I of England. She even descended from David I of Scotland a few times. By this lineage Lady Howard also descended from Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March and Joan Geneville.

Queen Katherine Parr, wife no. 6.
Queen Katherine Parr, wife no. 6.

So who were Katherine Parr’s great-grandparents? Some of the most important figures in history! A baron or Lord who was Sheriff of Northamptonshire among other high offices, an heiress of a prominent knight, a Baron, a daughter of an Earl (uncle to the Kings of England) and suo jure Countess (both of royal blood), a Lord/Baron, a daughter of a knight, a prominent knight (among other positions), and a daughter of an aunt to the royal family.

Sir Thomas Parr, Lord Parr of Kendal’s mother was the niece of Sir Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, also known as “Warwick, the Kingmaker,” one of ”the” most important figures in the War of the Roses. Parr was also a great-grandniece, however many times removed of King Richard II as they shared the same mother/grandmother, Princess Joan of Kent, suo jure Countess of Kent, Baroness Wake of Liddell, and Princess of Wales. Katherine was just about related to every noble and royal at court who came before or during her time; Edward IV and Richard III were first cousins, thrice removed of Katherine Parr. Their wives, Anne Neville and Elizabeth Woodville, were also a first cousins, twice removed. In fact, husband two, Lord Latimer, and three, King Henry, were within the “forbidden” fourth degree of consanguinity as 3rd cousins.

Katherine Parr’s family has a pretty “noble” back round and her family was actually high up in the court scene [at this time, my recorded research of Parr’s at court traces back to Sir William Parr (c.1356-1405), a close confidant of Henry IV of England]. We just don’t see this because Parr is always seen as this “nobody who came from nowhere” when in actuality she was the daughter of a substantial knight [just like Thomas Boleyn would become].[4] Starkey even quotes, “like the family of King Henry’s second wife, the Boleyns, the Parr family had gone up in the world as a result of royal favor and successful marriages.”[4]

The “lowly” marriage of Mary Boleyn to Sir William Stafford — unlike “The Tudors” insistence that he was a “nothing” — Stafford was actually the grandson of Sir John Fogge and Alice Haute (cousin to Queen Elizabeth Woodville). This connection made Stafford a cousin to Parr’s mother, Maud Green (her aunt was Stafford’s mother, Margaret).

The notion that Anne Boleyn and Katherine Parr were not on equal ground at birth is ridiculous. Katherine was of even “higher birth” than Anne. In fact, Sir Thomas Boleyn and Sir Thomas Parr [Lord Parr of Kendal according to Bernard Burke and other sources] shared the same circle around Henry VIII and were knighted at the same time [1509]. If not for his early death in 1517, he would have been given the title settled upon his brother or that of which he was heir or co-heir to, i.e. Lord FitzHugh of Ravensworth, which to this day, FitzHugh and the others, are still in abeyance between his daughter’s descendants [the Earls of Pembroke] and that of his aunt, Alice, Lady Fiennes. We all know that those in favor, especially relatives of the King’s wives were favored, and if not for Henry’s want and need to marry Anne, her father and brother would not have been elevated so high; and she would not have been created Marquess/Marchioness of Pembroke. We clearly see this with the Parr family as well. Parr’s brother (created Baron Parr of Kendal and Earl of Essex), uncle (1st Baron Parr of Horton), brother-in-law (Lord Herbert), and other family members were also elevated when Henry married Katherine.

Fact: Katherine Parr descends from Edward I of England more than any other wife, including Anne Boleyn. It would be nice if the quote was changed and perhaps the sentences from Agnes Strickland and David Starkey could be put in. It is not entirely fair to Katherine Parr and it would be nice if for once we took a look at her family’s history which if you look at it — it’s full of nobility and royalty.

More info: Ancestral Lineage of Queen Katherine Parr

DISCLAIMER:

This is not a blatant attempt to attack or trash any queen. This has been an on going issue on Wikipedia to which people refuse to look at — therefore a blog is being written. This genealogy blog was done due to editors on Wikipedia who keep inserting that “Anne was of more noble blood than the other English wives.” The blog is simply to show that both women were born on equal grounds, BOTH daughters of courtiers who were knighted at the SAME time in 1509. Katherine’s father, however, died in 1517 — preventing any further advancement which Thomas Boleyn enjoyed later on. The lineage of the Parrs’, however, simply shows that Katherine’s ancestral lineage was better and more established at court. I chose to compare these two because it is obvious with Jane Seymour that her pedigree, even though it includes Edward III, is pretty far removed from the nobility and royalty at court when she became queen. As for Katherine Howard, one could argue that she was just as noble or more than Anne and Katherine as her father was the son of the Duke of Norfolk and thus styled “Lord”. The Howard’s were somewhat “removed” by the time Katherine Howard became queen though, but had been previously close to the crown. Howard’s female side, the Culpepers’, was however much like Jane Seymour’s lineage. The boost of lineage for the Boleyns’ is probably due to the fact that Anne caused much controversy on the way to becoming queen. Parr is often overshadowed due to not having any surviving children among other factors. Anne of course, was the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, who is known today as “Gloriana”.

References:

  1. John Debrett. “Debrett’s Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland,” [Another], Volume 2. 1825.
  2. Paul Murray Kendall. “Richard The Third,” pp. 193-6, 365.
  3. Douglas Richardson. “Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families,” 2nd edition, 2011. pg 273-78.
  4. David Starkey. “Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII,” Chapter: Catherine Parr, HarperCollins, May 4, 2004.
  5. Christopher Wordsworth. “Ecclesiastical biography or, Lives of eminent men, connected with the history of religion in England: from the commencement of the Reformation to the Revolution,” 3d edition, London: J.G. & F. Rivington, 1839.
  6. Sylwia S. Zupanec. “The daring truth about Anne Boleyn: cutting through the myth,” 8 November 2012.
  7. Crofts Peerage, Ormonde, Earl of (I, 1328-dormant 1997)
  8. Charles Ross. “Edward IV,” (second ed.) New Haven: Yale University Press. 1997.
  9. David Starkey. “Holbein’s Irish Sitter?,” The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 123, No. 938 (May, 1981), pp. 300-301+303.
  10. Sidney Lee. Dictionary of national biography, Volume XXVIII: From HOWARD to INGLETHORP, Macmillan, Smith, Elder & Co. in New York, London, 1891. pg 64-67.
  11. Sidney Lee. Dictionary of national biography, Volume XXVIII: From HOWARD to INGLETHORP, Macmillan, Smith, Elder & Co. in New York, London, 1891. pg 1.

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.