2 DECEMBER 1571: THE BURIAL of Sir William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton

The Collegiate Church of St Mary in the town of Warwick, England. It is a Parish Church of the Church of England. (Wikipedia)

On 2 December 1571 Sir William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton was laid to rest in St. Mary’s Collegiate Church, Warwick, England.

The only commemoration of Northampton even being buried in St. Mary's is marked by only a stone tablet.

The only commemoration of Northampton even being buried in St. Mary’s is marked by a stone tablet.

The inscription on the stone tablet reads:

‘Died in Warwick 28 October 1571. [Unknown] with the ceremonial due [of a] Knight of the Garter to the Order of Queen Elizabeth who bore the expense of the funeral, 2 December 1571.

Lord Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and favorite of Elizabeth I was also buried in St. Mary's in September of 1588.

Lord Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and favorite of Elizabeth I was also buried in St. Mary’s in September of 1588.

Coincidentally, William was buried in the same church as Elizabeth’s favorite, Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. As he had requested, Leicester was buried in the Beauchamp Chapel—in the same chapel as Richard Beauchamp, his ancestor, and the “noble Impe”, his little son.

Collegiate Church of St Mary in Warwick, Beauchamp Chapel, tomb of Lord Robert and Lettice Dudley (born Knolly). (Wiki Commons)

His widow, Countess Lettice, was also buried there when she died in 1634, alongside the “best and dearest of husbands”, as the epitaph, which she commissioned says.

Wenceslaus Hollar, ‘Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick (tomb)‘, University of Toronto Wenceslas Hollar Digital Collection. Wikimedia Commons.

The Beauchamp family vault is also in St. Mary’s. The tomb of the 13th Earl of Warwick features several of Northampton’s ancestors and cousins such as the Neville family. Northampton’s paternal great-grandmother, Lady Alice FitzHugh (born Neville), was sister to Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (“Warwick, the Kingmaker”) who is featured on the Beauchamp Monument. Also featured is the parents of Lady FitzHugh and Lord Warwick, The Earl and Countess of Salisbury, Richard and Lady Alice Montacute.

Tomb of Richard Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick which is surrounded by mourners of his family and in-laws. (Moriarty Blog)

Lord Robert, Earl of Leicester descended from the 13th Earl via his paternal great-great-grandfather John Talbot, 1st Viscount of Lisle who was the son of Lady Margaret Beauchamp, Countess of Shrewsbury; eldest daughter of the 13th Earl of Warwick and his first wife, Elizabeth Berkeley.

© Meg McGath; author. All Rights Reserved.

Portraits: The Wives of the Marquess of Northampton

When in doubt–don’t post a portrait of an unknown noble in the place for someone who has no known portrait. I have noticed that certain blogs have taken unknown portraits of Tudor women and used them as an example for their blog. What’s wrong with this? Well thanks to PinInterest and other sites, people come by web pages and snatch the portraits without properly identifying them. I should know, it’s happened to me several times. And due to this..there is a circulation of one portrait for a certain relation of Queen Katherine Parr who in fact has no known portrait. What’s worse is the woman in the painting is pregnant when we know there were no children by her husband, but rather by her lover.

Unknown Woman by Gower, 1578 is NOT Anne Bourchier.

Unknown Woman by Gower, 1578 is NOT Anne Bourchier.

So let’s get this straight. Wives 1, “2”, and 3. Sir William Parr, Baron Parr of Kendal, Earl of Essex, and eventually 1st Marquess of Northampton had three wives. Only two are known to have legit portraits. That’s William’s common law wife, Elisabeth Brooke, whom he wasn’t technically allowed to marry due to the fact that he could not get a divorce from his first wife, Lady Anne Bourchier who had left him for her lover. William could only file for an Act of Parliament to keep any illegitimate offspring of Anne and her lover from inheriting from him. This, he was granted during Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Elizabeth I’s reign. In the reign of Mary I, however, Parr had to endure his wife after being thrown in the Tower for trying to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne. People think that Lady Anne saved Parr’s life — honestly, she was only after money and property. Queen Mary finally relented however and let him go free but without his titles, etc.

Back to the portraiture — Elisabeth Brooke and his third wife, Helena were painted.

Elisabeth Brooke, Lady Northampton from the family portrait of the Brooke family.

Elisabeth Brooke, Lady Northampton from the family portrait of the Brooke family.

Elisabeth Brooke’s portrait is from a larger portrait of her family. There is also a coin issued for her.

The Brooke Family of Elisabeth Brooke.

The Brooke Family of Elisabeth Brooke.

The portrait of Helena — there are thought to possibly be two.

Snakenborg,Helena(MNorthampton)

Thought to be Helena, Marchioness of Northampton

Helena, Marchioness of Northampton c.1603

Helena, Marchioness of Northampton c.1603