It took me until the season finale to get to writing about the relations in the series. I won’t deny, I was thinking of not even watching. After The White Queen, I was repulsed. Ok, so there are NO other shows that feature this time period–with such depth. Surprisingly, I fell in love with this series. Why? Actors were better and the clothing of Queen Elizabeth was gorgeous! Big thank you to the costume designers and hair dressers! BRAVO!
So, why am I doing an article on Katherine Parr in relation to those historical figures featured in The White Princess? Because the Parr family was there at court. They were ALWAYS there. Why are they not featured? I honestly have no idea. It’s a pity that these shows don’t weave in connections to the future Queens of England. We know that the Boleyn, Seymour, and Howards were present. The Howards are the easiest to track. The Boleyn family starts to come around with the Howards eventually. And the Seymours? They are also around, somewhere.
The Parr family, however, were courtiers to the Crown since the 1300s.
In the reign of Henry Tudor, the Parrs’ were quite close to the crown on both the side of Henry AND Elizabeth. Sir William Parr had died shortly after the coronation of King Richard III and Queen Anne. His widow, Lady Elizabeth (born FitzHugh), had been a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne as Duchess and Queen. She was part of the coronation and witnessed her niece and cousin being crowned. After the death of her first husband, Lord Parr, Elizabeth would marry again to a very close ally of the Lancastrians/King Henry. His name was Sir Nicholas Vaux. He was the son of Lancastrian sympathizers. His mother was a lady to Queen Margaret of Anjou and was with her in exile. Lady Margaret Beaufort was close to Parr’s step-father, Sir Nicholas Vaux, who had been educated in her household. Parr is also believed to have spent some time in her household and may have been educated there as well. That wouldn’t be completely absurd seeing how close Margaret was to the Vaux family.
Katherine’s father, Sir Thomas Parr, was a close friend of King Henry VIII. Sir Thomas was present at court and was in the circle of Henry VIII which included Sir Thomas Boleyn. Both were knighted in 1509 at Henry’s coronation; Parr was also made a Knight of the Garter and appointed Sheriff of Northamptonshire on that occasion. Parr became Master of the Wards and Comptroller of the household of Henry VIII. Parr’s brother, William [later Baron Parr of Horton], was also a part of the King’s circle. They kept company with the Staffords and their cousins, the Nevilles. They were also friend’s with the Carews and Sir Thomas Boleyn, father of Queen Anne Boleyn. In 1515, Parr was entrusted with escorting Queen Margaret of Scotland [the king’s elder sister] from Newcastle back to London.
As for Elizabeth of York’s connection to Katherine Parr, we have it on both sides. One comes from her father’s royal blood and the other comes from a Woodville connection that connects her mother to one of Elizabeth Woodville’s relatives. Lady Parr’s grandmother, Lady Alice Fogge (Haute) was a lady to Queen Elizabeth Woodville. When Elizabeth became queen to Edward IV, she brought her favorite female relatives to court to serve her. Lady Fogge, was one of five ladies-in-waiting to her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, in the 1460s.
The night before the coronation, like monarchs before her, Duchess Anne of Gloucester (born Lady Anne Neville) stayed in The Tower of London. For the procession from the Tower to Westminster on the eve of the ceremony, she wore a kirtle and mantle made from 27 yards of white cloth-of-gold furred with ermine and miniver, and trimmed with lace and tassels of white silk and gold (Laynesmith, p. 92).
On 6 July 1483, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were crowned King and Queen of England. Richard and Anne shared a joint coronation. Not since the days of Edward II and Isabel of France had England seen such a magnificent event. The coronation day began at 7 am with a procession on foot from Westminster Hall to the Abbey. For that day, Anne dressed in a robe, curtle, “surcote overt”, and mantle, all of rich purple velvet, furred with ermine, and adorned with rings and tassels of gold; and another suit of crimson velvet, “furred with pure minever”. Her whole purple velvet suit had a fifty-six yard train. (Lawrance)
Both King and Queen had their own separate attendants and train. Lady FitzHugh (born Lady Alice Neville) and her daughter Lady Parr (born Elizabeth FitzHugh) were two of the seven noble ladies to ride behind the queen. Lady FitzHugh was an aunt to Queen Anne and a cousin to King Richard. These two ladies were of course great-grandmother and grandmother to another queen consort, Katherine Parr. Both were dressed in fine dresses made by cloth that the King himself had given them. Lady Parr received seven yards of gold and silk; her mother received material for two gowns, one of blue velvet and crimson satin as well as one of crimson and velvet with white damask. As befitting of a Baroness, eight yards of scarlet cloth was given for mantles on the occasion. Lord Parr (Sir William Parr) chose not to attend the coronation despite being given a position as canopy bearer. Lord Parr had been a staunch supporter of King Edward IV through whom he rose.
In an attempt to conciliate with the Lancastrians, the trains of both the King and Queen were carried by the two lineal representatives of the house, the Duke of Buckingham and the Countess of Richmond [Lady Margaret Beaufort]. (Lawrance)
An account from “The National and Domestic History of England“:
After the procession of the king followed that of his queen Anne [Neville]. The earl of Huntingdon bore her sceptre, the viscount Lisle the rod and dove, and the earl of Wiltshire her crown. Then came the queen herself habited in robes of purple velvet furred with ermine having on her head a circlet of gold with many precious stones set therein. Over her head was borne a cloth of estate. On one side of her walked the bishop of Exeter on the other the bishop of Norwich. A princess of the blood, the celebrated Margaret, countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII supported her train. After the queen walked the king’s sister Elizabeth, duchess of Suffolk, having on her head a circlet of gold and after her followed a train of highborn ladies succeeded by a number of knights and esquires. Entering the abbey at the great west door the king and queen took their seats of state staying till divers holy hymns were sung when they ascended to the high altar where the ceremony of anointing took place. Then the king and queen put off their robes and there stood all naked from the middle upwards and anon the bishop anointed both the king and the queen. This ceremony having been performed, they exchanged their mantles of purple velvet for robes of cloth of gold and were solemnly crowned by the archbishop of Canterbury assisted by the other bishops. The archbishop subsequently performed high mass and administered the holy communion to the king and queen after which they offered at St Edward’s shrine where the king laid down King Edward’s crown and put on another and so returned to Westminster Hall in the same state they came.
The banquet, which took place at four o clock in the great hall, is described as having been magnificent in the extreme. The king and queen were served on dishes of gold and silver. Lord Audley performed the office of state carver. Thomas Lord Scrope that of cupbearer. Lord Lovel, during the entertainment, stood before the king, “two esquires lying under the board at the king’s feet.” On each side of the queen stood a countess with a plaisance or napkin for her use. Over the head of each was held a canopy supported by peers and peeresses. The guests consisted of the cardinal archbishop the lord chancellor, the prelates, the judges, and nobles of the land, and the Lord Mayor, and principal citizens of London. The ladies sat by themselves on both sides of a long table in the middle of the hall. As soon as the second course was put on the table, the king’s champion Sir Robert Dymoke rode into the hall; his horse being trapped with white silk and red and himself in white harness the heralds of arms standing upon a stage among all the company. Then the king’s champion rode up before the king asking all the people if there was any man would say against King Richard III why he should not claim the crown. And when he had said so all the hall cried King Richard with one voice. And when this was done anon, one of the lords brought unto the champion a covered cup full of red wine and so he took the cup aud uncovered it and drank thereof. And when he had done anon he cast out the wine and covered the cup again and making his obeisance to the king turned his horse about and rode through the hall with his cup in his right hand and that he had for his labour. Then Garter king at arms supported by eighteen other heralds advanced before the king and solemnly proclaimed his style and titles. No single untoward accident marred the harmony or splendour of the day. When at length began to close the hall was illuminated by great light of wax torches and cressets apparently the signal for the king and queen to retire. Accordingly wafers and hipocras been previously served Richard and his rose up and departed to their private apartments in the palace. (Aubrey)
William Hickman S. Aubrey. “The National and Domestic History of England,” 1878. pg 193-4.
Hannah Lawrance. “Historical Memoirs of the Queens of England from the Commencement of the Twelfth Century,” Volume 2, Moxon, 1840.
“Daughter of Lord Warwick “The Kingmaker” (James Frain). Anne is a timid girl who becomes a pawn in her unruly father’s struggle for power. As little girls, Anne and her sister Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) pretend to be Queen and dream of the royal life along with the finery it will bring. But as Anne grows older, she begins to understand the reality and danger associated with actually wearing the crown. Those who possess it must always watch their back for those trying to take it. And those who want their hands on it will lie, cheat and kill to make it happen. Anne is not sure if constantly living in fear is the life she wants to lead.” — STARZ
The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the gripping story of the daughters of the man known as the “Kingmaker,” Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick: the most powerful magnate in fifteenth-century England. Without a son and heir, he uses his daughters Anne and Isabel as pawns in his political games, and they grow up to be influential players in their own right. In this novel, her first sister story since The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory explores the lives of two fascinating young women.
At the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne grows from a delightful child to become ever more fearful and desperate when her father makes war on his former friends. Married at age fourteen, she is soon left widowed and fatherless, her mother in sanctuary and her sister married to the enemy.
Anne manages her own escape by marrying Richard, Duke of Gloucester, but her choice will set her on a collision course with the overwhelming power of the royal family and will cost the lives of those she loves most in the world, including her precious only son, Prince Edward. Ultimately, the kingmaker’s daughter will achieve her father’s greatest ambition. (Gregory)
“The master manipulator who helps King Edward IV attain the throne. As a close confidant of Edward, Lord Warwick uses his powers of persuasion and deception against all the right people to elevate his young protégé to his position atop all of England. When Elizabeth and Edward marry, the power-hungry Warwick loses his grip on the monarchy, leaving his plan to have a say in all things political lying in ruins. Incensed at losing Edward’s ear, Warwick vows to have him replaced in a series of twisted plots designed to bring him back into a position of power. If his daughters meet and marry the right suitors, Warwick could soon find himself back in the political mix.” — STARZ
Lady Anne (later Queen) is portrayed by Faye Marsay and Lady Isabel (Duchess of Clarence) is portrayed by Eleanor Tomlinson.
Their mother, Lady Anne Beauchamp, 16th Countess of Warwick is portrayed by Juliet Aubrey.
Lady Anne’s titles were as followed:
Lady Anne of Warwick (1456-1470)
Princess of Wales (1470-1471) as wife to Prince Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales.
Dowager Princess of Wales (1471-1472) as widow of Prince Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales.
Duchess of Gloucester (1472-1483) as wife to Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
Queen consort of England (1483-1485) as wife to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who became King Richard III in 1483.
Both Anne and Isabel were nieces of Lady Alice FitzHugh (born Neville) (paternal great-grandmother of Queen Katherine Parr). Parr’s grandmother, Elizabeth FitzHugh, was cousin to Lady Anne and Lady Isabel and served as a lady to Queen Anne. The two families, FitzHugh and Neville (Lord Warwick), were close due to the proximity of the two families; they lived near each other and FitzHugh was close to both the Earl of Salisbury and his son, the Earl of Warwick. Queen Anne personally appointed Elizabeth and her mother Lady Alice much like Woodville did with Parr’s maternal great-grandmother Lady Fogge. Both women were part of the coronation of King Richard and Queen Anne and received gifts from the King. However, Elizabeth’s husband (Parr’s grandfather), refused his part in the coronation and returned north where he died shortly after. I often wonder what their family thought when Edward married Woodville even though Lord William Parr rose highly under Edward IV.
Today, 16 March, in 1485, the death of Lady Anne Neville at Westminster Palace at the age of 28. Anne was Queen consort to Richard III from 26 June 1483 until her death. Anne was a younger daughter of Sir Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and 6th Earl of Salisbury, known in history as ”the Kingmaker”, and Lady Anne Beauchamp, suo jure 16th Countess of Warwick.
Anne was betrothed to King Henry VI and Queen Margaret’s son, Prince Edward as a truce between the Lancastrians and Warwick and Clarence, when being exiled in Brittany.
Shortly after Warwick’s defeat at Barnet, on Easterday 1471 Queen Margaret and Prince Edward returned from France and were decisively defeated. Prince Edward was killed in the battle of Tewkesbury, and King Henry VI was executed soon after, making Anne widow at the age of just 15.
Luckily, Anne’s sister Isabel and her husband Clarence agreed to take in Anne and by 1474, Anne was married to Richard Duke of Gloucester. After the death of his brother, Edward, Richard became Lord Protector of the Realm for the young King Edward V. Edward V and his brother, Richard, the Duke of York, were taken to the Tower as was custom before a Kings coronation. Things unfortunately did not go as planned. The two boys were declared illegitimate under an Act of Parliament by the Lord Protector in 1483. With the Act now in place, the Lord Protector took the throne and crowned himself King Richard III of England. Lady Anne was crowned Queen of England with him in Westminster Abbey on 6 July in a joint coronation. Richard and Anne had one son; Edward, Prince of Wales. The young prince died on 9 April 1484.
Soon after Christmas of 1483, queen Anne became ill. By early 1485, Anne was spending less time at court functions. These absences lead to speculation that the queen was already dead. After the death of her son, Anne’s mental health, no doubt, suffered which could have contributed to the slow decline in health. There were also rumors that Richard was going to kill Anne with poison so that he could marry his niece, Elizabeth of York. This of course, has only been speculation and there are no contemporary sources to prove this. However, the symptoms of Tuberculosis were present in Anne’s last few months; fever, breathlessness, night sweats, coughing up blood, weakness, weight loss and anorexia. Another possibility was cancer. Physicians during this time did not understand illness. There was always some remedy invented that in some cases just made patients worse. The doctors, perhaps, may have tried to prescribe garlic and the poisons Mercury and arsenic. To any modern reader, we know today that Mercury and arsenic are toxic and can kill you. Never the less, Anne died on 16 March 1485. Some sources record that she passed away during an eclipse of the sun. The York dynasty used the brilliant sun as one of their motifs — in all its splendor. The eclipse was seen as prophecy for the future of Richard’s reign.
Few tributes to Queen Anne remain. Her reign was one of the shortest in English history, lasting only twenty-two months. According to Fabyan, she was a woman of ‘gracious fame, upon whose soul … Jesus have mercy’. Agostino Barbarigo, future Doge of Venice, wrote to Richard III, regretting the loss of his ‘beloved’ consort and exhorting him, ‘endowed with consummate equanimity and marvellous virtues, of your wisdom and grandeur of mind to bear the disaster calmly and resign yourself to the divine will’. According to the Italian, who had never met Anne, she lived a ‘religious and catholic life, and was so adorned with goodness, prudence, and excellent morality, as to leave a name immortal’. In the intervening centuries, though, it was Anne’s mortal name that was often overlooked. Her life has been overshadowed by the controversies of Richard’s reign and his death in battle. (Amy Licence p 203)
Anne had a magnificent funeral and was buried on the southern side of the Abbey near the altar. No stone or monument marked her grave, possibly because Richard was killed that year at Bosworth.
A brass plate and coat of arms, designed by J.S.Comper, was erected in 1960 on the wall of the south ambulatory with the inscription:
ANNE NEVILL 1456-1485 QUEEN OF ENGLAND YOUNGER DAUGHTER OF RICHARD EARL OF WARWICK CALLED THE KINGMAKER WIFE TO THE LAST PLANTAGENET KING RICHARD III. In person she was seemly, amiable and beauteous … And according to the interpretation of her name Anne full gracious. Requiescat in pace.
Vegetius, translation attributed to John Walton. De re militari (the Book of Vegecye of Dedes of Knyghthode), England, 1483/85. The British Library [Online]
Amy Licence. Anne Neville: Richard III’s Tragic Queen, Amberley Publishing, United Kingdom, 2013. pg 200-05.
Hon. Elizabeth FitzHugh Lady Parr of Kendal and Lady Vaux of Harrowden (1455/65 – 29 January 1508) was an English noblewoman and the co-heiress to her father, Hon. Sir Henry FitzHugh, 5th Baron FitzHugh of Ravensworth. Lady Parr is best known for being the grandmother of the sixth queen of Henry VIII, Katherine Parr and her siblings Lady Anne Herbert, Countess of Pembroke and William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton.
Elizabeth FitzHugh was born at her family’s ancestral home, Ravensworth Castle, in North Yorkshire, England. She was the daughter of Sir Henry FitzHugh, 5th Baron Fitzhugh of Ravensworth Castle. Her family was of the Northern gentry. Lady Parr’s mother was born Lady Alice Neville, daughter of Sir Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury and Lady Alice Montacute, suo jure 5th Countess of Salisbury, only daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Montague, 4th Earl of Salisbury and Lady Eleanor Holland. Her paternal grandparents were Sir William FitzHugh, 4th Baron Fitzhugh of Ravensworth and Marjory Willoughby, daughter of Sir William Willoughby, 5th Baron Willoughby de Eresby and his first wife, Lucy Le Strange. Through her mother Lady FitzHugh, Lady Parr descended from Edward III by his son Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Titular King of Castile. Lady FitzHugh was sister to Sir Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (“Warwick, the Kingmaker”). Her paternal aunts included Lady Cecily, Duchess of York making her a cousin to King Edward IV, Richard III, and his siblings. Elizabeth had nine siblings, including Alice FitzHugh, Lady Fiennes and Henry, 6th Baron FitzHugh who married Elizabeth Burgh, daughter of Sir Thomas Burgh, 1st Baron Burgh of Gainsborough. Their son George, the 7th Lord FitzHugh, inherited the barony but after his death in 1513, the barony fell in abeyance between Lady Parr and her older sister Alice, Lady Fiennes. This abeyance continues today between the two families.
The current co-heirs to the barony are:
Hon. Emily Douglas-Home, suo jure 29th Baroness Dacre (b. 1983)
Hon. Tessa Ogilvie Thompson née Brand (b. 1934)
Francis Brand, 7th Viscount Hampden (b. 1970)
William Herbert, 18th Earl of Pembroke (b. 1978), a descendant of Lady Anne [Parr], Countess of Pembroke
Elizabeth FitzHugh had an easy-going and pleasure-loving disposition. As Lady Parr, she joined the household of her cousin, the Duchess of Gloucester. The Duchess of Gloucester was born Lady Anne Neville, the youngest daughter of Sir Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (“Warwick, the Kingmaker”) and Lady Anne Beauchamp. Lady Parr was close to her cousin which showed in her positions under Anne as Duchess and Queen consort. Because of the family connections, Elizabeth’s mother, Lady FitzHugh pressured Lady Parr’s husband, Lord Parr, to follow the rule of the Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III) while he was serving as Lord Protector of the Realm. When the Duchess became queen in 1483, Lady Parr was appointed by the Queen herself and served as lady-in-waiting. Lady Parr and her mother were both present at the coronation on 6 July 1483. Both were dressed in fine dresses made by cloth that the King himself had given them. Elizabeth received seven yards of gold and silk; her mother received material for two gowns, one of blue velvet and crimson satin as well as one of crimson and velvet with white damask. It is not known which gown Elizabeth wore as she rode behind Queen Anne; but she was one of the seven noble ladies given this honour. Her husband who had been deeply devoted to Edward IV declined his role in the coronation and headed north where he died shortly after.
After her husband Sir William Parr died in 1483, Elizabeth, who was twenty three at the time, was left with four small children. As a widow, Elizabeth’s life revolved around the court. Elizabeth would be second in a four generation span of family that would serve England’s queens which started in 1483 with her mother, the redoubtable Alice Neville, Lady Fitzhugh. Her granddaughter, Anne Parr would continue the tradition by becoming lady-in-waiting to all six of Henry VIII’s wives. Even Anne’s sister, Catherine Parr, who would later become queen served in the household of the Lady Mary until she caught the eye of King Henry.
Elizabeth was lucky enough to remarry. After the overthrow of Richard III and The House of York, Elizabeth made a dubious second marriage with a protege of Lady Margaret Beaufort, Sir Nicholas Vaux, the future 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden, which saved the family fortunes.
Marriages and Issue
FitzHugh was married twice. She married firstly, at the age of 12, Sir William Parr (d.1483), a man twenty eight years her senior. William was a Knight of the Garter, among other high positions at court, who was held high in favour with King Edward IV; who by marriage to Elizabeth became a cousin. He fought as a Yorkist on the side of the Neville’s at Banbury. The couple did not produce their first child until Elizabeth was sixteen years of age. Lord and Lady Parr had three sons and two daughters:
Anne Parr, Lady Cheney (AFT 1475–4 November 1513), who married Sir Thomas Cheney of Irthlingborough. Their daughter Elizabeth, would go on to marry the son of Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden (Elizabeth FitzHugh’s second husband) by his second marriage to Anne Green; maternal aunt to Katherine Parr. When Elizabeth Cheney married Lord Vaux, she was age 18 and he was age 14. While there were no blood relations, Lord Vaux’s father had issue by his marriage to his first wife (see below); thus making Hon. Katherine, Hon. Alice, and Hon. Anne Vaux her maternal aunts. Through these relations, Elizabeth Cheney and her husband, the 2nd Lord Vaux, would have Throckmorton cousins in common.
Elizabeth was originally drawn by Holbein c.1536. For more on the original drawing and copies of paintings, see: The OTHER Elizabeth Cheney
Sir Thomas Parr, Lord of Kendal (AFT 1475–11 November 1517), who was the eldest son, was knighted and was sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1509; he was master of the wards and comptroller to Henry VIII. He was rich, owing to his succeeding, in 1512, to half the estates of his cousin, Lord FitzHugh, and also to his marriage with Maud Green, daughter and coheiress of Sir Thomas Green of Boughton and Greens Norton in Northamptonshire. He died on 12 November 1518, and was buried in Blackfriars Church, London. His widow died on 1 September 1532, and was buried beside him. Of their children, Katherine Parr, queen of Henry VIII, and William Parr (afterwards Marquess of Northampton), are separately noticed; while a daughter, Anne, married William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke of the tenth creation. The couple also had two other children who died as infants; a son was born before their eldest, Katherine, but was stillborn. The second infant who was conceived after their fourth child, Anne; but was either miscarried, dead at birth, or died shortly after, the same year their father died, 1517. The only descendants alive today are the descendants of their youngest surviving daughter, Anne. Her descendants include the current Earls of Pembroke, Earls of Montgomery, Earls of Carnarvon, and more.
Sir William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Horton (BEF 1483–10 September 1547), the second son, was knighted on 25 December 1513, was sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1518 and 1522, and after his niece’s Katherine Parr’s promotion became her chamberlain. On 23 December 1543 he was created Baron Parr of Horton, Northamptonshire. He died on 10 September 1547, and was buried at Horton (for his tomb, see Bridges, Northamptonshire, i. 370). By Mary, daughter of Sir William Salisbury, he left four daughters.
John Parr, Esq. (BEF 1483–8 September 1508), married Constance, daughter of Sir Henry Vere of Addington, Surrey. They had no issue.
Alice, died young (b. before 1483).
After the death of Sir William Parr in fall of 1483, Elizabeth re-married Sir Nicholas Vaux c.1484/5 (probably right before the fall of Richard III), who later became 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden as his first wife. Vaux was the protege of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, so the marriage came at a good time, saving the family fortunes. Vaux’s mother, Katherine Peniston, had been lady to Margaret of Anjou and as such, the Vauxs’ were sympathetic to the Lancastrian cause bringing the Parr family back in to favor. Lady Katherine Vaux (Peniston) would remain with Margaret of Anjou in exile and died in her service. After the accession of Henry VII, Vaux was raised by Lady Margaret Beaufort. Elizabeth’s son by her first marriage, Sir Thomas Parr (father of Katherine), is thought to have been educated under Beaufort’s tutelage (Susan James) which would explain the closeness he formed with her grandson, King Henry VIII. Vaux became close to his Parr step-children. After the death of Elizabeth, Vaux would re-marry to Anne Green, sister to Lady Maud Parr and thus sister-in-law to Sir Thomas Parr.
Hon. Katherine Vaux (abt 1490-1552/1571), married the Catholic Sir George Throckmorton of Coughton Court. Sir George was one of those opposed to the divorce of Henry VIII and Queen Katherine of Aragon. He also opposed the break from Rome. As the divorce of Queen Katherine and the marriage of Anne Boleyn was still pending, Sir George said that the king “had meddled with both the mother and sister.” The couple had 19 children and in his life time 112 grandchildren who were mostly ardent Catholics. For over 500 years now, their family has remained one of England’s oldest Catholic families.
Hon. Alice Vaux (d. 1543), married Sir Richard Sapcott/Sapcote c. 1501. No issue; some genealogies state she was the mother of one of Sapcott’s younger sons, but that has not been proven.
Hon. Anne Vaux, married Sir Thomas Le Strange (1493-1545) and had issue.
Peter Marshall, Geoffrey Scott (OSB.) “Catholic Gentry in English Society: The Throckmortons of Coughton from Reformation to Emancipation,” Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., Nov 17, 2009. (several errors, i.e. Katherine Parr’s relation to the Throckmorton’s and Lord Throckmorton died in 1552, pretty sure his wife didn’t die in the same year.)
Barbara J. Harris. “English Aristocratic Women, 1450-1550 : Marriage and Family, Property and Careers: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers,” Oxford University Press, Jul 26, 2002. pg 218.
Michael Hicks. “Anne Neville: Queen to Richard III,” Tempus, 2006. pg 189.
Linda Porter. “Katherine, the Queen,” Macmillan, 2010.
“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.” Historian Agnes Strickland quotes that Katherine’s paternal ancestry was more distinguished than that of Thomas Boleyn and John Seymour. Also, according to David Starkey, Katherine’s lineage, “unlike that of Henry’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, was better and more established at Court.”
Katherine’s 3x great-grandfather was Sir William Parr (d.1405); in 1383, Sir William de Parre married Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of Sir John de Ros and Elizabeth le Latimer, daughter of Sir Thomas le Latimer, 1st Baron Latimer of Braybrooke and Lora de Hastings. Elizabeth de Ros was the granddaughter and heiress of Sir Thomas de Ros, Baron of Kendal and had livery of her inheritance. On the accession of the Duke of Lancaster as Henry IV of England, Sir William stood so high in the estimation of the new monarch that he was deputed with the bishop of St. Asaph to announce the revolution to the court of Castile; the King claimed Castile by right of his father, even though his half-sister, Katherine [daughter of the Titular Queen Constanza of Castile], had taken her rightful position as Queen consort after the debate of her Regency. He died on 4 October 1405 being then seized of the fourth part of the manor of Kirby in Kendal. In right of the heiress of Ros and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir John of Kendal.
Katherine’s great-great-grandfather, Sir John Parr (b. circa 1383) married to Agnes de Crophull, the sole heiress to Sir Thomas de Crophull of Weobley Castle and Sybil de Bere. Agnes’s grandfather, Sir John of Bonnington was styled Seigneur of Weobley Castle as owner of Weobley Castle in Hertfordshire. The Castle had been gained through his marriage to Margery de Verdun. The Verdun’s descended from John I of England (Joan, Princess of Wales and Llewelyn Ap ‘The Great’, Prince of Wales) and his sister Princess Eleanor, Queen of Castile (Infanta Berengaria of Castile, Queen Consort of Leon and Alfonso IX, King of Leon). They also descended from King David I of Scotland. Agnes was married firstly to Sir Walter Devereux, Sheriff of Herefordshire by whom she had issue. In 1386, Devereux had livery of her lands through which Weobley Castle passed to his children by Agnes. Agnes’s cousin, Sir John de Crophull had Lordship of Ludlow Castle. Her descendants include Anne Devereux (wife of Sir William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke, 1408 creation) and Sir Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex who married to Lettice Knollys. She was also a great-grandmother to Blanche Milbourne, Lady Troy and thus a great-great-grandmother to Blanche Perry. Agnes’s third husband was Sir John Merbury, Chief Justice of South Wales. The couple had no children, however Merbery had issue from his first marriage, Elizabeth, who ended up marrying her step-brother’s son, Sir Walter Devereux. This connection to Agnes Crophull gave the Parr’s more than a few connections to the gentry and courtiers.
Katherine’s great-grandfather, Sir Thomas Parr (b.1407) was Sheriff of Westmorland and Escheator of Cumberland & Westmorland. He married Alice Tunstall, co-heiress of Sir Thomas Tunstall of Thurland Castle and Isabel Harrington. By this connection she was a cousin to Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall who served Henry VIII and all of his children. Under Elizabeth I, he was put under “house arrest” in Lambeth Palace where he died. Isabel Harrington’s sister, Elizabeth, married Sir John Stanley; they were grandparents to Sir Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby making him a first cousin, three times removed. Derby married Katherine’s great-aunt, Eleanor Neville, by whom he had issue. Upon his second marriage to Lady Margaret Beaufort, Derby became step-father to King Henry VII. Derby was a key figure in the Battle of Bosworth and crowned Henry upon the battlefield. Upon the death of Isabel, Lady Tunstall, Tunstall re-married to Hon. Joan Mowbray, daughter of Sir John de Mowbray, 4th Baron and Hon. Elizabeth Segrave, herself the daughter of Lady Margaret Plantagenet, daughter of Thomas of Brotherton. The marriage produced no children, but the Tunstall’s had step-siblings from Joan’s first marriage to Sir Thomas Grey which included John Grey, Earl of Tankerville.
Katherine’s grandfather, Sir William Parr, was part of King Edward IV’s court. William held the office of comptroller of the household from 1471 to 1475 and again in 1481 till Edward’s death in 1483. William was held in high favour and close friend to the King and was one of only two courtiers to become Knight of the Garter in the second reign of Edward IV. Elder generations of the Parr family had served in the household of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, ancestor of Queen Katherine. Sir William Parr could claim royal descent through many lines, a few including:
Blanche de Brienne and William Fieness, Baron of Tingry; Blanche was the granddaughter of Emperor Jean of Brienne, King of Jerusalem and Infanta Berenguela of León, Empress of Constantinople. By this lineage the Parr’s descended from Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile, daughter of Henry II of England and his consort Eleanor of Aquitaine. By this lineage the Parr’s also descended from the Jimenez Kings of Navarre; the infamous Garcia Ramirez, King of Navarre who “restored” the independence of the Navarrese crown after 58 years of union with the Kingdom of Aragon. The Jimenez dynasty had been ruling Pamplona, later Navarre, since 905 AD. Garcia Ramirez was the grandson of the illegitimate son of Garcia Sanchez III of Navarre. After the assassination of the King’s son, Sancho IV, Navarre was taken over by the Aragonese.
King John of England [through his illegitimate daughter Joan, Lady of Wales and her husband Llewelyn, Prince of Wales],
King David of Scotland, sister of Matilda, Queen of the English [thrice through his son Henry, Earl of Huntingdon], 
King William “the Lion” of Scotland [twice through his illegitimate daughter Isabella, Lady Ros],
Geoffrey Plantagenet, founder of the Plantagenet Kings of England through several lines.
King Henry I of England via several illegitimate children such as Robert de Caen, 1st Earl of Gloucester
Stephen Blois, Count of Aumule.
Several times by Henry I, King of France
Adela of England and Stephen of Blois
Adeliza of Louvain, Queen consort of the English
The Brus family from which came Robert de Brus, King of the Scots.
Katherine descended from every King of England who had issue up to King Edward III. Katherine Parr was also the only queen of King Henry VIII to descend from the Beaufort’s; the illegitimate, later legitimized issue of Prince John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and his third wife, Katherine Swynford Roet. King Henry’s first wife, Katherine of Aragon, also descended from John of Gaunt by his first two wives.
Sir William Parr’s wife, the Hon. Elizabeth FitzHugh, was the daughter of Henry, 5th Baron FitzHugh of Ravensworth Castle and Lady Alice Neville. FitzHugh, himself, descended from Henry I (several times), Henry II, and John I (twice); all from illegitimate children. His family was an old baronial family of England descending from Akarius Fitz Bardolph, Lord of Ravensworth (d.1161), the son of Bardolph an 11th century nobleman living in Richmondshire, the area encompassing the Ure, Tees and Swale valleys in northern England. The 5th Baron was the son of William, 4th Baron FitzHugh and Margery Willoughby; by his mother he was a nephew of Richard Willoughby, 6th Baron Willoughby of Eresby.
Lady Alice was sister to Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and 6th Earl of Salisbury [best known as “Warwick, the Kingmaker”] and other prominent noblemen and women. Her cousin, Sir George Neville, 1st Duke of Bedford was intended to marry Elizabeth of York [mother of King Henry VIII]; this obviously fell through due to his father and nephew’s [Warwick] rebellion against Edward IV. The Neville’s were already established at court being grandchildren of John of Gaunt’s legitimized daughter Lady Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland. 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, Queen Anne Neville and Queen Elizabeth Woodville, were also a first cousins. [The Woodville connection comes from Katherine’s mother, Maud Green — Queen Elizabeth was a first cousin, thrice removed of Katherine]. This connection made her related to all of her husbands in one way or another.
Lady Alice Neville’s mother Lady Alice Montacute was suo jure 5th Countess of Salisbury being the only surviving child of Sir Thomas, 4th Earl of Salisbury and Lady Eleanor Holland [pictured above]. Salisbury married to Alice Chaucer. Salisbury descended from:
Princess Joan of Acre, eldest daughter of King Edward I and his first wife, Eleanor of Castile,
Henry I of England by his illegitimate sons Robert de Caen, 1st Earl of Gloucester [twice] and Reynold of Dunstanville, 1st Earl of Cornwall,
William the Lion, King of Scots by his illegitimate daughter Isabella, Lady Ros,
William the Conqueror by his illegitimate son William Peverell and legitimate daughter, Adela of Normandy.
Lord Salisbury’s siblings included Lady Anne who married thrice. By her marriage to Sir Richard Hankford they were ancestors to Anne Boleyn. After being widowed, she became Duchess of Exeter as wife to the 2nd Duke of Exeter (nephew of the 2nd Earl of Kent, ancestor to Queen Katherine Parr).
Lady Eleanor Holland descended from
Edward I of England by his son from his second marriage to Marguerite of France [daughter of Philip III of France and Maria of Brabant], Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent,
Henry III of England by his son Prince Edmund, 1st Earl of Lancaster [whose wife was Blanche of Artois, Queen of Navarre and mother to another of Queen Katherine’s ancestors, Jeanne I, Queen Regnant of Navarre]. Their son was Sir Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster who married Maud Chaworth [descendant of Louis VI of France],
John I of England twice by his illegitimate daughter Lady Joan, Lady of Wales,
Henry II of England by his legitimate daughter by Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile and by his illegitimate son William Longespee, 1st Earl of Salisbury,
Henry I of England twice by his illegitimate daughter Lady Maud of Normandy, Duchess of Brittany and twice by his illegitimate son, Robert de Caen, 1st Earl of Gloucester,
Duncan II of Scotland by his son the Earl of Moray
David I of Scotland, twice by his son Henry, Earl of Huntingdon,
Louis VI of France by his son Pierre of Courtenay,
Geoffrey Plantagenet twice by his son Sir Hamelin Warrenne, Earl of Surrey,
William, the Conqueror twice by his daughter Adela of Normandy and his illegitimate son William Peverell.
Lady Salisbury’s siblings included:
Lord Thomas Holland, 1st Duke of Surrey, 3rd Earl of Kent.
Lord Edmund of Woodstock, 4th Earl of Kent who had a child by Lady Constance of York, daughter of Edmund of Langley, Duke of York (husband of his sister, Lady Joan). In 1403, there was a betrothal of Lord Edmund of Woodstock to Lady Constance of York; not apparent as to whether or not they actually married. [Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry]
Lady Elizabeth who married Sir John Neville; ancestors to the Earls of Westmorland (Neville was the heir to the 1st Earl and his first wife Lady Margaret Stafford. The Earl would later marry Lady Joan Beaufort — the two were ancestors to Queen Katherine Parr).
Lady Joan married to Edmund of Langley, Duke of York — no issue. Nevertheless she was styled Duchess of York.
Lady Alianore, Countess of March, wife to the 4th Earl of March — and through them the crown of Edward IV was claimed by their daughter, Lady Anne Mortimer, Countess of Cambridge (wife of Richard of York, 3rd Earl of Cambrige, brother to Lady Constance of York). The Countess would marry again to the 5th Baron of Powis, their grandson would marry the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Gloucester (son of King Henry IV), Lady Antigone.
Lady Margaret, Countess of Somerset and Duchess of Clarence married John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset (illegitimate son of John of Gaunt by Katherine Swynford) and by him they were ancestors to Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. Margaret would re-marry to Thomas of Lancaster, Duke of Clarence, grandson of John of Gaunt by his son King Henry IV.
Lady Salisbury’s [Lady Eleanor Holland] paternal grandmother was Princess Joan of Kent, suo jure 4th Countess of Kent and later Princess of Wales. Her story is one of interest. She married firstly to Sir Thomas Holland who became 1st Earl of Kent through her inheritance. By him she had Lady Salisbury’s father, Sir Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent. Her uncle was Sir John, 1st Duke of Exeter who married Lady Elizabeth of Lancaster, daughter of Prince John of Gaunt and his first wife, Blanche of Lancaster. They were parents to John Holland, 2nd Duke of Lancaster who married thrice; Lady Anne Stafford, Beatrice of Portugal, and Lady Anne Montacute. His second wife, Beatrice of Portugal was half-sister to Edward I of Portugal; John, Lord of Reguengos de Monsaraz; and Afonso, Duke of Braganza. Lord of Reguengos was a grandfather to Queen Isabella of Castile (mother of Queen Katherine of Aragon) while the Duke of Braganza was a great-grandfather.
Lady Salisbury’s paternal aunts were Lady Joan, Duchess of Brittany [wife to John V of Brittany] and Lady Maud, Countess of Ligny [wife to Waleran III of Luxembourg; their daughter Jeanne married Antoine de Valois, Duke of Brabant]. Joan of Kent’s third marriage was to Edward, Prince of Wales [eldest son and heir of King Edward III]; their son was King Richard II of England and thus granduncle to Lady Salisbury.
Lady Salisbury’s maternal grandparents were Sir Richard “Copped Hat” FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel and Lady Eleanor of Lancaster, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Lancaster and his wife, Maud Chaworth. The Earl and Countess were parents to Lady Alice FitzAlan, Countess of Kent (wife to the 2nd Earl). By her mother, Lady Kent had half-siblings by Lady Arundel’s first marriage to Sir John Beaumont, 2nd Baron; Maud, the ancestress of the Courtenay Earls of Devon and Lord Henry (who were both half-siblings themselves to Sir William Devereux, father of Sir Walter, first husband to Agnes Crophull, later Lady Parr of Kendal as wife to Sir John Parr.) Lady Kent’s siblings included:
Lady Joan of Arundel, mother to the uncrowned Mary de Bohun, wife of Henry IV and mother to Henry V. Her other daughter became Duchess of Gloucester as wife to Lord Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, youngest son of King Edward III.
Sir Richard, 11th Earl of Arundel who’s daughter Margaret became Duchess of Norfolk; another daughter Joan became Lady Bergavenny, ancestress to Lords Bergavenny, Earls of Shrewsbury, and grandparents to the 7th Earl of Ormonde (ancestor of Queen Anne Boleyn).
Sir John, 1st Lord Arundel — ancestor to the later Earls of Arundel and Dukes of Norfolk. Lord Arundel’s great-grandson married Lady Joan Neville, sister of “Warwick, the Kingmaker” and Alice (great-grandmother to Queen Katherine Parr).
When the Duke of Gloucester became King in 1483, as Richard III, both Elizabeth and her mother Alice were appointed ladies-in-waiting to Alice’s niece, queen consort Lady Anne Neville. The profession would span five generations down to Katherine’s sister, Anne, who would serve all six of King Henry VIII’s wives. by Lady Parr (Golden Aged writer)
Katherine’s father, Sir Thomas Parr, was a close friend of King Henry VIII; Parr’s step-father, Sir Nicholas Vaux, had been educated in the household of Lady Margaret Beaufort, Henry’s grandmother, where Parr is also believed to have spent some time. Sir Thomas was present at court and was in the circle of Henry VIII which included Sir Thomas Boleyn. Both were knighted in 1509 at Henry’s coronation; Parr was also made a Knight of the Garter and appointed Sheriff of Northamptonshire on that occasion. Parr became Master of the Wards and Comptroller of the household of Henry VIII. Parr’s brother, William [later Baron Parr of Horton], was also a part of the King’s circle. They kept company with the Stafford’s and their cousins, the Neville’s. They were also friend’s with the Carew’s and Sir Thomas Boleyn, father Queen Anne Boleyn. In 1515, Parr was entrusted with escorting Queen Margaret of Scotland [the king’s elder sister] from Newcastle back to London.
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).
Katherine’s brother, William, entered the household of Henry Fitzroy, the King’s illegitimate son, at the age of eleven. It was there that he met Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. They were educated together and Katherine’s uncle, Sir William, Baron Parr of Horton, was part of the head of the household for Fitzroy.
From Sir Thomas’ grandmother to his own daughter, Anne, were all ladies-in-waiting to the queens of England. His grandmother and mother both personally served under special appointment by Richard III’s consort herself, Lady Anne Neville. Anne was the niece of Parr’s grandmother, Lady Alice Neville. Katherine’s sister, Anne Parr [Herbert], was one of the few women to serve all six of Henry’s wives. Maud Parr nee Green, his wife, was good friend’s with Queen Katherine of Aragon and a lady-in-waiting to her. She was given private chambers next to the queen’s and Queen Katherine was supposedly Katherine Parr’s godmother. Lady Parr’s grandmother, Lady Alice Fogge (Haute) was a lady to Queen Elizabeth Woodville (see below).
If Sir Thomas had not died at such an early age he would have been given the title which his brother received or another barony. He was also co-heir to the FitzHugh barony; which is still in abayence between the descendants of his aunt Alice FitzHugh, Lady Fiennes and his daughter, Anne Parr, Countess of Pembroke.
Katherine’s mother also descended from royal blood. Maud Green’s family had long served the crown.
Sir Henry Green (died 6 August 1369) was an English lawyer, and Chief Justice of the King’s Bench from 24 May 1361 to 29 October 1365. Early in his career he served both Queen Isabella (consort of Edward II) and Edward the Black Prince. He was made justice of the Court of Common Pleas in 1354, and knighted by King Edward III.
By her grandfather, Sir Thomas Greene of Greens Norton, Queen Katherine directly descended from King Fergus of Galloway and many nobles and Kings of England which included William the Conqueror, John of England, Henry I by three illegitimate children and Empress Matilda, Edward I, and Henry II of England by two legitimate children and one illegitimate. By both husbands of Isabella of Angoulême, Queen Consort of England; from Welsh nobility like Nest Ferch, Princess of Wales, Llewelyn Ap ‘The Great’, Gwladys Dhu verch; Spanish royals such as Alfonso II of Aragon, Alfonso IX of Aragon; they also descended from French royalty Charles I, Henry I, Louis VII of France and Scottish royals such as David I, Maud of Huntingdon; and from Jean of Brienne, King of Jerusalem through her connections with the Ferrers of Groby, Talbot, Despencer, FitzAlan, De Clare, Earls of Ormonde, and other noble families.
By her mother, Joan Fogge, Lady Parr was a cousin to Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort of Edward IV; descending from Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather, Sir Richard Woodville. When Elizabeth became queen to Edward IV, she brought her favorite female relatives to court to serve her. Lady Parr’s grandmother, Lady Alice Fogge (born Haute), was one of five ladies-in-waiting to her cousin Elizabeth Woodville in the 1460s.
Relations to Husbands
Queen Katherine and Henry VIII’s closest relations: Third cousins (through Sir Richard Wydeville and Joan Bedlisgate); third cousins once removed (through Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland and Lady Joan Beaufort); and double fourth cousins once removed (through Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent and Lady Alice FitzAlan and John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Katherine Swynford). Queen Katherine also shared ancestors with her 4th husband, Thomas Seymour, but the closest one is Edward III and Philippa.
Douglas Richardson. “Plantagenet Ancestry,” 2005.
Douglas Richardson. “Magna Carta Ancestry,” 2nd Edition, 2011.
David Starkey. “Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII,” HarperCollins, May 4, 2004. pg 690. Google eBook.
Barbara J. Harris. “English Aristocratic Women, 1450-1550 : Marriage and Family, Property and Careers: Marriage and Family, Property and Careers,” Oxford University Press, Jul 26, 2002. pg 218.
Thoroughly researched. One line still in question: Sir Roger, 4th Baron Strange of Knockyn’s wife, Maud, who has been theorized as the illegitimate daughter of Enguerrand VII de Coucy, 1st Earl of Bedford which would relate her back to ancestors like the Habsburgs; the Chatillions; the Wittlesbachs; Beatrice of England, Duchess of Brittany [daughter of Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence]; Matilda of England, Duchess of Saxony [daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine]; the Champagne and Jiminez Kings of Navarre; and more.