Queen Katherine Parr: Pregnant, At Last!

 

Katherine Parr (Deborah Kerr) and Lord Seymour (Stewart Granger) in “Young Bess” (1953); A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Picture.

In December of 1547, Queen Katherine Parr became pregnant for what most people believe to be the first time by her fourth and final husband, Sir Thomas Seymour. After four husbands and twenty years of marriage, Katherine was about to fulfill what she felt was the primary duty of a wife, to give birth to a healthy baby; boys being preferred in aristocratic circles. Like today, some titles still cannot be inherited by the eldest or only daughter of a peer; meaning a girl cannot inherit the title of her father which is usually then passed to the closest living male relative, that being usually an uncle or cousin.

Katherine Parr (Deborah Kerr), Lord Seymour (Stewart Granger), and Lady Elizabeth (Jean Simmons) in “Young Bess” (1953).

Queen Katherine found pregnancy difficult. She still had an on-going feud with her brother-in-law, the Lord Protector and his rather nasty wife, had morning sickness, was constantly worrying about her step-daughter Lady Elizabeth, and the temper of her husband and lack of discretion towards his feelings for Lady Elizabeth must have made the early months of pregnancy extremely hard for the Queen Dowager.[1] In 1549, after the death of the Queen, two cramp rings for use against the pains of childbirth and three pieces of unicorn horn, sovereign remedy for stomach pains, were found in the chest of Katherine’s personal belongings which were talismans most likely from her husband and friend’s to alleviate the pains of childbirth and anticipated pangs of childbirth. Katherine was almost thirty-six, an advanced age to begin a pregnancy. The emotional strain of her household with Seymour’s infatuation with Lady Elizabeth couldn’t have helped her early months either.

As Katherine’s pregnancy progressed, her involvement in politics, if not her interest, diminished. She viewed her approaching motherhood with delight despite knowing the risks and the possibility that death in child birth was a very real possibility.

Compiled digital art featuring Hampton Court’s Katherine Parr over looking the gardens and Chapel on the grounds at Sudeley Castle. © Meg McGath, 2012.

Seymour decided that Katherine should be confined as far away possible from the press of business and turmoil of the court as well as the summer plagues of London. Katherine was taken to Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, England, outside of Cheltenham. The castle has a long history stretching back to William de Tracy. Richard III used the castle as campaign headquarters during the Battle of Tawkesbury; in which Katherine’s grandfather fought. Upon the death of Richard III, the castle reverted to the crown and new monarch, Henry VII; who gave the castle to his uncle, Jasper Tudor. After the death of Jasper Tudor, Sudeley reverted to the crown again, to King Henry VIII. In fact, the King made a visit to the castle with Anne Boleyn in 1535. Upon the ascension of Edward VI, Sir Thomas was created Lord Seymour of Sudeley and was granted the castle. In preperation for her lying-in, Seymour spent 1,000 pounds having the rooms prepared for her in his newly aquired house at Sudeley in Gloucestershire.[2] With beautiful gardens and walks, the castle would have been a perfect place for Katherine to spend the last three months of her pregnancy.

One of several plaques on the wall in the exhibit for Katherine Parr at Sudeley. © Meg McGath, 2012.

On Wednesday, 13 June 1548, Seymour accompanied his wife, who was now six months pregnant, and his young ward, Lady Jane Grey, from Hanworth to Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. Lady Elizabeth Tudor had been sent away that Spring so she did not accompany them. In this castle, Katherine spent the last three months of her pregnancy and the last summer of her life. Typical of Queen Katherine, she spared no expense when it came to attendants. She was attended by her old friend and doctor, Robert Huicke, and was surrounded by other old friends, Miles Coverdale, her chaplain, her almoner, John Parkhurst, Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, and the ladies who had been with her over the years such as Elizabeth Trywhitt and Mary Wodhull. Katherine also had a full compliment of maids-of-honour and gentlewomen as well as 120 gentlemen and yeomen of the guard. In spite of his duties, Sir Thomas Seymour seems to have spent most of that summer with his wife. Katherine whiled away her summer days overseeing the education of Lady Jane Grey while preparing for her baby. Her affections for her husband seemed as strong as ever, as was her belief in the final analysis, Seymour would make the moral choice over the immoral one.

The nursery at Sudeley Castle.

While Katherine awaited her confinement, Katherine continued decorating the nursery which overlooked the gardens and the Chapel. The nursery of an expected heir was done up in crimson and gold velvet and taffeta, with furniture and plate enough for a royal birth. In Seymour’s eyes, the child would be a member of the royal family as Katherine was still officially the only queen in England. After his daughter’s birth, Seymour was overheard telling Sir William Sharington that,

“it would be strange to some when his daughter came of age, taking [her] place above [the duchess of] Somerset, as a queen’s daughter.”[3]

Besides the baby’s cradle was a bed with a scarlet tester and crimson curtains and a separate bed for the nurse.

The Queen’s Gardens at Sudeley Castle; Katherine Parr would spend her final days walking with Lady Jane Grey in these gardens. © Meg McGath, 2012.

The Queen continued to take the advice of her doctor and walked daily among the grounds of Sudeley, but she was still concerned about the politics and overseeing of the new boy king.

On the eve of August 30th, Katherine went into labour.
Sources

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

The original post from which this was taken

copyright_meg_tudorqueen

Advertisements

Katherine Parr: Why the Queen is implicated with Seymour and His misconduct with the Lady Elizabeth

From Rebecca Larson’s article at TudorDynasty: Why Queen Elizabeth I Never Married

“Elizabeth also experienced an improper male relationship while she was living with her step-mother Katherine Parr and her new husband Thomas Seymour. Thomas would flirt with Elizabeth in an improper fashion – and to thwart him from continuing these escapades Katherine would participate (to keep a watchful eye) by holding down young Elizabeth while Thomas tickled her. Inevitably, Katherine found them alone in an embrace and she immediately put a stop to this behavior. She was after all Elizabeth’s guardian. Katherine was also pregnant with Thomas’ child at the time. She sent young Elizabeth away to her own household.”

Insert MY frustration and anger here…

These articles never research the info on Katherine Parr! They always throw Katherine Parr under the bus without even questioning where the info came from and from whom. 

First off, “young Elizabeth?” Elizabeth during her stay with Seymour and Parr was of age. If her father had cared for her and his country–Elizabeth would have been wed earlier. As the daughter of a King, Elizabeth was seen as a commodity and a political pawn in these times. Her paternal great-grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was pregnant by twelve and gave birth at thirteen. It wasn’t uncommon for women to be wed by the age of twelve. So to call Elizabeth “young” is a modern day concept based on how we live today. 

Stewart Granger as Thomas Seymour and Jean Simmons as Lady Elizabeth in “Young Bess” (1953)

“There are many witnesses, who under pressure, have testified to this shameless love affair. A love affair of which even Queen Katherine accused you on her death bed.” — Edward, Duke of Somerset

“You’re lying! She knew me, she loved me, she was my friend.” — Lady Elizabeth

“But you were not hers.” — Edward, Duke of Somerset (“Young Bess” 1953)

The testimony and the statements accusing Parr of joining in Seymour’s antics came from Kat Ashley (Elizabeth’s governess) who was threatened to be tortured until she spoke up about Seymour and Parr. 

Katherine Parr had been dead for several months by the time Ashley was arrested and put in the Tower. Ashley knew that women were no longer spared from torture (i.e Anne Askew). The interrogators of Ashley were trying to implicate and charge Seymour after he had tried to marry Elizabeth again and kidnap Edward. Everyone had tired of his lunatic moves to take some power. 

When Elizabeth was staying with the couple, they were seated at Chelsea Manor–in what is now known as the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The Manor was situated on the Thames and was close to several important establishments used by the Lord Protector and his council. At the time Ashley claims Parr was involved in Seymour’s damaging antics. Parr had a HUGE household with a lot of staff on watch. If Parr had participated in these acts, why did no one else contribute, with the SAME story? Ashley was the only one to speak of Parr is such a demeanour. 

We also have evidence that Ashley encouraged Elizabeth to play along with Seymour. Ashley told Elizabeth that she would be lucky to have such a man. This was ALL done while Seymour was still married to Parr. Evidence also states that Ashley was jealous and had a crush on Seymour — so the weight of her testimony … Is basically worth a grain of salt. Parr never had any inappropriate relations with her stepchildren recorded as described by Ashley. Parr had stepchildren from 1534 until her death in September of 1548. If she was not trustworthy, her second husband never would have left his daughter in Parr’s care. Also, King Henry never would have left Parr in control of everything while he was in France if he believed her to be a bad influence and what not. Her Regency during this time in her reign, could have become a permanent status if Henry had died in France–The behaviour fits Seymour, but not Parr.  

20 MARCH 1549: THE EXECUTION of Lord Seymour of Sudeley

Seymour_Thomas1
Portrait of Thomas Seymour (1508-49) 1st Baron of Sudeley from ‘Memoirs of the court of Queen Elizabeth’ — Sarah of Essex, out of copyright

Following the death of Queen Katherine Parr in September 1548, Lord Seymour didn’t even wait for his wife’s funeral before he returned to London. As he was free to marry Lady Elizabeth Tudor again, Seymour went straight to her for the second time. Seymour bombarded Elizabeth with letters, lent her his house in London, and coerced her governess Kat Ashley into pleading his case on any and every occasion possible. Of course, Elizabeth refused to comply, a move that probably kept her from being beheaded herself.

Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons as Lord Seymour and Lady Elizabeth in "Young Bess" (1953)
Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons as Lord Seymour and Lady Elizabeth in “Young Bess” (1953)

In his head, Seymour had a grand plan for himself and had acquired ten thousand men and was preparing for a military coup. As things started to go awry, Seymour refused to wait. He took a gun and broke into the private quarters of the King. On his way to the King, the boy King’s spaniel awoke and started to bark. Seymour shot the dog and the whole household was awoken. Seymour was arrested, thrown in the Tower, and accused of 33 charges of High Treason and misdemeanor.

Death scene of Queen Katherine played by Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger as Thomas Seymour in "Young Bess." Kerr had a strong resemblance to the real Queen Katherine.
Death scene of Queen Katherine played by Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger as Thomas Seymour in “Young Bess” (1953). Kerr had a strong resemblance to the real Queen Katherine.

The authorities had thrown everything they could at Seymour. They even accused him in a possible connection to the death of his wife, the Dowager Queen. That ‘he helped to her end to hasten forth his other purposes.’ Seymour was never given a trial before his peers. Instead, an Act of Attainder (the same legal process that had be used to rid Henry VIII of Katherine Howard) was introduced to Parliament. It passed unopposed in the House of Lords on 25 February, and in the House of Commons on March 5, where it was only opposed by a handful of members.

The Act lists thirty-three charges trumped up against Seymour. In “The Annals of Winchcombe and Sudeley” by Emma Dent, she summarizes the charges:

“Articles of High Treason and other Misdemeanors against the King’s Majesty and his Crown objected to Sir Thomas Seymour Kt Lord Seymour of Sudeley and High Admiral of England Article

  1. He was charged with endeavouring to get into his own hands the government of the king

  2. With bribing certain members of the Privy Chamber

  3. With dictating a letter for the king to send to Parliament tending to the disturbance of the government

  4. For endeavouring to gain several of the nobility to join him in making changes in the affairs of state

  5. For threatening to make the Blackest Parliament ever known in England

  6. For refusing to answer a summons to explain certain things laid to his charge

  7. For prejudicing the king against the protector

  8. For suggesting to the king to take upon himself the affairs of government

  9. For plotting to take the king into his custody

  10. For plotting that the king should apply to him alone for all he needed

  11. For intending to control the king’s marriage

  12. For confederating with discontented noblemen to make a strong party abroad ready to serve them when occasion required

  13. 13 For planning that certain noble partisans should counteract those who opposed him

  14. For winning over the yeomanry to be ready to serve in case of need

  15. For strengthening his party by giving away various stewardships

  16. For retaining in his service too great a number of gentlemen and yeomen ready to strengthen his cause if needed

  17. For having 10,000 available men

  18. And having in readiness sufficient money to support the 10,000 for a month

  19. For endeavouring to bring about a clandestine marriage with the Princess Elizabeth second heir to the throne

  20. For having married the queen scandalously soon after the death of the king

  21. For deceiving the king and others in persuading them to plead with the queen they being already married

  22. For refusing to promote every way tl at was to the king’s advantage and of so strengthening his own party by sea and land as to bring within his reach the power of aspiring to the throne

  23. For endeavouring to obtain the public authority for his having the Mint of Bristol and which by fraud he had already got into his hands

  24. For having aided and abetted Sir Wm Sherrington who was known to be a traitor to the king

  25. For defrauding the king of 2,800 having conspired for this object with Sir Wm Sherrington

  26. For extorting large sums of money from ships

  27. For having taken possession of goods seized by pirates

  28. For wrongfully imprisoning those who had captured pirates

  29. For letting go free head pirates thus captured and brought before him

  30. For openly disobeying the Protector’s orders for the restitution of goods taken from pirates

  31. For robbing foreign ships wrecked on the English coast

  32. For betraying the king’s secret counsel

  33. For laying in provisions and money for a great number of men for his servants spreading the report the king was dead of a riot in consequence being expected had it not been stopped by his apprehension and committal to prison”(Dent)

Edward and Anne from "The Tudors"
Edward and Anne Seymour from “The Tudors”

He was sentenced to death; his own brother signed his death warrant. Later it was said that his fate was sealed by the Duchess of Somerset, Anne, who had threatened to leave her husband if he did not act against his own brother. Whether or not that is true we do not know. It may simply be speculation.

The Act of Attainder concluded:

‘considering that he is a member so unnatural, unkind and corrupt and such a heinous offender of your majesty and your laws as he cannot be suffered to remain in body of your grace’s commonwealth but to the extreme danger of your highness and it is too dangerous an example that such a person, so much bound and so forgetful of it … should remain among us.’ He was to be ‘adjudged and attained of high treason and … shall suffer such pains of death as in cases of high treason have been accustomed.’

Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons and Lord Seymour and Lady Elizabeth "Young Bess" (1953)
Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons and Lord Seymour and Lady Elizabeth “Young Bess” (1953)

Seymour remained optimistic to the end and in his last moments tried to send Lady Elizabeth a message sewn into his servants velvet shoes. However, he retreated into silence as far as those who condemned him were concerned. While in the Tower, Seymour made his peace with the God others accused him of rejecting, writing the following lines:

‘Forgetting God
to love a king
Hath been my rod
Or else nothing:
In this frail life
being a blast
of care and strife
till in be past.
Yet God did call
me in my pride
lest I should fall
and from him slide
for whom loves he
and not correct
that they may be
of his elect
The death haste thee
thou shalt me gain
Immortally
with him to reign
Who send the king
Like years as noye
In governing
His realm in joy
And after this
frail life such grace
As in his bliss
he may have place.’ (Harington)

On the even of his death, Seymour requested his daughter should be given into the care of the Dowager Duchess of Suffolk, Katherine Willoughby. A few days later, Lady Mary Seymour, who was now about six months old, was taken from Sudeley to the Duchess’s home — Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire. Upon the death of Mary’s mother, Queen Katherine, she had left all her wealth and possessions to her husband. Therefore upon his execution, Seymour’s wealth and possessions (which included that which he inherited by the Dowager Queen) reverted to the Crown and there was no money for his daughter.

Seymour was executed early in the morning of 20 March 1549. It took two blows of the axe to sever his head. He was buried in St. Peter’s Chapel in the Tower of London where other royals like Anne Boleyn, Lady Salisbury (the last Plantagenet “Princess”, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Clarence), and Katherine Howard had been buried. Seymour’s own brother, Somerset (Edward), would join him in January of 1552 after his own execution under Edward VI; two uncles in one reign.

Elizabeth said, upon hearing of his death: “There died this day a man of much whit and very little judgement.”

References

  • Linda Porter. “Katherine, the queen,” St. Martin’s Press, 2010.
  • John Harington, “Nugae Antiquae,” (London, 1769), vol. 3, pg 259. (Linda Porter)
  • Susan James. “Catherine Parr: Henry VIII’s Last Love,” The History Press, 2009.
  • Young Bess” (1953)

Queen Katherine Parr: The Pregnancy and Birth of Lady Mary Seymour

From Sex and Sleaze: Time Traveller’s guide to Tudor England:

Childbirth is an exclusively female affair, with only female midwives in attendance and no doctors. After childbirth, babies are rapidly baptised because of high infant mortality, usually in the absence of their mothers. New mothers are not allowed in church until about 30 days after the birth, and then must be ‘churched’, or ritually purified.

In December of 1547, Queen Katherine Parr became pregnant for what most people believe to be the first time by her fourth and final husband, Sir Thomas Seymour. After four husbands and twenty years of marriage, Katherine was about to fulfill what she felt was the primary duty of a wife, to give birth to a healthy baby; boys being preferred in aristocratic circles. Like today, some titles still cannot be inherited by the eldest or only daughter of a peer; meaning a girl cannot inherit the title of her father which is usually then passed to the closest living male relative, that being usually an uncle or cousin.

Queen Katherine found pregnancy difficult. She still had an on-going feud with her brother-in-law, the Lord Protector and his rather nasty wife, had morning sickness, was constantly worrying about her step-daughter Lady Elizabeth, and the temper of her husband and lack of discretion towards his feelings for Lady Elizabeth must have made the early months of pregnancy extremely hard for the Queen Dowager.[1] In 1549, after the death of the Queen, two cramp rings for use against the pains of childbirth and three pieces of unicorn horn, sovereign remedy for stomach pains, were found in the chest of Katherine’s personal belongings which were talismans most likely from her husband and friend’s to alleviate the pains of childbirth and anticipated pangs of childbirth. Katherine was almost thirty-six, an advanced age to begin a pregnancy. The emotional strain of her household with Seymour’s infatuation with Lady Elizabeth couldn’t have helped her early months either.

As Katherine’s pregnancy progressed, her involvement in politics, if not her interest, diminished. She viewed her approaching motherhood with delight despite knowing the risks and the possibility that death in child birth was a very real possibility.

In June Katherine wrote to her husband from Hanworth:

“I gave your little knave your blessing, who like and honest man stirred apace after and before. For Mary Odell being abed with me had laid her hand upon my belly to feel it stir. It hath stirred these three days every morning and evening so that I trust when ye come it will make you some pastime.”[2]

The Dowager Queen’s letter from Hanworth which is preserved at Sudeley Castle © Meg McGath, 2012.

Seymour, who was also aware of the perils of childbirth — from his own sister’s account — replied from Westminster:

“I do desire your highness to keep the little knave so lean and gaunt with your good diet and walking, that he may be so small that he may creep out of a mousehole. I hear my little man doth shake his poll [head], [and] trusting God should give him life to live as long as his father, he will revenge such wrongs as neither you nor I can.”[3]

The last part of the message obviously had to do with Seymour’s friction with his elder brother which at this time was on the verge of paranoia.

The Ruins of the 15th Century State Apartments, where Katherine would have spent her last few months © Meg McGath, 2012.

Seymour decided that Katherine should be confined as far away possible from the press of business and turmoil of the court as well as the summer plagues of London. Katherine was taken to Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, England, outside of Cheltenham. The castle has a long history stretching back to William de Tracy. Richard III used the castle as campaign headquarters during the Battle of Tawkesbury; in which Katherine’s grandfather fought. Upon the death of Richard III, the castle reverted to the crown and new monarch, Henry VII; who gave the castle to his uncle, Jasper Tudor. After the death of Jasper Tudor, Sudeley reverted to the crown again, to King Henry VIII. In fact, the King made a visit to the castle with Anne Boleyn in 1535. Upon the ascension of Edward VI, Sir Thomas was created Lord Seymour of Sudeley and was granted the castle. In preperation for her lying-in, Seymour spent 1,000 pounds having the rooms prepared for her in his newly aquired house at Sudeley in Gloucestershire.[4] With beautiful gardens and walks, the castle would have been a perfect place for Katherine to spend the last three months of her pregnancy.

The Nursery at Sudeley Castle
On Wednesday, 13 June 1548, Seymour accompanied his wife, who was now six months pregnant, and his young ward, Lady Jane Grey, from Hanworth to Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. Lady Elizabeth Tudor had been sent away that Spring so she did not accompany them. In this castle, Katherine spent the last three months of her pregnancy and the last summer of her life. Typical of Queen Katherine, she spared no expense when it came to attendants. She was attended by her old friend and doctor, Robert Huicke, and was surrounded by other old friends, Miles Coverdale, her chaplain, her almoner, John Parkhurst, Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, and the ladies who had been with her over the years such as Elizabeth Trywhitt and Mary Wodhull. Katherine also had a full compliment of maids-of-honour and gentlewomen as well as 120 gentlemen and yeomen of the guard. In spite of his duties, Sir Thomas Seymour seems to have spent most of that summer with his wife. Katherine whiled away her summer days overseeing the education of Lady Jane Grey while preparing for her baby. Her affections for her husband seemed as strong as ever, as was her belief in the final analysis, Seymour would make the moral choice over the immoral one.

The queen wrote to her husband who had been called away on duty describing the baby as very active.

“I gave your little knave your blessing, who like an honest man stirred apace after and before. For Mary Odell being abed with me had laid her hand upon my belly to fell it stir. It hath stirred these three days every morning and evening so that I trust when you come it will make you some pastime…”

It was during this time that the queen dowager reconciled with Lady Mary who wrote to her stepmother on 9 August:

“I trust to hear good success of your Grace’s great belly; and in the meantime shall desire much to hear of your health, which I pray almighty God to continue and increase to his pleasure as much as your own heart can desire.”[6]

The Lady Elizabeth, who was now living away from her step-mother also wrote, too, answering a letter of Katherine’s in which the queen described the beauties of Sudeley and wished the princess with her once more:

“Although your Highness’ letters be most joyful to me in absence, yet considering what pain it is to you to write, your Grace being so great with child, and so sickly, your commendation were enough in my Lord’s letter. I much rejoice at your health with the well liking of the country. Your Highness were like to be cumbered, if I should not depart, till I were weary being with you; also it were in the worst soil in the world your presence would make it pleasant… God send you a most lucky deliverance.”[7]

One could reflect on this letter — seeing Lady Elizabeth’s concern when it came to childbirth. Perhaps this weariness and the eventual death of her beloved step-mother would confirm that she would never consider having children.

Queen Katherine looks from the window in her nursery which overlooks the gardens and Chapel.
Queen Katherine looks from the window in her nursery which overlooks the gardens and Chapel.
While Katherine awaited her confinement, Katherine continued decorating the nursery which overlooked the gardens and the Chapel. The nursery of an expected heir was done up in crimson and gold velvet and taffeta, with furniture and plate enough for a royal birth. In Seymour’s eyes, the child would be a member of the royal family as Katherine was still officially the only queen in England. After his daughter’s birth, Seymour was overheard telling Sir William Sharington that,

“it would be strange to some when his daughter came of age, taking [her] place above [the duchess of] Somerset, as a queen’s daughter.”[5]

Besides the baby’s cradle was a bed with a scarlet tester and crimson curtains and a separate bed for the nurse.

The Queen's Garden where Katherine would have walked.
The Queen’s Garden where Katherine would have walked.
The Queen continued to take the advice of her doctor and walked daily among the grounds of Sudeley, but she was still concerned about the politics and overseeing of the new boy king.

The nursery as it is today; the woman portrayed here is Queen Katherine's sister, Lady Anne Herbert [later Countess of Pembroke] who was Katherine's groom.
The nursery as it is today; the woman portrayed here is Queen Katherine’s sister, Lady Anne Herbert [later Countess of Pembroke] who was Katherine’s groom.
On Thursday, 30 August, [coincidentally in 2012, the celebration of Queen Katherine’s 500th anniversary of her birth, the 30th of August ALSO fell on a Thursday, on the eve of a blue moon] Katherine brought to bed a healthy baby girl who was named Lady Mary in honour of her step-sister, the Lady Mary Tudor. Disappointed briefly that the son and avenger he had hoped for had turned out to be a girl, Seymour rallied quickly and announced his daughter’s birth to the lord protector in ‘glowing terms’ and with a detailed description of her beauty. Somerset, the father of 12, was amused by his brother’s enthusiasm for fatherhood. But Seymour’s joy in his child’s birth was followed by fear at his wife’s worsening condition.

This portrait of a baby/small child hangs in the Nursery at Sudeley Castle. No identification on who it is.
This portrait of a baby/small child hangs in the Nursery at Sudeley Castle. No identification.

Links

Sources:

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

Written and researched by Meg McGath, 29 August 2012