Ladies-in-Waiting: Dorothy Bray, Lady Chandos

Dorothy Bray, Lady Chandos of Sudeley (c.1524-31 October 1605) was the daughter of Edmund, 1st Baron Bray (1484-18 October 1539) and Jane Hallighwell (c.1480-24 October 1558). She was at court as a maid of honor to Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Katherine Parr.

She embarked upon a brief tryst with Sir William Parr, brother of the future queen c.1541, which was over by 1543. Parr’s wife, Anne Bourchier, heiress to the Earl of Essex, had already left their marriage and embarked with her lover and had children by him, so Parr was left behind. Parr’s interest was then diverted to Dorothy’s niece, Elisabeth Brooke.

Dorothy married Edmund Brydges, 2nd Baron Chandos (d.11 September 1573) and their children were Eleanor (b.c.1546), Giles (1547-1594), Mary, Katherine (1554-1596), and William (d. 1602). Dorothy was at court as Lady Brydges during Mary Tudor’s reign.

In 1574, Queen Elizabeth visited Lady Chandos at Sudeley Castle. In 1588, she was living in Essex House in London and had 220 books in her bedchamber there.

Dorothy’s second husband was a younger man, Sir William Knollys (1545-1632).

Dorothy was known among courtiers as “old lady Chandos”. Unfortunately, her husband fell in love with one of the queen’s maids of honor, Mary Fitton. During that time, Dorothy was living with him in a house adjoining the royal tilt yard (Violet Wilson. Queen Elizabeth’s Maids of Honor and Ladies of the Privy Chamber).

Dorothy’s daughters, Eleanor and Katherine, and eventually her granddaughters, Frances and Elizabeth Brydges, would also become maids of honor.

Portraits: The “Duchess of Chandos” attributed to John Bettes the Younger, 1578, could be Dorothy Bray, although the sitter looks very young for someone who would be around fifty-four years old at the time. Dorothy’s effigy appears with her second husband in the church at Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire.

Sources

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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.

Family of Queen Katherine: Sir William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Kendal

Impaled arms of Parr and FitzHugh, Hampton Court Palace Pedigree window of Katherine Parr.
Impaled arms of Parr and FitzHugh, Hampton Court Palace Pedigree window of Katherine Parr.

Sir William Parr, Baron Parr of Kendal (1434-bef. 26 February 1484[2, see notes]/Autumn 1483[1]) KG was a courtier and soldier best known for being the grandfather of Queen Katherine Parr, Lady Anne Herbert, and William, 1st Marquess of Northampton. His granddaughter would become the sixth and final queen of King Henry VIII and his grandson would become one the most powerful men during the reigns of Edward VI (as the king’s “beloved uncle”) and Elizabeth I.

Family

Parr was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Parr and Alice Tunstall, daughter of Sir Thomas Tunstall of Thurland. His paternal grandparents were Sir John Parr of Kendal Castle and the heiress Agnes Crophull of Weobley, widow of Sir Walter Devereux. Her family owned Weobley Castle in Herefordshire which passed to her children by Devereux. By his mother Agnes, Thomas Parr was a half-brother of Walter Devereux Esq. Parr’s grand-nieces and nephews included Sir Walter, 1st Baron Ferrers of Chartley and Lady Elizabeth (Devereux), Countess of Pembroke [wife to William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke] which would give the Parr’s connections to some of the most important nobility at court. Thomas Parr’s other brother, Bryan, became Lord of Parr Manor from which a branch of the Parr family, which still resides in England, descends.  His maternal grandparents were Sir Thomas Tunstall of Thurland Castle and Isabel Harrington, daughter of Sir Nicholas and Isabel English. Sir Thomas Tunstall would go on to marry Hon. Joan Mowbray, daughter of Lord Mowbray and Lady Segrave and thus become the step-father of her children by Sir Thomas Grey which included the 1st Earl of Tankerville.

Kendal Castle was acquired through the marriage of Sir William de Parr to the heiress and only child of Sir John de Ros of Kendal, Elizabeth de Ros in 1383.
Kendal Castle was acquired through the marriage of Sir William de Parr to the heiress and only child of Sir John de Ros of Kendal, Elizabeth de Ros in 1383. Lord Parr was the last to reside at Kendal.

Life

Lancaster_vs_York

The Parr family had been long established in Parr, Lancashire. Parr’s family resided in Kendal. By marriage they inherited Kendal Castle and 1/4 of the Barony of Kendal which would come to be known as the “Marquis Fee.” Parr’s father, Thomas, was part of the War of the Roses and fought on the Yorkist side. He was attained in 1459 with the other Yorkists’, but the attainder was reversed in 1461 as he died in 1464. All of Parr’s siblings married into prominent families. His brother, Sir John, also a Yorkist, was rewarded in 1462 by being made Sheriff of Westmorland for life. Sir John would marry a daughter of Sir John Yonge, Lord Mayor of London. Parr’s other brother, Sir Thomas, was killed at Barnet. His sister, Mabel, married to Sir Humphrey Dacre, Baron Dacre of the North. Another sister, Agnes, would marry to Sir Thomas Strickland of Sizergh Castle. And Margaret married Sir Thomas Radcliffe.

Lord Parr was high in favor and a close friend with King Edward IV and repaid it with great fidelity. In 1469, he was on the side of the Nevilles during the battle of Banbury. In 1470, before the battle of Lose-coat-Fields he was sent by Clarence (the King’s brother) and Warwick (his wife’s uncle) and was entrusted with his answer. In 1471, Parr was one of the commissioners appointed to adjust with James III of Scotland of some alleged violations of the truce, which including a marriage treaty. On the return of King Edward again to contest his right to the crown, with Margaret Anjou supported by Warwick, Parr met him at Northampton with a considerable force and thence inarched to Barnet field where he was decided in favour of his royal master. Also in 1471, Sir Henry Stafford and his wife, Lady Margaret Beaufort (mother of King Henry VII), conveyed to him two parts of the lordships of Grasmere, Loghrigge, Longdon, Casterton, Hamelsett, and Troutbeck with their members, the hamlets of Applethwaite, Undermilbeck, and all lands in them; the close or park of Calgarth, the herbage and pannage of the same, the fishery in and of the water in Windermere, etc. Westmorland.

For his loyalty and part at Barnet, Parr was rewarded with the office of Comptroller of the Household which he held from 1471 to 1475 and again in 1481 till Edward’s death in 1483.[1][2][3]  Lord Parr was created a knight barrenet and was one of only two courtiers to become a Knight of the Garter in the second reign of Edward IV.  He was MP for Westmoreland in the 6th and 12th Edward IV and served as sheriff of Cumberland in 1473. in 1475, he travelled with the King on his expedition to France. In 1483, he was constituted chief commissioner for exercising the office of constable of England and was made ambassador to treat with the embassy from Alexander, Duke of Albany (son of James II of Scotland and uncle to James IV). Upon the death of King Edward, he was part of the funeral.

Life under Richard III

Richard III with his queen Anne and son, Edward, Prince of Wales.
Richard III with his queen Anne and son, Edward, Prince of Wales.
Neville arms
Arms of the heirs of Sir Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, eldest son of Sir Ralph, 1st Earl of Westmorland by his second wife, Lady Joan Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Katherine Swynford.

Sometime after 1475, Parr married secondly to Hon. Elizabeth FitzHugh, daughter of Lord FitzHugh and Lady Alice Neville (sister of Warwick and cousin to Edward IV and Richard III). Lord FitzHugh was the associate of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury (Elizabeth’s grandfather). Lord FitzHugh had been a long-standing supporter of the Neville family; he supported the Earl of Salisbury in his dispute with the Percy family in the 1450s. FitzHugh also served with the earl on the first protectorate council. Lord FitzHugh would go on to become a close ally of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick [“Warwick, the Kingmaker”] during the War of the Roses. In about 1452, FitzHugh would marry into the Neville family, marrying a sister of Warwick, Alice.

Due to the affiliation of Parr’s second wife to the Royal family, Parr was pressured by his mother-in-law, Lady FitzHugh, to follow the rule of her cousin, the Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III), while he was serving as Lord Protector of the Realm.[1] Parr, however, was not persuaded that Richard’s determination for the throne was justified. The murder of William, Lord Hastings on 13 June 1483 was the tipping point.[1] Hastings had been a close friend and adviser of the late King Edward IV.[1] Parr was no doubt a friend as well as a relation (Hastings was Parr’s uncle by marriage; Hastings was married to Lady Katherine Neville, another sister of Warwick). Parr was loyal to the institution of the monarchy, but deserted the idea of usurpation, however justified it was in political terms.[1] When Richard became King, Lord Parr chose not attend the coronation.[1] Parr had even been given a position in the coronation as canopy bearer.[1] Lady Parr and her mother, however, were present.[1] Both were dressed in fine dresses made by cloth that the new 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 (Neville); but she was one of the seven noble ladies given this honour. After the coronation, Lady Parr was personally appointed by the new Queen and served as lady-in-waiting to her cousin, whom she was close to. Queen Anne was the younger daughter of Lady Parr’s uncle, Lord Warwick.

Tomb of William Parr, Kendal Parish Church.
Tomb of William Parr, Kendal Parish Church.

Lord Parr is thought to be buried in Kendal Parish Church in Kendal, Cumbria, England. The tomb is not majestic and is tucked away behind chairs. His coat of arms can be seen on his tomb. The Church also features the famous “Parr Chapel.”

Marriages and Issue

Before July 1468, Lord Parr was married firstly to Joan Trusbut (d.1475).[2] The marriage produced no known children, however, Joan left a son, John, from her previous marriage to Thomas Colt Esq. of Roydon (d.1467). After Joan’s death, her son’s wardship was granted to Lord Parr. (The Manors of Suffolk) Colt most likely grew up with the children of Parr’s second marriage. Colt would marry and have a daughter, Jane, the first wife of Sir Thomas More.

After Joan’s death in 1475, Lord Parr married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry FitzHugh, 5th Baron FitzHugh of Ravensworth and his wife Lady Alice Neville by whom he had three sons and two daughters. After Parr’s death, his widow would remarry to Sir Nicholas Vaux (later 1st Baron) and by him she had further issue. (Plantagenet Ancestry)

  1. 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.[2]

    Elizabeth_Cheney_Lady_Vaux
    Elizabeth Cheney (or Cheyne), Lady Vaux of Harrowden; daughter of Anne Parr and Sir Thomas Cheney. Sketch by Holbein.
  2. 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. They were parents to Queen Katherine Parr, William Parr [1st Marquess of Northampton], and Anne Parr [Countess of Pembroke].[2]
  3. 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.[2]
  4. John Parr, Esq. (BEF 1483–8 September 1508), married Constance, daughter of Sir Henry Vere of Addington, Surrey. They had no issue.[2]
  5. Alice, died young (b. before 1483).[2]

After her husband Sir William Parr died in 1483, Elizabeth, who was twenty three at the time, was left with four small children. A familiar situation which Queen Katherine’s own mother would find herself in when her husband died in 1517, leaving her with three small children. Instead of choosing not to re-marry, like Maud Parr, Lady Parr made a dubious second marriage with a protege of Lady Margaret Beaufort [mother of the new King], Sir Nicholas Vaux, the future 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden, which saved the family fortunes.[3]

References

  1. Linda Porter. “Katherine, the queen,” Macmillan, 2010.
  2. Douglas Richardson. “Plantagenet Ancestry,” Genealogical Publishing Com, 2011. pg 662.
  3. James, Susan. Catherine Parr: Henry VIII’s Last Love. (2009), pg 15, 81.
  • Sir Leslie Stephen. “Dictionary of National Biography,” Vol 43, Smith, Elder, 1895. pg 366. Google eBook

Ancestral Lineage of Queen Katherine Parr

Royal Emblem of Queen Katherine Parr

“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.”[3] 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.”[3]

Kendal Castle was acquired through the marriage of Sir William de Parr to the heiress and only child of Sir John de Ros of Kendal, Elizabeth de Ros in 1383.

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.

Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Weobley, Hertforshire. Agnes is buried with her 3rd husband. Her first husband, Sir Walter Devereux, has his own tomb and effigy.
Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Weobley, Hertforshire. Agnes Crophull is buried with her 3rd husband, John Merbery. Her first husband, Sir Walter Devereux, has his own tomb and effigy.

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.[4][5][6] 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],[1]
  • King David of Scotland, sister of Matilda, Queen of the English [thrice through his son Henry, Earl of Huntingdon], [1]
  • King William “the Lion” of Scotland [twice through his illegitimate daughter Isabella, Lady Ros],[1]
  • Geoffrey Plantagenet, founder of the Plantagenet Kings of England through several lines.[1]
  • 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.[1]
Lady Joan Beaufort and her daughters

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.

Ravensworth Castle, ancestral home to the Barons FitzHugh

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.[5] 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.

Sir Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury and Lady Eleanor Holland
Princess Joan of Acre, eldest daughter of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile

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

Coat of arms of Prince Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent
  • 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.
Coat of arms relating to those mentioned below who married or are in the Holland family.
Coat of arms relating to those mentioned below who are members of, descendants of, or married into the Holland family. L to R: Mortimer, 2nd Earl of Kent, 1st Duke of York, 3rd Earl of Cambridge, Duke of Clarence, 3rd Duke of Lancaster, 16th Earl of Warwick

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.
Princess Joan of Kent and her son, King Richard II

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.

John Holland, Duke of Lancaster.
John Holland, 1st Duke of Lancaster.

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).
King Richard III and consort Lady Anne Neville were both cousins to Queen Katherine’s paternal grandmother

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.

Green Family

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.[4]

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.

Sources:

  1. Douglas Richardson. “Plantagenet Ancestry,” 2005.
  2. Douglas Richardson. “Magna Carta Ancestry,” 2nd Edition, 2011.
  3. David Starkey. “Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII,” HarperCollins, May 4, 2004. pg 690. Google eBook.
  4. 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.
  5. John Burke. “A general and heraldic dictionary of the peerages of England, Ireland, and Scotland, extinct, dormant, and in abeyance,” 1831.

Some of her ancestry can be viewed here:  

Tudors Wiki: Ancestry of Queen Catherine Parr

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.

Tudor Tart Lady Anne Bourchier: the unfairly treated wife?

Interesting blog on someone’s thoughts about William Parr and he getting what he deserved from his first wife who ran off with her lover and had illegitimate children by him. Right! Turns out the author of the blog DID use Alison Weir as her top source.
Tudor Tart Anne Bourchier

William Parr, Marquess of Northampton
William Parr, Marquess of Northampton

In response:
Where are you getting your info? Just wondering. Is this Wikipedia material? They were both unhappy when they married; it was a marriage of advantage which Maud Parr paid quite a deal of money towards only for the two to be incredibly unhappy. They were married at a young age [she was about 10] and they didn’t even live together for over 10 years. William was at court while Anne stayed behind in the country. Not defending William here, but it was a two way street and both sides were already unhappy with each other and decided their own fates. William was at least somewhat discreet and didn’t run off and father a bunch of bastards with Bray. The “tale” about William trying to get his wife executed is not proved to be entirely true. In fact it is only promoted on Wikipedia by Alison Weir’s book, “The Six Wives” which is full of inaccurate facts, especially in Katherine Parr’s section. Adultery wasn’t punishable by death back then or else everyone would have been sent to the block. Only Henry had that power to send his queens to the block for “adultery.” This tale seems to be played up by Alison Weir in her “Six Wives” book. Adultery by non-royals did not carry an assumption of being a capitol offense. For details of the actual account and reference to the primary sources that document what actually happened between Parr and Bourchier, see Susan James’s Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s Last Love, pages 50-52 and 82. You could also take a look at this page: http://queryblog.tudorhistory.org/2009/07/question-from-marie-when-did-adultery.html
Also, the only reason Anne went to petition for her husband was most likely for money and land; because after she ran off with her lover she was exiled in poverty. The bill which had made her marriage to Parr null and void was reversed under Queen Mary so she most likely saw that as an opportunity. She wanted money and land and that is what she got from petitioning — December 1553 she was granted an annuity of 100 pounds; and in December 1556 she was further granted an annuity of 450 pounds and then retired to the country after Elizabeth succeeded Queen Mary. She obviously knew Elizabeth wouldn’t stand for her charades and she didn’t. Elizabeth promoted Parr who waited out Anne’s life to finally be able to marry again, this time for love.

The Family of Queen Katherine: Lady Anne Bourchier, suo jure 7th Baroness

Henry Bourchier, 5th Baron Bourchier, 1st Viscount Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex (father of Lady Anne)
Henry Bourchier, 5th Baron Bourchier, 1st Viscount Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex (grandfather of Lady Anne) [7]
Lady Anne Bourchier (1517 – 28 January 1571) was the suo jure 7th Baroness Bourchier, suo jure Lady Lovayne, and Baroness Parr of Kendal [by marriage]. She was the first wife of William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton, 1st Earl of Essex, and the sister-in-law of Queen Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII of England.

She created a scandal in 1541 when she deserted her husband to elope with her lover, John Lyngfield, by whom she would have several illegitimate children. According to Alison Weir’s Six Wives, “he [Parr] was pressing the King to authorize the highest penalty for her offense, which in those days was death” and due to the intervention of Catherine, who at that time was still Lady Latimer, who spoke to King Henry VIII on her behalf, Anne avoided the possible penalty of execution.[1][2]

Lady Anne Bourchier was born in 1517,[3] the only child of Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex, 6th Baron Bourchier, Viscount Bourchier,[4] 2nd Count of Eu, and Mary Say, who was a lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII’s first Queen consort, Katherine of Aragon. Her paternal grandparents were Sir William Bourchier, Viscount Bourchier and Lady Anne Woodville, a younger sister of the English queen consort Elizabeth Woodville. This connection made her a 3rd cousin of Queen Katherine Parr. Her maternal grandparents were Sir William Say and Elizabeth Fray. Anne was related to three queen consorts of Henry VIII; Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Catherine Howard who all shared the same great-grandmother Elizabeth Cheney.

As the only child of the last Earl of Essex, as well as the contingent heiress of the Countess of Oxford, Anne was one of the wealthiest heiresses in England. The Bourchier wealth derived from the 14th century marriage of Sir William Bourchier to Eleanor de Lovayne (27 March 1345 – 5 October 1397), a rich heiress in her own right.

Marriage and inheritance

On 9 February 1527, Lady Anne was married to her 3rd cousin, William Parr. Parr was the only son of Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal, Sheriff of Northamptonshire and Maud Green. Anne was approximately ten years old at the time of her marriage which had been diligently arranged by her ambitious mother-in-law.[4] Anne later succeeded to the titles of suo jure 7th Baroness Bourchier and Lady Lovayne on 13 March 1540 at the time of her father’s accidental death. His viscounty of Bourchier and earldom of Essex did not pass to her, however, and both titles became extinct upon his death.[5] Her husband had been created 1st Baron Parr of Kendal in 1539.

Adultery

Anne and Parr were unhappy from the very start of their marriage. After their marriage in 1527, the couple did not live with each other until twelve years later. Anne was described as having been poorly-educated;[3] and she appeared to prefer the peace of the countryside to the excitement of Henry VIII’s court, as her first recorded appearance at court where she attended a banquet was on 22 November 1539 when she was aged 22.[3]

Lady Anne Bourchier abandoned her husband William Parr in 1541 and took up residence with a man now identified as John Lyngfield, the prior of St James’s Church, Tanbridge, in Surrey. Any wife acting in that manner was cause for public scandal, but the scandal was worsened when Anne became pregnant by Lyngfield. The birth of Anne’s child prompted Baron Parr to take action against her to protect his own interests, lest the baby should later in the future lay claim to his estates. In January 1543, William Parr then acted to protect his interests and secured a legal separation from Anne (but not a divorce or annullment). During 1541, after Anne had left, Parr started an affair with one of the ladies at court, Dorothy Bray.

From the Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of Henry VIII, dated 22 January 1543, there is this item:

“Whereas lady Anne, wife of Sir Wm Parre lord Parre continued in adultery notwithstanding admonition, and, finally, two years past, left his company and has since had a child begotten in adultery and that the said child and all future children she may have shall be held bastards.”[6]

Katherine Parr enters the picture in March 1543 when William relied on her influence to get a private bill through Parliament denouncing his wife’s behavior and declaring her child by Lyngfield a bastard. That bill did not include a sentence of execution for Anne Bourchier. All the bill actually did was publicly register William’s disapproval of his wife’s actions and prevent her son by Lyngfield from ever taking the Parr name. William and Anne remained legally married until 1552.


On 17 April 1543, he obtained an Act of Parliament, repudiating Anne and her child, who was declared a bastard, and unfit to inherit.

According to Alison Weir’s Six Wives: At this time, Parr’s sister Catherine was being courted by King Henry VIII. She was also a close friend of Anne, and according to Alison Weir, supported her against her brother who was pressing the King to apply the death penalty for his unfaithful wife.[1] Weir states that Catherine petitioned the King to grant clemency for Anne; Henry agreed, provided Parr himself pardoned her, saying to Catherine that “if your brother can be content, I will pardon her”.[1] After much pleading on Catherine’s part, Parr relented and Anne received the King’s pardon. She was, however, constrained to forfeit her titles and estates to her husband,[1] and spent the next few years living in exile at the manor of Little Wakering, in Essex.

ARGUMENTS against Weir:

First off, someone said that Weir’s info came from the Spanish Calendar. In the translation of “Chronica del rey Enrico otavo de Inglaterra“, published 1889 by G. Bell and sons, the “story” is about an “Earl of Rochford” who was in love with the daughter of Lord Cobham. No names are mentioned. The only reference to making the story possibly about Parr is the quote calling the person “brother of Queen Katherine, the last wife of King Henry.” Parr was not Earl of Rochford and he didn’t have a servant that fooled around with his wife and then left and died in Wales. Anne left Parr with another man and went into exile with him in Essex at the manor of Little Wakering where she became pregnant and had an illegitimate child. There are also NO dates present in this Chronica. It also doesn’t state “Parr prosecuted..” it states “the Earl..” Anne was prosecuted against to keep her illegitimate children from inheriting Parr’s inheritance and estates; he also wanted a legal separation from Anne.  The fact that Anne continued in adultery and had illegitimate children is recorded in the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII. I seriously think something either got lost in translation or I’m guessing by the time the news got to Spain it had been twisted into a completely different story which happened all the time in accounts of history. It’s like the Crusades — the 5 different accounts of the Speech of Pope Urban II at Clermont. The way word travels and the accounts of stories change over time unless they are immediately recorded at the time; which in England they were seeing how something was written in the LP’s of Henry VIII which deals nothing with Parr wanting Anne executed, just wanting her child declared illegitimate and wanting a separation. Unless you go into researching what Weir has to say, you are bound to agree with her and think that she knows what she’s talking about. This “account” is completely inaccurate and full of errors; somehow Weir twisted her story without really researching this document and then quotes it as a source when anyone who reads it can clearly see the constant errors.

Statement from Christine Hartweg,

The Spanish Chronicle is a bit notorious; it’s a typical gossip source, it’s also very likely this part was written some years after the events. I would think that he is in love with the daughter of the Lord Cobham is the ref to Elizabeth Brooke.

In a way the Spanish Chronicle is rather interesting, for example it is in many ways less biased in a purposeful sense than many of the ambassadorial reports; however it is completely garbled, clearly a source that interesting in respect what was talked AND then this got mixed up with the cultural prejudices and misunderstandings of the Spanish writer, who seems to have been in England for some time.

Statement from Hannah Stewart to make things clear about what we are dealing with [The Spanish Chronicles],

It is the Spanish Chronicle that also has Thomas Cromwell engaged in conversation with Katherine Howard shortly after her arrest (when in fact Cromwell had been dead for nearly two years). It is to be treated with a high degree of caution.

Secondly, it was highly unlikely that Anne would have been sentenced to death, as adultery was not a capital offense in 16th century England. Henry VIII’s wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were both executed for treason. The act of adultery, when committed by a queen consort of England, was legally a crime of High treason, and punishable by death. What is interesting is that Weir gives no support or citation as to where she found the info on the execution of Anne Bourchier. As stated, adultery wasn’t punishable by death in the Tudor era and adultery by non-royals did not carry an assumption of being a capitol offense.

For details of the actual account and reference to the primary sources that document what actually happened between Parr and Bourchier, see Susan James’s Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s Last Love, pages 50-52 and 82. First off, James never states anything about an execution and that Parr used his influence with Catherine to secure a separation. It then says that after all that was done with Anne, Parr embarked in an affair with Dorothy Bray. It was after Anne had committed adultery and run off, not before!

In 1543, William Parr had begun his courtship of the Hon. Elizabeth Brooke, who was a niece of Dorothy Bray, and a former Maid of Honour of Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard. He was created 1st Earl of Essex on 23 December 1543 by his brother-in-law, King Henry VIII. On 31 March 1552, a bill was passed in Parliament which declared the marriage between Parr and Bourchier to be null and void. Parr had married Elizabeth Brooke in 1547. Their marriage was declared valid in 1548, invalid in 1553, and valid again in 1558 upon the ascension of Queen Elizabeth I. Three monarchs had influenced the status of Elizabeth Brooke; Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I.

William Parr, Marquess of Northampton
William Parr, Marquess of Northampton

Later years and death

Upon the ascension of Queen Mary, Parr was arrested and was committed to the Tower after his traitorous complicity with John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland’s failed plot against Mary to place Lady Jane Grey upon the throne. After Parr was sentenced to death on 18 August 1553, Anne intervened on Parr’s behalf with Queen Mary I in hopes that they [she] would be able to keep their estates. Parr was released. The bill which had declared their marriage null and void was reversed on 24 March 1554. That December, Anne used the reversal to her advantage and was granted an annuity of £100. Again in December 1556, Anne was granted another annuity of £450. She remained at court until the ascension of Elizabeth I. Queen Elizabeth held Parr in high favour and Anne most likely knew that her charades would not be welcomed by the queen. Parr was restored to blood and was re-created Marquess of Northampton, re-elected to the Order of the Garter, and was made a privy councillor among other things.[3]

She had several more children by John Lyngfield but they, like her first child, were legally declared bastards. Only one daughter, Mary, is documented as having lived to adulthood. She married a Thomas York by whom she had children, but they all lived in obscurity. Author Charlotte Merton suggested that Katherine Nott, who held an unspecified position in Queen Elizabeth I’s household from 1577 to 1578, was also a daughter of Anne.[3]

Sir Robert Rochester and Sir Edward Waldegrave held Benington Park, in Hertfordshire, as feoffees for her use; however, upon the death of Rochester in 1557, Waldegrave transferred the property to Sir John Butler. In response, Anne brought a lawsuit against Waldegrave and Butler which was heard in the Court of Chancery.[3] She won the case but Butler petitioned to retry the case and continued to regard the park as his own.[3] Butler’s petition was apparently unsuccessful because following Queen Elizabeth I’s accession to the throne in November 1558, Anne had retired to Benington Park where she quietly spent the rest of her life.[3]

Anne Bourchier died on 28 January 1571 at Benington. Parr died the same year and was buried in the Collegiate Church of St. Mary in Warwick. His funeral and burial was paid by the Queen. He had married two times after Anne, but only his third wife, Helena Snakenborg, whom he had married after Anne’s death in May was considered legal. He fathered no children by any of his wives and the little money and estates he had left were passed to his cousins.

Upon Anne’s death, the barony of Bourchier passed to her cousin, Walter Devereux (husband of Lettice Knollys, cousin of Elizabeth I), who eventually was created Earl of Essex in 1572 after the death of Lady Anne’s husband, William Parr, the Earl of Essex, in 1571.

References

  1. Alison Weir. The Six Wives of Henry VIII, p. 492.
  2. What is interesting is that Weir gives no support or citation as to where she found the info on the execution of Anne Bourchier. Adultery wasn’t punishable by death in the Tudor era and adultery by non-royals did not carry an assumption of being a capitol offense. For details of the actual account and reference to the primary sources that document what actually happened between Parr and Bourchier, see Susan James’s Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s Last Love, pages 50-52 and 82.
  3. Emerson, Kathy Lynn. A Who’s Who of Tudor Women, Bo-Brom.
  4. Martienssen, Anthony (1973). Queen Katherine Parr. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. p. 39.
  5. Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 06 
  6. The Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic of Henry VIII, Vol. 18, Part 1, Item 66, Part III, cap. xliii, dated 22 January 1543
  7. European Heraldry. The War of the Roses: Descendants of Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester — Henry Bourchier, 5th Baron Bourchier, 1st Viscount Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex.