Catherine Parr was the sixth and final wife of Henry VIII. She was born in 1512 to Sir Thomas Parr and his wife Maud Green. Catherine had already been married twice by the time she became Henry’s queen. Her first marriage had been to Edward, Lord Borough, he died and left her a widow in 1529. She was made a widow for the second time in 1542 after the death of her second husband John Neville, Lord Latimer.
Only to be made a widow for the third time following the death of the king in 1547. She married for the fourth time to Thomas Seymour the brother of Henry’s third wife Jane Seymour. Catherine Parr died in 1548 this time, out lived by her husband.
Catherine Parr Lady Latimer
When Catherine Parr caught the eye of the king she was Lady Latimer. There are many reasons why she struck the king as good wife material. Firstly Henry was now getting on in years, he had gained a great deal of weight and was suffering from ill health. He knew that she had nursed two elderly husbands through their final months of life and believed that she would be able to provide the same service for himself.
She had also been seen to take good care of her step children from these marriages, a good sign that she would indeed care for Henry’s children as she would her own. Catherine, Lady Latimer was not in love with the king. She was ready to accept the hand of Thomas Seymour whom she was truly attracted to. She married the king because she felt that she was obliged to, that it was her duty to do so. After all who can say no to a king and not fear some kind of revenge as a result?
Catherine Parr the Widow Queen
Following the death of Henry, Catherine was given guardianship of his youngest daughter Elizabeth. Having previously been married to men that had been somewhat older than herself, she found a new attraction in a younger man. Thomas Seymour, the brother of Jane Seymour, Henry’s third wife. He was one of the most ambitious men within the royal court and had been appointed Lord High Admiral of England as was brother to the Duke of Somerset, Edward Seymour who Henry had appointed Lord Protector for young King Edward VI.
Facts About Catherine Parr
Elizabeth lived with them until she was fourteen years old. They were married just four months after the death of Henry, without the permission of parliament, who would never have granted the request. Considering how soon it was happening after the death of the king, there was a chance, however slim that Catherine could be pregnant with the king’s child.
Thomas Seymour was eager to improve his position at court and if possible take the place of his brother as Lord Protector to the young king. Catherine’s marriage to Thomas produced a daughter, Mary who was born in August 1548. Catherine died the following month after contracting puerperal fever following the birth.