Catherine Parr: Facts About the Sixth Wife of Henry VIII

Here are some facts about Catherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII.

  • Catherine Parr was born in 1512. Her father was Sir Thomas Parr and her mother was Maud Green. Maud was a lady-in-waiting to Henry’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and it is thought that this is who Catherine Parr is named after.

  • Catherine was well-educated and she was fluent in French, Italian and Latin.
  • Before meeting Henry VIII, Catherine Parr had been married twice before. Her first marriage to Edward Borough ended in about 1533 when her husband died. Her second marriage was to John Neville, the 3rd Baron Latimer of Snape Castle. They married in 1534 and the marriage ended when Latimer died in 1543.
  • Catherine and Henry VIII married on 12th July 1543 at Hampton Court Palace.
  • She formed a close relationship with all three of her stepchildren – Mary, Elizabeth and Edward.
  • Before Henry VIII died in 1547 he ordered that an annual payment of £7000 be made to Catherine so that she could support herself.
  • Catherine saw her stepson, Prince Edward, crowned on 31st January 1547. she then retired from court.
  • Later in 1547 Catherine married Thomas Seymour, who she was close to just before Henry VIII asked her to marry him. Thomas Seymour was the brother of Jane Seymour, Henry’s third wife.
  • In 1548 Catherine provided education to both Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey.
  • Catherine fell pregnant in 1548 at the age of 35. She gave birth to her daughter Mary Seymour on 30 August 1548.
  • Unfortunately, Catherine died six days later. She was buried in the chapel at Sudeley Castle.
  • Catherine Parr is often portrayed as an old woman who spent her time nursing Henry VIII as his health failed him. This is probably not an accurate picture as Catherine was in her early thirties when she was married to Henry VIII.
  • Catherine had two books published in her lifetime: Prayers or Meditations and The Lamentation of a Sinner.

If you want to find out more about Henry VIII’s other wives, click here.

Check out more Primary Facts resources on The Tudors.

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