15 December – The death of Thomas Parry and the burial of Cardinal Reginald Pole

On this day in Tudor history, 15th December, 1560, Comptroller of the Household to Elizabeth I and Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Thomas Parry died. The Spanish ambassador claimed that Parry had died of “sheer grief”. He was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Parry had served Elizabeth since 1547 and was a loyal servant and friend. So why did he die of grief?

Find out more about Thomas Parry, his background, life, and why he was upset in 1560, in this talk…

Also on this day in Tudor history, 15th December 1558, Cardinal Reginald Pole, Mary I’s Archbishop of Canterbury and her chief advisor, was buried at Canterbury Cathedral.

Coincidentally, Cardinal Pole had died the same day as his queen, on 17th November 1558.

Find out a bit more about Cardinal Pole, his background, death and burial, in this video…

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One thought on “15 December – The death of Thomas Parry and the burial of Cardinal Reginald Pole”
  1. Thomas Parry is described in Jean Plaidy’s Gay Lord Robert as a bit of an old gossip and he and Katherine Ashley, whom Elizabeth affectionately called Kat, would sit and natter for hours about the doings of the court and particularly Sir Thomas Seymour and his interest in the Lady Elizabeth their mistress, it was Katherine who teased Elizabeth about how she thought the admiral wished to marry her before he married the kings widow and after, when Catherine Parr had died, how he might still try to wed her, Elizabeth knew such talk was dangerous however and was much more constrained than her two servants, when they were both interrogated Parry must have babbled under pressure and yet Elizabeth was naturally furious with him and called him a false wretch, his admission that the admiral and the princess were found in each other’s arms, and their discovery by the queen made her out to look like a hussy, unworthy behaviour of the daughter of the Great Harry, however she was fond of the fat merry little Welshman and he was soon back in her service and held many posts during his tenure at court, it seems he was one of the few people she knew she could trust, along with Katherine Ashley, surrounded as she was by sycophants, his death from ‘sheer grief’ is very sad but Elizabeth rewarded him with a fine tomb in Westminster Abbey, resting place of the regal dead, proof of the high esteem she held him in, his son also did very well at court, serving the new king after the queens death, he had been an advocate for the queen marrying her favourite Robert Dudley, but this was looked on with disproval by her minister and adviser William Cecil, and Dudley himself was aware he was not popular with Cecil and many of the council, Cecil saw him only as the son of a convicted traitor and mistrusted him, a theory is that it was Cecil who caused the death of his wife Amy, to make it look like Dudley was guiltily of murder and thus preventing the queen from being able to marry him, he was a wily statesman and did whatever he could to protect the queen from dishonour and the realm, but Dudley had a friend in Parry and it was here his character analysis was called into question, he actually liked the man, but maybe it was on a more personal level and saw how happy he made his mistress, whom Parry I have no doubt adored all his days just as Elizabeth adored him.

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