30 August 1548 – Catherine Parr gives birth to a daughter

Sudeley Castle Anthony O'Neil geographOn this day in history, 30th August 1548, Catherine Parr, Queen Dowager and wife of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, gave birth to a healthy daughter at Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire.

The little girl was baptised ‘Mary’ after her godmother, the Lady Mary, who was Catherine Parr’s stepdaughter by her marriage to King Henry VIII. Unfortunately, Catherine Parr died on 5th September 1548 of puerperal, or childbed, fever.

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Picture: Courtyard of Sudeley Castle, Anthony O’Neil, geograph.org.uk.

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7 thoughts on “30 August 1548 – Catherine Parr gives birth to a daughter”
  1. Poor little girl didn’t have a very good start in life, her mother died when she was barely a week old and she lost her father to the executioner, her godmother was Mary Tudor and so she would have been responsible for her well being and education but she was given into the care of the Duchess of Suffolk, a friend of her mothers who no doubt tried to do her best for the baby, that there is no record of her life after her fathers death suggests that she died young herself, a queens daughter would have had the very best care and her very whearabouts would have been on record, as she grew older would have made a good marriage befitting of her station but she vanishes from history, maybe she succumbed to one of the many childhood ailments of the age or influenza, she could also have been another victim of cot death which so many babies had, it seems King Henry’s children fell victim to that strange malady, as indeed sadly babies in our age do to, I should imagine if that were the case and she did indeed die young, she would have been buried with her mother yet surely an inscription would have been added to the tomb? I believe there is none and it’s as if she never existed yet exist she did, and I find it very frustrating that she’s been treated as if she never was born at all.

    1. I’m a bit sketchy on the details but I think Catherine’s coffin was lost for a couple of centuries. When they did find it, there was no trace of her daughter which I agree, was a shame. I think Mary Tudor would have made a wonderful foster mum as she had such maternal feelings that she doted on even Anne Boleyn’s daughter. I suppose it wasn’t seemly for an unmarried woman to take on the role but I’m sure it would have benefited them both. So many of the young died then and so many had so much promise. I hope Mary Seymour had love and happiness in her short life.

  2. This is wonderful, a real historical mystery and the hope that a little girl could have lived beyond her second year of her short but loved life. The poem leaves the door open and without confirmation of death or other evidence, nobody knows what happened. Little Mary may have died and be buried in a shared grave as infants sometimes were in the church near Grimsthorpe or she could have been a young woman, that was lost to history, but for a beautiful and rare poem which memorializes her possible death. Somehow, I think the latter is sadder as this is a woman, denied her story, while the baby is well cared for and documented. I feel I know the child, if the woman lived, she is a mystery waiting to be discovered.

  3. Would the king (or Protector Somerset) have a say in choosing the guardian of the child? If so, they wouldn’t want the baby in Mary Tudor’s care because she would raise the child a Catholic.

  4. I find it very ironic that Catherine survived her marriage to the worlds most notorious bridegroom only to fall victim to the trials of childbirth, that must have claimed the lives of many a healthy woman and been devastating for so many family’s.

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