5 September 1548 – Death of Catherine Parr, Queen Dowager and Henry VIII’s Sixth Wife
Posted By Claire on September 5, 2014
On 5th September 1548, just six days after gving birth to her first child, a baby girl, Catherine Parr, Queen Dowager and wife of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, died of puerperal fever at Sudeley Castle. She was around 36 years of age and had been married four times. Catherine was laid to rest in Sudelely Castle’s chapel.
You can read more about Catherine’s death and the discovery of her remains in 1782 in my article from 2012 – 5 September 1548 – Death of Catherine Parr, Queen Dowager – and you can read more about her daughter Mary Seymour in The Mystery of Mary Seymour Solved?
Also on this day in history…
- 1569 – Death of Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London and a man nicknamed “Bloody Bonner”, in Marshalsea Prison. He was buried at St George’s, Southwark, but it is thought that his remains were later moved to Copford, near Colchester, a manor held by Bonner as Bishop of London. In Mary I’s reign, he was in charge of burning reformers in London, hence his nickname “Bloody Bonner”. Bonner was imprisoned in Elizabeth I’s reign for refusing to follow the Book of Common Prayer in his services, and for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy.
5 thoughts on “5 September 1548 – Death of Catherine Parr, Queen Dowager and Henry VIII’s Sixth Wife”
I would love to see an article here on the various Tudor-era graves: where they are, what they look like & are they accessible to visitors. Perhaps a mention of those graves that have been lost to time?
I am particularly fond of Catherine of Aragon’s. And, naturally, the joint grave of Elizabeth I & Mary I.
I too love to visit graves. You probably know this but there is a wonderful website called Find a Grave. you can type in any name and most of the time you can pull up pictures and information about that person and their final resting place. It is great for genealogy and there is a section on famous graves. Hope that helps!
Referring to your previous article (2012), why was Catherine’s hair in her portrait painted as chestnut (auburn)? A lock of her hair is extremely blonde. A commentator in the previous 2012 post suggested that her hair had faded, but I don’t believe it would have faded to blonde…it would have faded to grey, from lack of nutrition due to death. (Don’t mean to sound flip.)
I know that the current “conventional wisdom” is that this portrait is of Catherine Parr, and not of Jane Grey as previously believed, but I still have my doubts. The subject of this portrait looks closer to fifteen than to thirty.
Poor Katherine Parr, outlived Henry VIII, only to marry the man she loved Thomas Seymour, to find that he was a cad, betrayed by her stepdaughter of whom she was fond, Elizabeth who her husband pursued; and then the poor lady dies a few days after giving birth to her only child. Lady Mary Seymour whose story turns into a bit of a mystery. Her tomb at least was quite a grand one with her effiggy upon it; although she had a plain Protestant funeral, the first royal Protestant funeral in England. She was also spared the latter violent death of her husband for treason when he was executed in 1549 and that of her brother in law, Edward Seymour in 1551. What a shame her remains were not properly sealed again after they were dug up; she would have been preserved in her youth at 36.
I agree that the portrait above does not look like an adult Katherine Parr; it looks like a young woman in her mid to late teens. I have seen much better portraits of Katherine Parr; the one on the earlier article is much better; much more queenly. I have one question about the faces: was it a fashion for Tudor women to have white face makeup on covering their whole face and making them all look deathly pale? Several portraits from the era look as if the faces are white and pale, painted white that is, with rosey lips; weird.