1513 (14th August)
Katherine’s brother, William, was born to Sir Thomas Parr and his wife Maud Green.
1515 (15th June)
Katherine’s sister, Anne, was born to Sir Thomas Parr and his wife Maud Green.
Katherine began her education. She learnt French, Latin, Italian, needlework, music and social etiquette.
1517 (11th November)
Katherine’s father, Thomas Parr, died during an outbreak of the plague
Katherine married Sir Edward Burgh. They lived at Gainsborough Old Hall with Edward’s family.
Katherine’s mother visited her at Gainsborough Hall.
Katherine and Edward moved to Kirton-in-Lindsey, on the outskirts of Gainsborough where they established their own household.
1531 (1st December)
Katherine’s mother, Maud, died.
Katherine’s husband, Edward Burgh, died. Katherine was given two manors in Surrey and one in Kent from which she derived an income.
As a lady of means Katherine was invited to court functions.
Katherine married John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer. She took on the role of mother to Latimer’s two young children. The couple lived at Snape Hall in Yorkshire.
A band of Catholics protesting against the closure of the monasteries, forced Katherine’s husband to become their figurehead and join their protest. He was taken away by the rebels leaving Katherine alone with her step-children. He managed to free himself towards the end of the year and went to London.
Katherine and her step-children were held hostage at Snape Castle to force Lord Latimer to return to the rebels. Latimer returned and managed to persuade the rebels to leave Katherine and the children alone.
Lord Latimer was interviewed by the Council to determine whether he was a conspirator with the rebels or a prisoner as he maintained. Katherine’s brother, William Parr, spoke for Latimer and he was freed.
Katherine first became acquainted with Thomas Seymour when he returned to England after serving abroad.
1543 (16th February)
Henry made a gift of pleats and sleeves to Katherine Parr whose husband was on his death bed.
1543 (2nd March)
Lord Latimer, Katherine Parr’s husband, died. Although she was now a wealthy independent woman, Katherine chose to remain at court where she would continue to see Sir Thomas Seymour.
Katherine took up a position in the household of the Lady Mary
, King Henry VIII’
s eldest daughter. She caught the eye of the King when he visited his daughter.
Katherine did not return Henry’s affection because she was in love with Thomas Seymour
King Henry VIII had noticed the infatuation between Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour. As he had already decided to make Katherine Parr his sixth wife he sent Thomas Seymour as permanent ambassador at the court of the regent of the Netherlands.
1543 (early July)
Henry proposed to Katherine. Although she wanted to marry Thomas Seymour, she had little choice but to accept.
1543 (12th July)
Katherine married Henry in the Queen’s Privy Chamber at Hampton Court. The King’s three children were present for the ceremony which was conducted by Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester.
Katherine appointed her step-daughter, Margaret Neville, as her lady-in-waiting.
1543 (late July)
Katherine and Henry left London for their honeymoon.
With Henry’s approval, Katherine wrote to her three step-children inviting them to court. She took full charge of their education and welfare and ensured that the nursery was staffed with Protestant humanists. At court the children had honourable positions at court.
1543 (mid December)
Katherine’s brother, William Parr, was created Earl of Essex and became a member of the Privy Council.
Henry commissioned a painting of himself, his wife and three children but asked that his third wife, Jane Seymour
be painted as his wife. Katherine’s thoughts are not recorded.
Katherine’s book ‘Psalms or Prayers’ was anonymously published.
Henry shocked the Council by announcing that he would personally lead the English army into France. They doubted that Henry would be able to lead the army due to his size and limited mobility.
1544 (7th February)
Act of Succession
This act stipulated that Prince Edward
was to succeed Henry to the throne with any children of his present marriage being next in line followed by Lady Mary
and Lady Elizabeth
1544 (late June)
1544 (7th July)
The Privy Council were told that Katherine was to be regent during the King’s absence in France. Her advisors were to be Archbishop of Canterbury
, Thomas Cranmer
; Chancellor Thomas Wriothesley; the Earl of Hertford; Dr Thirlby and William Petre.
1544 (13th July)
The King’s three children were among the guests attending a supper party in Hyde Park given by the King on the evening before he left for France.
1544 (14th July)
Henry and an army of 40,000 men crossed the Channel to Calais.
Katherine Parr appointed John Cheke, a reforming humanist, as tutor to Prince Edward
1544 (early August)
Katherine and the royal children left London to avoid an outbreak of the plague. They stayed with the Countess of Rutland at Oakham.
1544 (30th September)
Henry returned to England triumphant having taken Boulogne from the French.
The French campaign had given Henry renewed energy and he spent much of the season hunting.
Thomas Seymour completed his spell as ambassador to the Netherlands. Wanting to keep him as far away from Katherine as possible Henry appointed him Lord High Admiral.
Henry was taken ill with a fever. He was also in considerable pain from his leg. His mood, which was always bad when he was in pain, was worsened by reports that heresy and Lutherism were spreading throughout the country.
An order was issued calling for the persecution of heretics to be increased. Twenty-three people were arrested including Anne Askew, a twenty-three year old Protestant.
1545 (8th June)
With Henry’s full approval, Katherine published ‘Prayers or Meditations’. It was the first book published in England by a woman under her own name.
1545 (late Autumn)
Henry was taken ill.
The Conservative Catholic faction headed by Gardiner and Wriothesley attempted to effect the downfall of Henry’s sixth wife. They used as evidence the fact that she was surrounded by known Protestants – the Seymours, Lady Hertford, the Duchess of Suffolk and Lady Dudley.
1545 (24th December)
Henry continued to be in poor health suffering a lot of pain in his leg. Katherine spent much time discussing religion with him in an attempt to take his mind off the pain. She probably also secretly hoped to convert him to Protestantism
Henry was told that the heretic Anne Askew had mentioned the Queen’s name during questioning. Although it was disproved Katherine was on her guard.
Henry was taken ill with a fever but recovered fairly quickly.
1546 (early June)
The Protestant, Anne Askew, was tortured by Chancellor Wriothesley. He hoped that she would further implicate the Queen. Despite the fact that both her legs were broken by the rack she refused to incriminate the Queen or recant her Protestant faith.
1546 (16th July)
Anne Askew was burnt at the stake. Due to her injuries she had to be carried to the stake. A bag of gunpowder, which had been given to the executioner by a sympathiser, was hung around her neck. The gunpowder exploded soon after the fire was lit.
Although Henry was still in poor health he and the Queen made a small progress around London. Henry was becoming concerned that Katherine had shown no signs of pregnancy and began to wonder if it was God’s way of condemning her for spending too much time discussing religion. Gardiner played on Henry’s thoughts and asked him if the Queen should really be arguing with the Head of the Church in England on matters of religion. He persuaded Henry to allow him to draw up articles against the Queen.
1546 (mid August)
Katherine’s ladies-in-waiting were closely questioned regarding books they and the Queen possessed. A warrant was drawn up for the Queen’s arrest and signed by the King. However, it was dropped and found by a member of Katherine’s household. Katherine, concerned for her fate, became very upset. When Henry heard her cries and visited her to find out what was wrong. She told him that she was worried that she may have displeased him in some way. Henry was touched by her words and stayed with her awhile. He also remembered how she was the most gentle and adept at changing his leg dressings.
After the King left Katherine ordered all forbidden books to be removed from her apartments. When she was next with the King she made a point of explaining to him that she only discussed religion with him to help him forget the pain in his leg. When Wriothesley arrived to arrest Katherine, Henry dismissed him saying he was a fool.
The King’s health continued to deteriorate and he was now unable to walk and had to be carried everywhere.
The radical reforming faction launched an attack on the Conservatives. The Duke of Norfolk’s son, the Earl of Surrey, was accused of indulging in vices, failing to observe Lent and stating that if the King were to die then his father could be King. He was also implicated in a plot to remove the Queen and replace her with the Duchess of Richmond.
The King had to cancel several meetings due to ill health.
1546 (24th December)
The Court was closed to all except the Privy Council. Both Katherine, Lady Mary and Lady Elizabeth were present at Greenwich Palace. Henry was feverish and suffering agonising pains in his legs.
1546 (30th December)
Henry dictated his will.
1547 (3rd January)
Henry was taken to his Palace at Whitehall in a wheeled chair.
1547 (23rd January)
Henry revealed the names of those that he had chosen to form a Regency Council after his death. Top of the list was Edward Seymour
who was to be Lord Protector for Edward.
1547 (26th January)
Henry was now on his deathbed and summoned Katherine to say goodbye.
1547 (27th January)
Henry summoned his confessor and took Holy Communion. He also saw Lady Mary and asked her to look out for her younger brother, Edward.
1547 (28th January)
Henry VIII, aged 55 years, died at 2am at Whitehall Palace.
1547 (28th January)
Edward Seymour wasted no time in securing for himself the title “Protector of all the realms and dominions of the King’s Majesty”. He also rode to collect Edward and brought him to London where he was proclaimed King Edward VI.
1547 (16th February)
The body of King Henry VIII was laid to rest next to that of Jane Seymour in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
1547 (20th February)
Edward was crowned King Edward VI.
1547 (late February)
Katherine left court and retired to the Old Manor in Chelsea.
Thomas Seymour suggested to the council that he marry Lady Elizabeth but his request was turned down.
Katherine secretly married Thomas Seymour. They kept the marriage secret because it had only been a short time since the death of Henry VIII and lived separately.
Katherine invited Lady Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey
to live in her household.
Katherine’s marriage to Thomas Seymour became known. It was not well received due to the haste with which it had been made.
Katherine published Lamentations of a Sinner, a Protestant tract deemed heretic by the Catholic Church.
Thomas Seymour began to pay more attention to Elizabeth, who had remained under the protection of Katherine and lived in their household, visiting her while she was in bed and trying to touch and kiss her.
Katherine caught Thomas Seymour with his arms around Elizabeth. She arranged for Elizabeth to go and live with Sir Anthony Denny.
Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour moved to Sudeley Castle.
1548 (30th August)
A daughter, Mary, was born to Katherine and Thomas Seymour.
1548 (3rd September)
Katherine was taken ill and became delirious.
1548 (5th September)
Katherine died from puerperal fever at Sudeley Castle. She was buried in Sudeley Castle Chapel.