Elizabeth FitzHugh

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Hon. Elizabeth FitzHugh
Lady Parr of Kendal
Lady Vaux
Spouse(s) William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Kendal
Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden


Anne Parr, Lady Cheney
Sir Thomas Parr
William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Horton
John Parr, Esq.
Katherine Vaux, Lady Throckmorton
Alice Vaux
Anne Vaux, Lady Strange
Noble family FitzHugh (by birth)
Parr (by marriage)
Vaux (by marriage)
Father Henry FitzHugh, 5th Baron Fitzhugh of Ravensworth
Mother Lady Alice Neville
Born 1455/65
Ravensworth, Yorkshire, England
Died before 10 July 1507[1]
Harrowden, Northamptonshire, England

Hon. Elizabeth FitzHugh (1455/65 - before 10 July 1507) was an English noblewoman as Lady Parr of Kendal and Lady Vaux. She is best known for being the grandmother of Catherine Parr, sixth queen consort to Henry VIII, and her siblings Anne Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, and William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton.


Elizabeth was born at the family's ancestral home, Ravensworth Castle in North Yorkshire, England. She was the daughter of Henry FitzHugh, 5th Baron FitzHugh of Ravensworth (descendant of King John)[2] and Lady Alice Neville, daughter of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury and Alice Montagu, 5th Countess of Salisbury. Through her mother Alice, she descended from Edward III and was niece to Warwick, the 'Kingmaker'. Elizabeth had nine siblings,[3] including Alice FitzHugh, Lady Fiennes and Henry, 6th Baron FitzHugh who married Elizabeth Burgh or Borough, daughter of Sir Thomas Burgh, 1st Baron Burgh of Gainsborough and his wife Margaret De Ros. Their son, George FitzHugh, inherited the barony but after his death in 1513, the barony fell in abeyance between Elizabeth and her older sister Alice. This abeyance continues today between the two families.[4]
The current co-heirs to the barony are:


Elizabeth had an easy-going and pleasure-loving disposition. After her husband Sir William Parr died in 1483, Elizabeth, who was twenty three at the time, was left with four small children. As a widow, Elizabeth's life revolved around the court. Elizabeth served as lady-in-waiting to Richard III's queen consort, her cousin, Anne Neville. Elizabeth would be second in a four generation span of family that would serve England's queens which started in 1483 with her mother, the redoubtable Alice Neville, Lady FitzHugh. Her granddaughter, Anne Parr would continue the tradition by becoming lady-in-waiting to all six of Henry VIII's wives. Even Anne's sister, Catherine Parr, who later became queen served in the household of the Princess Mary until she caught the eye of King Henry.[5]

Elizabeth was lucky enough to remarry. After the overthrow of the House of York, Elizabeth made a dubious second marriage with a protégé of Margaret Beaufort, Sir Nicholas Vaux (later Baron Vaux), which saved the family fortunes.[5]

Marriages and Issue[edit]

Elizabeth was married twice. At the age of twelve, she married firstly William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Kendal, a man twenty eight years her senior. William was a Knight of the Garter who was held high in favour with King Edward IV; who by marriage was a cousin to him. He fought with the Nevilles on the Yorkist side at Banbury. Elizabeth did not give birth to her first child until the age of sixteen. Elizabeth and William had the following children:

  • Anne Parr (d. 1513), who married Sir Thomas Cheney of Irthlingborough. Their daughter Elizabeth, would go on to marry the son of Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden by his second wife, Anne Green; aunt of Catherine Parr. When Elizabeth married Lord Vaux, she was age 18 and he was age 14. While there were no blood relations, Lord Vaux's father, Nicholas, had been previously married to Elizabeth Cheney's grandmother, and had issue (see below), making Hon. Catherine, Alice, and Anne Vaux maternal aunts to Elizabeth Cheney. Through these connections Elizabeth, Lady Vaux and the 2nd Lord had Throckmorton cousins in common.[5]
  • William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Horton (c. 1483–1547), the second son, was knighted on 25 October 1513,[6] was sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1518 and 1522, and after his niece's, Katherine Parr's promotion to queen consort, he became her chamberlain. On 23 December 1543 he was created Baron Parr of Horton, Northamptonshire. He died on 10 September 1547, and was buried at Horton (for his tomb, see Bridges, Northamptonshire, i. 370). By Mary, daughter of Sir William Salisbury, he left four daughters. His daughter Maud and her husband, Sir Ralph Lane, are ancestors of Albert II of Monaco. The late Princess of Wales, Lady Diana Spencer, was also a descendant of Maud and Mary Parr.
  • John Parr, Esq. (d. 8 September 1508), married Constance, daughter of Sir Henry Vere of Addington, Surrey. They had no issue.

After the death of Sir William Parr c. 1484, Elizabeth married Sir Nicholas Vaux c. 1483/4 as his first wife.[7] Their issue includes:

  • Hon. Katherine Vaux (abt 1490-c. 1571), married Sir George Throckmorton of Coughton and had issue. Their descendants include the current Queen of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the late Princess of Wales.
  • Alice Vaux (d. 1543), married Sir Richard Sapcote c. 1501. No known issue from this marriage.
  • Anne Vaux, married Sir Thomas Le Strange (1493–1545) and had issue.



  1. ^ Douglas Richardson. Plantagenet Ancestry, Genealogical Publishing Com, 2004. pg 562.
  2. ^ Douglas Richardson. Plantagenet Ancestry, Genealogical Publishing Com, 2004. pg 144, 561.
  3. ^ The Complete Peerage vol.V, pp. 428-429
  4. ^ Crofts Peerage Online Baron FitzHugh
  5. ^ a b c James, Susan. Catherine Parr: Henry VIII's Last Love. (2009), pg 15, 81.
  6. ^ Metcalfe, Walter Charles, ed., Book of Knights Banneret, Knights of the Bath etc., IV Henry VI to 1660, London (1885), p. 50, at the siege of Tournai
  7. ^ History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons
  8. ^ "Henry FitzHugh, 5th Baron". Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  9. ^ "Alice Neville". Retrieved 2010-09-27.