|Lady Parr of Kendal|
|Spouse(s)||William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Kendal
Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden
|Noble family||FitzHugh (by birth)
Parr (by marriage)
Vaux (by marriage)
|Father||Henry FitzHugh, 5th Baron Fitzhugh of Ravensworth|
|Mother||Lady Alice Neville|
Ravensworth, Yorkshire, England
|Died||before 10 July 1507
Harrowden, Northamptonshire, England
Elizabeth FitzHugh (1455/65 - before 10 July 1507) was an English noblewoman. 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) and Lady Alice Neville, daughter of Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury and Alice Montagu, 5th Countess of Salisbury suo jure, only daughter and heiress of Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury and Lady Eleanor Holland. Her paternal grandparents were William FitzHugh, 4th Baron FitzHugh and Margery Willoughby.
Through her mother Alice, Elizabeth descended from King Edward III. Through her grandfather, the Earl of Salisbury, she was a niece of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (known in history as "Warwick, the Kingmaker"), a grandniece of Cecily Neville, Duchess of York (mother of King Edward IV and King Richard III) and a great-grandniece of King Henry IV. Through her great-grandmother, Eleanor Holland, she was a great-great-grandniece of King Richard II and was also related to the York line of Kings and their successor Henry Tudor, who became King Henry VII.
Elizabeth had nine siblings, including Lady Alice FitzHugh 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.
The current co-heirs to the barony are:
- Rachel Douglas-Home, 27th Baroness Dacre née Brand (b. 1929)
- Hon. Tessa Ogilvie Thompson née Brand (b. 1934)
- Francis Brand, 7th Viscount Hampden (b. 1970)
- William Herbert, 18th Earl of Pembroke (b. 1978)
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.
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.
Marriages and Issue
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 Thomas Vaux, 2nd Baron Vaux of Harrowden, son of Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden by his second wife, Anne Green. This Anne was sister of Maud Green, who married Anne's brother Thomas Parr (below), meaning Anne Green was both aunt and mother-in-law to Elizabeth. Baron Vaux was himself also first married to Anne Parr's half sister (below).
- Sir Thomas Parr (c. 1483–1517), who was the eldest son, was knighted and was sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1509; he was master of the wards and comptroller to Henry VIII. He was rich, owing to his succeeding, in 1512, to half the estates of his cousin, Lord Fitz-Hugh, and also to his marriage with Maud Green, daughter and coheiress of Sir Thomas Green of Boughton and Greens Norton in Northamptonshire. He died on 12 November 1518, and was buried in Blackfriars Church, London. His widow died on 1 September 1532, and was buried beside him. Of their children, Katherine Parr, queen consort of Henry VIII, and, William Parr (afterwards Marquess of Northampton) are well known; while a daughter, Anne, married William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke of the tenth creation. The current Earl of Pembroke, Earl of Montgomery, and Earl of Carnarvon are descendants of Anne and William.
- William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Horton (c. 1483–1547), the second son, was knighted on 25 October 1513, 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. When Elizabeth married Lord Vaux, she was age 18 and he was age 14. Their issue includes:
- 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.
- Douglas Richardson. Plantagenet Ancestry, Genealogical Publishing Com, 2004. pg 562.
- Douglas Richardson. Plantagenet Ancestry, Genealogical Publishing Com, 2004. pg 144, 561.
- The Complete Peerage vol.V, pp. 428-429
- Crofts Peerage Online Baron FitzHugh
- James, Susan. Catherine Parr: Henry VIII's Last Love. (2009), pg 15, 81.
- 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
- History of Parliament, a biographical dictionary of Members of the House of Commons
- "Henry FitzHugh, 5th Baron". Retrieved 2010-09-29.
- "Alice Neville". Retrieved 2010-09-27.