William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton

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Sir William Parr
1st Marquess of Northampton
1st Earl of Essex
Baron Parr of Kendal
The Marquess of Northampton by Hans Holbein the Younger.jpg
Spouse(s) Lady Anne Bourchier
Elisabeth Brooke
Helena Snakenborg
Father Sir Thomas Parr
Mother Maud Green
Born 14 August 1513
Blackfriars, London, England
Died 27 October 1571
Warwick, England
Buried St. Mary's Collegiate Church, Warwick, England

William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton, 1st Earl of Essex and 1st Baron Parr, KG (14 August 1513 – 28 October 1571) was the son of Sir Thomas Parr and his wife, Maud Green, daughter of Sir Thomas Green, of Broughton and Greens Norton. William Parr was brother of the Queen consort, Catherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of Henry VIII, and Anne Parr.

Arms of Sir William Parr, Marquess of Northampton, KG

On 9 February 1527, Parr married Anne Bourchier, 7th Baroness Bourchier, daughter of Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex. On 17 April 1543, their marriage was annulled by an Act of Parliament and her children (by her lover) were declared bastards. Parr also obtained his ex-wife's lands and titles, being created Earl of Essex.

He later married Elisabeth Brooke, daughter of George Brooke, 9th Baron Cobham. Their marriage was declared valid in 1548, invalid in 1553, and valid again in 1558.

He was Edward VI's 'beloved uncle' and one of the most important men at Edward's court, especially during the time of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland's time as leader of the government. Parr, and especially his wife, were leaders in the attempt to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne after Edward's death. He had been created Baron Parr of Kendal in 1539, Earl of Essex in 1543 and Marquess of Northampton in 1547. Northampton was convicted of high treason and sentenced to death on 18 August 1553 after the accession of Mary I. He was, however, released in the autumn. His titles were restored to him by Elizabeth I in 1559.

His wife Elisabeth died in 1565. Five months before he died, he married Helena Snakenborg, a lady in waiting from Sweden. On his death, at Warwick Priory, as he had no children, his titles became extinct. His body was laid to rest in St. Mary's Church in Warwick, buried in the chancel of the church.[1] Queen Elizabeth paid for his funeral and burial. His tomb is inscribed: William Parr, Marquis of Northampton; Died in Warwick 28 October 1571. [Buried] with the ceremonial due [of a] Knight of the Garter to the Order of Queen Elizabeth who bore the expense of the funeral, 2 December 1571.



  1. ^ 'Warter - Warwick-Bridge', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 475-482. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51379&strquery=william+parr Date accessed: 28 May 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, 2011. pg 661/63.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, 2011. pg 657/58.
  4. ^ Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 565.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h The Lineage and Ancestry of H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, by Gerald Paget, Vol. I
  6. ^ Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families (Royal Ancestry). Genealogical Publishing Company (June 30, 2004).
  7. ^ a b Burke's Peerage, 1938, p. 2416.
  8. ^ The Family Chronicle of Richard Fogge, Archaeologica Cantiana, Vol 5, 1863.
  9. ^ E.W. Allen. The Antiquary, Volume 3. 1873. (Google eBook)

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Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Bedford
Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire
1553 – 1559
Succeeded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Braye
Captain of the Gentlemen Pensioners
1550 – 1553
Succeeded by
The Earl of Sussex