William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Marquess of Northampton
1st Earl of Essex
Baron Parr of Kendal
The Marquess of Northampton by Hans Holbein the Younger.jpg
Born14 August 1513
Blackfriars, London, England
Died27 October 1571
Warwick, England
BuriedSt. Mary's Collegiate Church, Warwick, England
Spouse(s)Lady Anne Bourchier
Elisabeth Brooke
Helena Snakenborg
FatherSir Thomas Parr
MotherMaud Green

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 of Anne Parr.


Parr took part in suppressing the rising in the north of England in 1537, and after serving as Member of Parliament for Northamptonshire was made Baron Parr in 1539. In December 1543, just after his sister had married the king, he was created Earl of Essex, a title formerly held by his father-in-law, Henry Bourchier, who had died in March 1540.[1]

Arms of Sir William Parr, Marquess of Northampton, KG

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 was lord-lieutenant in 1549 of five of the eastern counties (Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Norfolk), of Surrey in 1551, of Berkshire and Oxfordshire in 1552 and of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire in 1553. He was appointed Lord Great Chamberlain from 1550 to 1553.

Parr, and especially his wife, were leaders in the attempt to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne after Edward's death. He was convicted of high treason, attainted, 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.[1]


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 on 23 December 1543.

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. Elisabeth died in 1565; five months before he died, he married Helena Snakenborg, a lady in waiting from Sweden.

William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton, St. Mary's Church


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.[2] 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.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Northampton, Earls and Marquesses of" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 766.
  2. ^ '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. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, 2nd Edition, 2011. pg 657/58.
  5. ^ a b c d The Lineage and Ancestry of H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, by Gerald Paget, Vol. I
  6. ^ Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, p. 565.
  7. ^ Douglas Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families (Royal Ancestry). Genealogical Publishing Company (30 June 2004).
  8. ^ a b Burke's Peerage, 1938, p. 2416.

External links[edit]

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