William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton
b.14 Aug 1513
d.28 Oct 1571 Warwick Priory, Warwick, Warwickshire, England
m. 9 Feb 1527
Facts and Events
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 was brother to Queen consort Catherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of Henry VIII, and Anne, Countess of Pembroke.
On 9 February 1527, William 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.
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. 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.