On 5th September 1548, the former Queen, Catherine Parr died at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire after contracting puerperal fever.  Six days earlier, she had given birth to her only child.

Catherine had outlived her former husband Henry VIII by a year, one month and eight days.  Within five months of King Henry’s death, Catherine was re-married, this time to Thomas Seymour, a poor choice by anybody’s reckoning.

Catherine’s funeral was at Sudeley Castle and Miles Coverdale, the translator of the Bible, officiated in one of the country’s first Protestant funerals.  The diminutive 10-11 year old Lady Jane Grey was ‘Chief Mourner’.

Catherine was buried in the Chapel of St. Mary within the grounds of Sudeley Castle {see photograph below}.  The property later descended into ruin and in the summer of 1782, Catherine’s lead coffin was found, less than one foot below the surface in the chapel.  The coffin was opened and Catherine was found in a good state of preservation, wrapped in six or seven cloths of linen; her flesh was described as ‘white and moist’.

Eventually, after a series of degrading exposures to visitors, the body was returned to a tomb beneath a Victorian marble effigy designed by Sir George Scott and carved by Sir Bernie Philip, who was responsible also for the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, London.

 

The tomb and final resting place of Catherine Parr

The tomb and final resting place of Catherine Parr