Parr, Katherine
(c. 1513-1548)
   sixth wife of Henry VIII and Protestant convert
   Katherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII, played an important role in the development of Protestantism in England. Katherine's mother was a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon, the mother of Mary I, and Katherine was raised in the royal nursery Henry married her in 1543.
   It appears that she was converted to Protestantism by Thomas Cranmer. She used her position in the royal household to ensure that her stepchildren (later Edward VI and Elizabeth I) were educated by Protestant tutors. She also wrote two works of Protestant piety, Prayers or Meditations (1545) and The Lamentations of a Sinner (published in 1547, after Henry's death). In March 1547, she married Thomas Seymour and became involved in his family's attempt to control affairs in England during Edward's reign. She died in childbirth in 1548.
   During her brief period as Henry's wife, Parr was able to provide patronage for a number of Protestant leaders, such as Miles Coverdale and Hugh Latimer, who would later play major roles in the triumph of Protestantism. Coverdale attained fame for his Bible translation, and Latimer was martyred by Mary I.
   Further reading:
   ■ Mary Luke, The Early Modern Englishwoman: A Facsimile Library of Essential Works Printed Writings, 1500-1640: Katherine Parr, part 1, vol. 3 (Menston, U.K.: Scolar Press, 1996)
   ■ Anthony K. Martienssen, Queen Katherine Parr (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974)
   ■ Janel Mueller, "A Tudor Queen Finds Voice: Katherine Parr's Lamentation of a Sinner," in The Historical Renaissance, Heather Dubrow and Richard Strier, eds. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988): 15-47.

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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