Essay on the Ghost of Queen Catherine Parr. Sixth Wife of Henry VIII.
|Catherine Parr was the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII and was the only wife who managed to avoid execution, divorce and outlive the King, despite rumors of the Queen's Heracy. Even though she was married to the King, she had a passion and long lasting love for Sir Thomas Seymour, brother to the King's third wife, Jane Seymour. |
After King Henry's death in 1547, Catherine married Seymour after he was refused by her Step-Daughter, the Princess Elizabeth.
Soon after the marriage, at the age of 35 years, Catherine fell pregnant; which in the 1500's was seen as a miracle and so a great banquet was held to celebrate the pregnancy. In 1548 Catherine gave birth to a baby girl, who she named Mary. Tradgedy struck two weeks later when the Queen died of a fever, most likely Puerperal fever, more commonly known as child bed fever. (A more serious case of Septicaemia which is contracted by a woman during childbirth or miscarriage, it is bacterial infection that if left untreated can be fatal. Other women who contracted and died due to child bed fever were Queen Jane Seymour and King Henry VIII's Mother, Elizabeth.)
Catherine was buried in a Chapel near Sudeley. Seymour abandoned his infant daughter and tried once more to propose to the 15-year-old Princess Elizabeth, when she once again declined his offer he moved on to seeking the hand of Elizabeth's half-Sister, the Princess Mary who also declined.
His lust for power and the neglect of his daughter would soon bring him to an untimley fate.
In January of 1549 Seymour was executed for treason by decapitation, Elizabeth then quoted "Today died a man of much wit and very little judgement." No one knows what happen to Catherine's unfortunate little girl, some say she just disappeared without a trace, others say she was put into the care of the Duchess of Suffolk as Seymour's lands were still property of the Crown and were confiscated from the little Orphan. There are still no reports on whether or not she made it to adulthood.
Not long after Catherine had been buried the Chapel was ramsacked by robbers and much was disturbed, it was then decided that Catherine's body be buried outside Sudeley Castle. just over 200 years later in 1782 one of the castle worker's found dug up a casket and opened it, in side was the perfectly preserved body of a beautiful young woman with pale white skin and orbon hair, it was the body of Catherine. Eventually the man's wonder turned to fright as her body withered away to dust, he quickly closed the casket and re-buried it.
35 years later, Catherine was moved to her final resting place and was placed in a tomb befitting a Queen of England. Her body may have been laid to rest at last but does her spirit still wonder Sudeley, is she looking for her long lost daughter hoping to be once again reunited.
To those who work in the Castle this very day, she is simply a friend.