July 20, 1543 – Katherine Parr Announces Her Marriage to Her Brother

The Wedding of Henry VIII and Katherine Parr, as portrayed on Showtimes' The Tudors

The Wedding of Henry VIII and Katherine Parr, as portrayed by Joely Richardson and Jonathan RhysMeyers on Showtimes’ The Tudors

Katherine Parr married Henry VIII on July 12 in a small, private ceremony in the Queen’s closet at Hampton Court. For some reason, it took her eight days to write (probably dictate) a letter to tell her brother. Why the wait? There is a part of me that ascribes the delay to wishful thinking, that perhaps it might not be true if she didn’t tell anyone, but that’s pure conjecture… Regardless, here’s what she said.

To our right dear and entirely beloved brother, the Lord Parr, Lord Warden of the Marches.

Right dear and well-beloved brother, we great you well. Letting you wit that when it hath pleased almighty God of His goodness to incline the King’s majesty in such wise towards me, as it hath pleased his highness to take me of all others, most unworthy, to his wife, which is, as of reason it ought to be, the greatest joy and comfort that could happen to me in this world.

To the intent, you being my natural brother, may rejoice with me in the goodness of God and of his majesty, as the person who by nature hath most cause of the same, I thought meet to give you this advertisement. And to require you to let me sometime hear of your health as friendly as you would have done, if God and his majesty had not called me to this honor, which, I assure you, shall be much to my comfort.

Given at my lord’s manor of Oatlands, the twentieth of July, the thirty-fifth year of his majesty’s most noble reign.

Katheryn the Quene

 

SOURCES:

Katherine Parr: Complete Works and Correspondences. University of Chicago, 2011. pg 46

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