Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Buried in a Castle Garden

 From Royal Central:

Amongst the prettiness of rolling countryside and the gentle sound of sheep grazing sits a castle with its own little chapel. The walls are golden yellow while around it grow sweet scented flowers and glossy, regal trees. But behind this calm serenity lies the tomb of a queen whose life was filled with drama and whose end was soon forgotten in the tumult of Tudor politics.

Katherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII, had come to live at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire in 1548 alongside the man who replaced the king as her husband. Soon after Henry’s death, Katherine had married Thomas Seymour, the handsome and rather charming brother of the late king’s third wife, Jane. Tudor England was a small place. But for all his good looks and charm, Thomas was a far from ideal match. He was unscrupulous, ambitious and increasingly bitter that his older brother, Edward, had been given control of their nephew, Jane’s son, now Edward VI. And he was also keeping his options open with his interest in Henry’s daughter, Elizabeth, reaching beyond proper. (Read more.)


From The Tudor Travel Guide:

Her body was wrapped in cere cloth to embalm it – and as we shall hear shortly, this did a remarkably good job! In accordance with Katherine’s religious beliefs, she was buried in the chapel, within sight of the place she had died, in a religious ceremony which reflected Katherine’s ardent beliefs in the reformed faith; something that she had so zealously espoused during her life. The service was short and conducted in English. This was remarkable at the time, and is said to be the first Protestant burial of an English queen.

And so, Katherine lay in her grave, encased in a lead coffin, embalmed in cere cloth and undisturbed as the seasons, then the years, came and went. Her husband went to his grave, executed for treason not many months after Katherine died; at some point her infant daughter disappeared from the records and, in time her siblings, friends and family also passed into dust. (Read more.)

(Image Source)


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