Anne Parr

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Anne Parr, Lady Herbert (later Countess of Pembroke) as played by Suzy Lawlor

Born 15 Jun 1515 - Died 20 February 1552

Character's backstory
Younger sister of Catherine Parr. Sometime in 1528, Lady Parr secured her daughter, Anne, a post at Court as maid-of-honour to Queen Katherine of Aragon. Anne was then made a ward of King Henry. When Anne Boleyn was crowned queen in 1533, Anne Parr continued in the same capacity as maid-of-honour. She quickly succumbed to the spell of Queen Anne's charismatic personality and following the Queen's example, she became an ardent supporter of the New Faith. After Anne Boleyn's fall from power and subsequent execution, the teenage Anne Parr remained in the King's household as a lady-in-waiting to the new Queen, Jane Seymour. Anne Parr remained as a lady-in-waiting to each of Henry VIII's wives, and is one of the few women to have been lady-in-waiting to all six.

By 1537, Anne had become one of Jane Seymour's maidens. She was barely sixteen, sweet and, thanks to her mother's foresight, eminently marriageable. Her father had left her a substantial marriage portion, to which her mother's will added 400 marks in plate and a third share of her jewels. The whole fortune, Lady Parr had directed, was to be securely chested up 'in coffers locked with divers locks, whereof every one of them my executors and my ... daughter Anne to have every of them a key'. 'And there', Lady Parr's will continued, 'it to remain till it ought to be delivered unto her' on her marriage.

She was one of the few present at the baptism of Prince Edward Tudor on 15 October 1537 and was part of the funeral cortege of Jane Seymour.

In February 1538, Anne married Sir William Herbert (c. 1501 - 17 March 1570). The Herbert's appeared to be in the King's favour, as for the next few years Anne and her husband received a succession of Royal grants which included the Abbey of Wilton in Wiltshire, and lands in the West Country. When King Henry took as his fourth wife Anne of Cleves, Anne returned to her role as maid-of-honour.

As Lady Herbert, she was keeper of the queen’s jewels to Katherine Howard. Although she left court briefly to give birth to her first child, Henry (d. 19 January 1601) in 1540,
she was back at court in time to attend the disgraced Queen at Syon House and in the Tower.

Anne Parr was a witness to the wedding ceremony of Henry VIII and her sister Catherine on 12 July 1543 in the Queen's Privy closet at <a class="external" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Hampton Court Palace">Hampton Court Palace</a>. In September 1544, William Herbert was knighted on the battlefield at the Siege of <a class="external" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Boulogne-sur-Mer">Boulogne</a> during the King's campaign against the French. Anne, now Lady Herbert, was her sister's principal lady-in-waiting and the sisters were close. She would shortly move on to become Chief Lady of the Queen's Privy Chamber.

Anne, along with Catherine Willoughby (Catherine Brandon in the series) and Anne Stanhope were part of Queen Catherine's inner circle, and they were all Protestants. In 1546, after Anne Askew, a Protestant, was arrested, those who opposed Queen Catherine tried to gain a confession from Askew that the Queen, her sister, and the other women were Protestants. Queen Catherine and some of her closest friends had previously shown favour to the arrested woman. Askew refused to name any names, even under the pain of torture of Bishop Gardiner, Wriothesley (Risley) and Sir Richard Rich; still, warrants for the arrest of the Parr sisters and the other two were sent out. Gardiner and his new ally Wriothesley (Risley in the series) got Henry's agreement to a coup against the Queen. Anne, along with the Queen's other leading ladies, Ladies Lane and Tyrwhitt, would be arrested; their illegal books seized as evidence; and the Queen herself sent 'by barge' to the Tower. The Queen, however, warned of what awaited him, apologized to Henry. Catherine adroitly managed to persuade the King that her interest in the new religion had been undertaken solely as a means to provide stimulating conversation to distract the King from the pain caused by his ulcerous leg. Quickly reconciled, and when Wriothesley arrived with forty yeomen of the guard at his back and an arrest warrant for the Queen in his pocket, was greeted with a barrage of real abuse and sent packing with his tail between his legs.

Her husband, Sir William Herbert, was an executor of Henry VIII's will, and the king bequeathed to him £300, and nominated him one of Edward VI's new privy council of twelve.

Gentility: Nobility.

Position: Lady in waiting to all of Henry's wives. In 1551, she became Countess of Pembroke after her husband was created the 1st Earl of Pembroke by King Edward VI (Prince Edward Tudor). Baroness Herbert of Cardiff.

Personality type: Sweet, gentle. A most faithful wife, a woman of the greatest piety and discretion. She was extremely cautious when it came to her faith.

Signature look:

Endearing trait(s): Strong in her faith, a patroness of the Protestant faith.

Annoying trait(s):

Anne Parr as played by Suzy Lawlor

" a most faithful wife, a woman of
the greatest piety and discretion."
~ Anne's memorial in in St. Paul's Cathedral
next to the tomb of John of Gaunt.

Parr Coat of Arms

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Sir William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke arms
Coat of Arms
of Sir William Herbert as Earl of Pembroke of the

Earls of Pembroke, tenth Creation (1551)

After Story:

In 1551, William Herbert was created Earl of Pembroke, making Anne Countess of Pembroke. The title had been revived in favour of Sir William, whose father, Richard, was an illegitimate son of the 1st Earl of Pembroke of the house of Herbert. Anne and her husband were granted Baynard’s Castle as their London residence. For the birth of her second son Edward, Anne's sister, Catherine, loaned her the manor of Hanworth in Middlesex for her lying in. After the birth, Anne visited Anne Stanhope, Lady Hertford, who had also just given birth, at Syon House near Richmond. In August, the Queen sent a barge to bring Anne by river from Syon to Westminster. A girl was the third child of William and Anne, named Anne.

After Henry VIII's death, when the Queen dowager's household was at Chelsea, both Anne and her son Edward were part of the household there.

At the time of her death, Anne Parr was one of Princess Mary Tudor's ladies. She died quite unexpectedly at the age of 38 at Baynard's Castle.

She was buried in a tomb next to her great-great-great-great grandfather, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and his first wife, [Anne's first cousin six times removed] Blanche of Lancaster in the Old St. Paul's Cathedral, London.

Since her siblings William and Catherine had no children, Anne's children were to carry on the inheritance of the Parr family and the Earldom of Pembroke which still exists today; the current Earl is William Alexander Sidney Herbert, the 18th Earl of Pembroke (b.1978).


Family members:
Father: Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal
Mother: Maud Green
Sister: Catherine Parr, Queen of England and Ireland
Brother: William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton and 1st Earl of Essex
Paternal Grandfather:
Sir William, Baron Parr of Kendal
Paternal Grandmother: Hon. Elizabeth Fitzhugh, Lady Parr (she re-married, as his first wife, Nicholas, later 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden. They had three daughters.)

Uncle(s): Sir William, Baron Parr of Horton; Sir John Parr
Aunt(s): Anne, Lady Cheney; Katherine, Lady Throckmorton; Alice, Lady Sapcote; Anne, Lady Strange
Maternal Grandfather: Sir Thomas Green, Lord of Greens Norton
Maternal Grandmother: Joan Fogge

Anne Green, Lady Vaux (2nd wife of Nicholas, 1st Baron Vaux)

Cousin(s): Bishop Tunstall , Sir George Throckmorton
Brother-In-Law: Henry VIII, King of England
Brother-In-Law: Thomas Seymour
Brother-In-Law: Lord Latimer

*For ancestry see: Ancestry of Catherine Parr


William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke
(b. 1501, d. 17 March 1570) - wed in 1538


Sir Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (b. 1538 - d. 19 Jan 1601), married firstly Lady Catherine Grey, sister of Lady Jane Grey; after the fall of the Grey's the marriage was annulled, no issue. He married secondly Catherine Talbot, daughter of the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury; no issue. He married thirdly, Mary Sidney, daughter of Lady Mary Dudley and by her had issue.
Sir Edward Herbert (b. 1547 - c. 1593), married Mary Stanley and had issue.
Lady Anne Herbert (b. 1550 - c. 1593), married Francis, Lord Talbot, son of the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury; the two wed the same day as her brother's marriage to Lord Talbot's sister; no issue.


Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk (Catherine Brandon in the series)
Anne Stanhope, Lady Seymour
Henry VIII
Princess Elizabeth Tudor
Princess Mary Tudor

Prince Edward Tudor
Anne Askew
Thomas Seymour
Bishop Tunstall
Sir George Throckmorton
Maud Parr, Lady Lane (first cousin)
Joan Champernowne, Lady Denny
Jane Fitzwilliam
Elizabeth Oxenbridge, Lady Tyrwhitt
Anne Calthorpe, Countess of Essex
Jane Guildford, Lady Dudley and Viscountess Lisle
Lady Jane Grey
Lady Catherine Grey (married her son, Henry Herbert)

Bishop Stephen Gardiner
Thomas Wriothesley (Risley)
Sir Richard Rich

Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London



  • When Anne questions her sister's decision to put Hugh Latimer into her household as Chaplin - Season 4, Episode 7.
  • When Anne is comforted by her sister, Catherine after being arrested by Risley and Gardiner's faction - Season 4, Episode 9.

<embed flashvars="transition=Fade&site=" height="400" src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" wmode="transparent"/>
To add to this album - go to "Photo Albums" and look for " <a href="/photos/album/167204/Anne+Parr+as+played+by+Suzy+Lawlor" target="_self">Anne Parr as played by Suzy Lawlor</a>"

Anne Parr
Anne Parr
It is the opinion of Susan E. James, Catherine Parr’s biographer, that Anne is the subject of the “unidentified”
lady in the Holbein sketch shown above

Katherine Howard's ladies Season 4, Episode 4
Anne Parr as played by Suzy LawlorAnne Parr as played by Suzy Lawlor
Katherine Howard's ladies Catherine & Anne Parr - Season 4, Episode 7
Anne Parr, Lady Herbert serving her sister, Queen Catherine Parr
Season 4, Episode 7
Joely Richardson as Catherine Parr with Suzy Lawlor as Anne Parr Catherine Parr as played by Joely Richardson
Anne Parr as played by Suzy LawlorAnne Parr as played by Suzy Lawlor
Joely Richardson as Catherine Parr with Suzy Lawlor as Anne ParrAnne Parr as played by Suzy Lawlor with Joely Richardson as Catherine Parr
Joely Richardson as Catherine Parr with Suzy Lawlor as Anne ParrJoely Richardson as Catherine Parr with Suzy Lawlor as Anne Parr
Joely Richardson as Catherine Parr with Suzy Lawlor as Anne ParrJoely Richardson as Catherine Parr with Suzy Lawlor as Anne Parr

William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke
A young William Herbert wearing a Greenwich armor.
Husband of Anne Parr.
Sir William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke
William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke
Sir William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke

Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke
Anne and William's son,
Sir Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke
Anne Parr and William Herbert with children, Wilton Church
There is a stained glass window, formerly in the old chapel in Wilton House, now in the new Wilton parish church, commemorating the marriage of Queen Mary with Philip II of Spain in 1554 at Winchester Cathedral in the presence of the 1st Earl of Pembroke.
It includes figures of the 1st Earl, his late wife Anne Parr (who died 1552), and their three children.