1. Katherine of Aragon : Humble and Loyal
Other spellings of name : Catherine, Catharine, Katharine, Catalina
Appearance: Light complexioned and strawberry blonde hair due to her Lancastrian heritage. She was considered very beautiful in her youth. Called the "most beautiful creature in the world", and was reflected later that "few could compete with the Queen in her prime". It is thought she was under 5 feet tall. The years and repeated childbearing were not kind to her and she became overweight.
Character: more reserved than Henry but strong willed and deeply pious. Everything about her was regal and her graciousness & charm engendered a great love from the people who served her. Henry himself said she was "a proud, stubborn woman of very high courage"
- 1485 - born
- 1502 - widowed at age 17 when Henry's brother Arthur dies
- 1503 - betrothed to Henry when she was 18 and he 12
- 1509 - married Henry & crowned when she was 25 and he 17
- 1510 - in January delivers a stillborn daughter and in late May, either has a phantom pregnancy or an infection - first rumour of Henry having an affair (with Anne Stafford, Lady Hastings. see : Mistresses of the King). )There are angry words & Henry sends Lady Hasting's sister, Katherine's lady-in-waiting from court in retaliation
- 1511 - Katherine gives birth to a son who dies 52 days later
- 1513 - acts as Regent in Henry's absence - delivers a son who dies hours after birth
- 1514 - Henry notices & spends time with Elizabeth (Bessie) Blount & Katherine is visibly upset
- 1516 - delivers a healthy daughter, Princess Mary Tudor(aged 31)
- 1518 - delivers a still born daughter while being painfully aware that 17 year old Bessie Blount is pregnant and "glowing".
- 1519 - Henry Fitzroy, Henry's illegitimate son by Bessie is born & Henry celebrates, Katherine is humiliated and withdraws from court life [Season 1 of the Tudors begins at this date]
- 1520 - The Field of Cloth of Gold
- c. 1521 - 1525 - Henry takes another mistress , Mary Boleyn
- 1524 - After 15 years of marriage, Henry stops visiting Katherine's bed. Previous to this, doctors from Spain had examined her and ascertained that she could not bear any more children, she is aged 39
- 1526 - Henry ceases co-habiting with Katherine completely & has obviously become enamoured with Anne Boleyn who refuses to be his mistress
- 1527 - Henry formally informs Katherine of their separation and that he believes they have been 'living in sin" after 18 years of marriage, he asks her to reitire from court while this matter is settled. She refuses.
- 1529 - The Legatine Court at Blackfriars is called to examine reasons for the annullment of Henry & Katherine's marriage. She testifies and leaves the court saying she is still Henry's wife and queen. At Christmas, Henry spends time with her and appeals to her further.
- 1530 - Wolsey dies of illness after being arrested for plotting (along with Katherine & the Pope) to force Anne into exile. Henry spends more time with Anne Boleyn.[Season 1 ends at this date]
- 1531 - Henry allows Katherine to see her daughter, 15 year old Princess Mary Tudor in June in an effort to get her to agree to his wishes. However by July, she is banished from court. She is now 47. [Season 2 begins]
- 1533 - In May, Katherine of Aragon and Henry VIII's marriage is annulled by Thomas Cranmer. In June, she has her entourage put into new liveries embroidered with H & K to celebrate their marriage of 24 years.
- 1534 - An act of Parliament is passed making Katherine's marriage to Henry "utterly dissolved". The Pope then pronounces the marriage to be valid according to papal law.
- 1535 - There are plans for Katherine to escape organized by Ambassador Chapuys & Charles V but they are cancelled because of the fear that if they were discovered both she and her daughter would be executed.
- 1536 - Katherine dies January 7th aged 50 years old due to illness - which is today considered to be cancer. See more detailed timeline here
2. Anne Boleyn: The Most Happy
Other spellings of name : Anna Bolina, Nan Bullen.
Appearance: She is of middling stature, with a swarthy complexion, long neck, wide mouth, bosom not much raised, and in fact has nothing but the Kings great appetite, and her eyes, which are black and beautiful - and take great effect on those who served the Queen when she was on the throne. [The Venetian ambassador describes Anne, 1532]
Character: Mostly everyone was amazed by her talents but most of all of her charm. People described her as quick-tempered and spirited.
- 1501- born
- 1513 - sent to the Burgundian court of Margaret of Austria
- 1515 - 1520 In the Service of Queen Claude of France
- 1520 - attends the Field of Cloth of Gold [Season 1 begins]
- 1521 - recalled to England in November (aged 20)
- 1521 -1523/4 - sometime between those dates, her sister Mary Boleyn is Henry's mistress.
- 1522 - becomes Lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon and debuts in court at a masquerade "Chateau Vert" as 'Perseverance' March 1st See : Masquerades on the Tudors
- 1522/3 - She falls in love with and becomes secretly betrothed to Henry Percy, Duke of Northumberland but once Henry VIII becomes aware of this orders Cardinal Thomas Wolsey to put a stop to it. and she is sent from court.
- 1525 - returns to court
- 1526 - This is the year Henry VIII's infatuation with Anne turns into an obsession. He sends Anne a series of at least 17 love letters.
- 1526 - He asks her to be his "maitresse en titre". She refuses saying she will only surrender her virginity to the man she marries. (aged 25 & Henry is 35) Refuses him for more than a year & keeps her distance
- 1527 - In the summer, Anne surrenders and she and Henry become betrothed.
- 1527 - Henry VIII's "Great Matter" is now public knowledge and England is aware of Henry seeking a divorce from Queen Katherine.
- 1528 - This year Anne survives the sweating sickness and moves into her own apartments at court.
- 1529 - Henry celebrates Christmas with Katherine in a last ditch attempt to get her to agree to the annullment while Anne declines to appear.
- 1530 - from the New Year, Henry spends more time with Anne than Katherine
- 1530 - In November, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey dies after being arrested for plotting Anne's downfall along with the Pope and Katherine of Aragon. [Season 1 ends]
- 1532 - In September she is created Marquess of Pembroke [Season 2 begins]
- 1532 - October/November, Anne accompanies Henry on a state trip to Calais to meet with Francis I.
- 1532 - November 14 may have been the date of a formal commitment by Henry and Anne or a first wedding dates as affirmed by certain supporters and opponents of the couple at the time.
- 1533 - January 25 Anne and Henry VIII marry and Pope Clement VII excommunicates Henry VIII.
- 1533 - May 29 crowned as Queen of England (aged 32).
- 1533 - September 7 Princess Elizabeth is born.
- 1534 - January announces she is pregnant again
- 1534 - March 23 The Act of Succession is passed by Parliament recognizing Henry and Anne's children as the lawful heirs to the throne.
- 1534 - June/July - Stillbirth/miscarriage. Henry orders it to be kept secret.
- 1535 - October Anne is once more pregnant and by November, Jane Seymour becomes the new object of Henry's affection.
- 1536 - January 24 - Henry has a jousting accident and is unconscious for 2 hours
- 1536 - January 7 Katherine of Aragon dies
- 1536 - January 29 - Anne has another miscarriage, the same day as Katherine's funeral.
- 1536 - May 1 - arrested and taken to the Tower.
- 1536 - May 15 - Trial where she is found guilty of treason in the Great Hall of the Tower of London.
- 1536 - May 17 - Thomas Cranmer annuls her marriage to Henry.
- 1536 - May 19 - executed on Tower Green (aged 35) and is placed in an unmarked grave in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula [Season 2 ends] See more detailed timeline here
Annabelle Wallis as Jane Seymour
Anita Briem as Jane Seymour
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| | Annabelle on her performance as Jane :
I was always really interested in that period of time ... so I knew of Jane Seymour, and luckily for me, she's the most beloved queen. She was a very amiable, good queen, a peacemaker... . And of course, she's far less obvious than someone like Anne Boleyn. I think there's an intelligence behind her lack of obviousness. In a way, she has more power that way, and if she had survived [giving] birth, she would have gone to become quite an incredible queen.
To me, it came across as someone who was very composed, very secure... . She was Henry's rock, and she brought a lot of confidence back into the court. I wanted to make it clear that she's not a stupid woman, that she's not weak. She tests her boundaries, she pushes the envelope as much as she can, but you have to put her back in her place. In a way, it's almost protective of Henry, in that he stops her in a situation that may be not so beneficial for her, and oversteps her line.
| Anita on Jane :|
Jane Seymour is no dumbbell. She happens to be an eighteen year old who is plucked from her father's arms into a whirlwind romance with the King of England. That is no small deal. I enjoyed it immensely.
| Jonathan Rhys Meyers on Jane:|
He's marrying the perfect wife for him,and he's learned that he doesn't need an Anne Boleyn-another partner in crime to help him to take over the world. He just needs a wonderful supportive wife to take care of him when he comes home from a hard day beheading people
what do you think.
3. Jane Seymour: Bound To Obey and Serve
Other spellings of name: Ionna
Appearance: Was of medium height,with a pale, nearly white complexion. Ambassador Chapuys said "She is of middle height and nobody thinks that she has much beauty. Her complexion is so whitish that she may be called rather pale ..." The French ambassador thought of her as plain.
Character: Henry VIII would remember her as "the fairest, the most discreet, and the most meritorious" of all his wives. Cardinal Pole called her "full of goodness". Chapuys said "...she is not very intelligent and is said to be rather haughty". She was a devout catholic, not fond of pageantry but certainly politically ambitious.
- 1508 - Born
- 1523 - starts her service as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon
- 1533 - starts her service as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn
- 1535 - September King Henry stays at John Seymour's residence of Wolfhall and notices Jane [Jane's story in The Tudors starts here]
- 1535 - November Henry starts to court Jane his intentions were originally for her to be his mistress not his wife, he is 44 and she 27
- 1536 - January Queen Anne miscarries apparently after seeing Jane on Henry's lap and Jane changes her intentions towards the king and starts to pursue her chance to be Henry's consort
- 1536 - February/March Historians speculate if Jane becomes pregnant around this time
- 1536 - March returns Henry's letter & purse indicating she will not be his mistress.
- 1536 - April Moves into adjoining apartments to the king's which were once Thomas Cromwell's. When Henry was visiting her or her visiting him she was always chaperoned
- 1536 - Late April/Early May Henry sends Jane away from court so she is not attached to the downfall of his current wife
- 1536 - May 14 Jane is moved to a house in Chelsea to be closer to Henry
- 1536 - May 17 Thomas Cranmer declares Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn null and void leaving Henry's heirs with any future wife to take predence of his daughters Mary and Elizabeth
- 1536 - May 20 Henry is betrothed to Jane just 24 hours after Anne's execution [Season Two ends here]
- 1536 - May 30 Jane marries Henry [Season Three starts here]
- 1536 - June 4 Jane is declared as Henry's Queen Consort and true wife
- 1536 - July 6 starts to re-unite Henry with his eldest daughter Lady Mary whom Jane supports and is friends with
- 1537 - February Jane successfully concieves a child
- 1537 - May 27 Trinity Sunday, there is a Te Deum sung at St Paul's cathedral for joy at the queen's quickening of her child.
- 1537 - October 12 Son Prince Edward born
- 1537 - October 14 Jane attends Edwards christening with both Henry's daughters Mary and Elizabeth present. Is reported to have been very "weak" and ill looking.
- 1537 - October 24 Jane dies of puerperal fever aged 29 with Henry being 46, making Henry a widower he mourns her (and/or doesn't get married) for three years
- 1537 - November 12 Jane is laid in a tomb to rest at St George's chapel
| | Seasons 3 and 4
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| Joss on Anne of Cleves:|
She is very clever, I like that she was really, I think that she was a very smart, intelligent young lady. She didn't lose her head, managed to come out of it with a little bit of cash and a castle to live in and the King wanted to call him his sister. She came out of it pretty good. But it is heart breaking, it is heart breaking when anybody rejects you like that and I think more so, more than being upset that he didn't fancy her, I think she was more scared he was going to kill her. Combine the two, it is not a happy month for her, poor girl you know, it is a bit of heartbreak and a bit of worrisome.
I am really happy that I ended up being Anne of Cleves because it is such a different thing to do, she wasn't exactly the most beautiful of the Queens apparently so, which is cool though and the accent is interesting, it is also more of a challenge
| Jonathan on Joss as Anne of Cleves and Henry's feelings towards her:|
"Anne was not as unattractive as history has portrayed her. But she wasn't exactly gorgeous either. She just wasn't Henry's cup of tea. There was no chemistry from the moment they met. Joss was great in the role but even without make-up she still looked beautiful. So it does seem a little strange that Henry rejects her sexually because he just isn't into her."
4. Anne of Cleves: God Send Me Well To Keep
Other spellings of name: Anna von Jülich-Kleve-Berg
Appearance: Though unfairly characterized by many as Henry's "ugly wife" because of his dismissal of her, Anne of Cleves was considered by many to be as handsome as other women. She was described by the French Ambassador Marillac, as tall and thin, "of middling beauty, with a determined and resolute countenance."
Character: There was a French report that the English valued her "as one of the most sweet, gracious and humane queens they had had." Later in life she was described as "A lady of right commendable regard, courteous, gentle and a good housekeeper and very bountiful to her servants"
- 1515 - September 22 Born in Düsseldorf, Cleves, Germany
- 1527 - "Unofficially" betrothed to Francis, the son of the Duke of Lorriane at the age of 12
- 1535 - Betrothal to Francis the son of the Duke of Lorriane is cancelled
- 1538 - Holbein paints the famous portrait of her
- 1539 - Anne's father Duke John III of Cleves dies, her brother William becomes the Duke of Cleves
- 1539 - March Marriage negotiations for a marriage with Henry start
- 1539 - October 4 The marriage treaty is signed
- 1539 - December 27 Anne's ship lands at Deal [Anne's story in The Tudors starts here]
- 1540 - Henry meets Anne in a suprise visit at Rochester which doesn't go down that well
- 1540 - January 1 Henry marries Anne making Anne of Cleves Henry's fourth wife and Queen Consort (Henry is 49, Anne is 25)
- 1540 - April Henry starts to court Anne's lady-in-waiting Katherine Howard
- 1540 - June 24 Anne is ordered to leave court
- 1540 - July 6 Anne is informed that her marriage will be annulled [Season Three ends here]
- 1540 - July 9 Anne's marriage is annulled and Anne is now styled "The King's Sister"
- 1540 - July 28 Henry marries Katherine Howard, Anne is informed of the Kings new marriage [Season Four starts here]
- 1540 - Christmastide Celebrations Anne is presented to Henry's new Queen Katherine Howard and is said to be very friendly and merry with Katherine, Henry retires from celebrations because of leg his wife and ex-wife lead the dances together
- 1541 - August it is rumoured that Henry VIII is going to put aside Katherine Howard and remarry Anne of Cleves because he had been enjoying her company
- 1541 - December Chapuy's writes that Anne “was known to have gone away in the family way from the King, and had actually been confined this summer.” This appears to be just rumour and gossip.
- 1542 - February 13 Katherine Howard is executed, rumours start to swirl that Henry will take Anne of Cleves back as his wife
- 1543 - July 12 Henry marries his sixth wife Catherine Parr, Anne's hopes of being re-instated as Henry's wife and Queen are dashed
- 1547 - January 28 Anne's ex-husband Henry dies [Season Four ends here]
- 1547 - February 20 Anne attends Edward VI's coronation
- 1553 - July 6 Edward dies he names Jane Grey his successor
- 1553 - August 3 Anne greets the Lady Mary and her sister Elizabeth at the gates of London to show her support in Mary's claim to the throne
- 1553 - October 1 Anne rides in a carriage next to the Lady Elizabeth behind Queen Mary at Mary's coronation procession she also views the coronation
- 1557 - July 16 Anne dies at the age of 42 and is the last of Henry's wives to die
- 1557 - August 4 Anne is buried at Westminster abbey after having a funeral with the status of a Queen
| | Badge and Coat of Arms
| Tamzin on Katherine Howard: |
“I think Henry sees a young, bright, vivacious, lively girl and an opportunity to have another child, basically. Her purity and naiveté also contrasts greatly with the other people that he had in his life at the time. He’s increasingly paranoid, and increasingly untrusting of people. But Katherine Howard seems to be the antidote to the court, and all of its intrigues. But the pleasures cut both ways. I think that she sees the chance to be loved and the opportunity for a really good time, essentially, a lot of Jimmy Choos, and Vivian Westwood style dresses and a lot of good times!. Katherine really doesn't anticipate or really understand the responsibilities that go along with being the Queen. She doesn't even really understand the concept of politics or even what the King represents . . . and that’s her downfall."
| Jonathan on Katherine Howard: |
"She's not as troublesome as Anne Boleyn and certainly not as perfect as Jane Seymour, gladly more appeasing than Anne of Cleves. She's the midlife crisis girl - she's the tudor equivalant of going out and buying a Ferrari. She's ridicously young. There is a naivety about her a naivety about her sexual behaviour, which Henry recognises and he uses her as a leech to draw out the bad blood. Katherine Howard was addicted to the excitment of the court and she made some henious mistakes."
5. Katherine Howard: No Other Will But His
Other spellings of name : Katheryn, Kathryn, Kitty
Appearance: Legend has it that she was Henry's most beautiful queen. What ever the truth, all her critics agree that she had auburn hair, was small, plump and vivacious overflowing with so much vitality. Petite & pretty, she enjoyed beautiful clothes, dancing and music. According to French Ambassador Marillac, she was "a young lady of extraordinary beauty" and of "superlative grace."
Character: Sweet & kind natured. She brought Princess Elizabeth forward, befriending her and calling her "kinswoman". When hearing the Lady Salisbury was in the tower she sent bonnets and warm clothing and also pleaded for the lady's life by request of Princess Mary. Some say she was empty headed and frivolous, and in intellect and experience, she certainly was no match for the people and intrigues surrounding her. She was VERY young and impulsive.
- 1521-1524 - Katherine Howard is born to Edmund Howard and Jocasta Culpepper (Historians debate when Katherine is born as there is no evidence to say when she was born they can only guess with the average age Ladies went to service at court and the plausible age they could get married)
- 1530 - Mother dies & Katherine sent to live with Agnes Tilney, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk
- 1533 - Scandal with her music teacher, Henry Mannox happens this year which is ended by the Duchess when it is discovered (Katherine and Mannox both testified the affair was not fully consummated)
- 1536 - Love affair with Francis Dereham starts, who later confessed to being married to her (under no oath or church proceeding). This relationship is put on hold when Francis heads for Ireland and Katherine is sent to court to both "find their fortunes"
- 1539 - Her father is dismissed from his post in Calais and dies shortly after returning to England
- 1539 - Her uncle Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk arranges for her to become a lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves (aged 15 - 18)
- 1540 - Henry marries Anne of Cleves during this time Katherine becomes the King's mistress [Katherine's Story in The Tudors starts here also season three ends here]
- 1540 - July 9 Marriage between Anne of Cleves is declared null and void leaving Henry to marry again
- 1540 - July, a week before Katherine's marriage to Henry rumours swirl that she is thought to be with child.
- 1540 - July 28 Henry and Katherine marry making Katherine Howard Henry's fifth wife and Queen consort, Katherine is between the ages of 16 and 19 and Henry is 49 [Season Four starts here]
- 1540 - Christmastide Celebrations Anne Henry's ex-wife is presented to Katherine Howard and is said to be very friendly and merry with Katherine, Henry retires from celebrations because of leg his wife and ex-wife lead the dances together
- 1540/1541 - Winter Katherine meets up with her cousin Thomas Culpepper who she hasn't seen since childhood
- 1541 - Spring rumours of the type of relationship Katherine and Thomas have starts to circulate around court
- 1541 - Summer Thomas Cranmer investigates the rumours and builds a case against the Queen
- 1541 - August 27 Katherine appoints Francis Dereham her private secretary
- 1541 - November Thomas Cranmer informs Henry that his queen's past life had not been without stain.
- 1541 - November 22 she is demoted from her position as Queen, arrested, interrogated and Katherine never sees Henry again
- 1541 - November 24 Katherine is formally indicted for leading an 'abominable, base, carnal, voluptuous and vicious life'...and sent to Syon abbey
- 1541- December 10 Katherine's "Lovers" Francis Dereham and Thomas Culpepper are executed at Tyburn
- 1542 - January Trial by the law of attainder, Katherine is not given a fair trial
- 1542 - Friday, 10 February Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk takes her to the Tower of London.
- 1542 - Sunday, 12 February in the evening she is informed of her impending execution the next day and she requests the block be brought to her room to practice placing her head on it.
- 1542 7am Monday, February 13 - she is beheaded along with Jane Boleyn (whom is accused of helping Katherine with her "affair" with Culpepper) on Tower Green & both are buried next her cousin Anne Boleyn she is aged 18 - 20.
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| Joely on Catherine Parr:|
"She's one of the few Queen's who actually does not want him. She gets married to Henry, she doesn't really have a choice. And because she hadn't had any children of her own she wants to heal Henry's relationship with his children. Initially she definitely doesn’t want to be with him. And when she starts to receive presents from him and his attention, it’s the worst thing that could happen to her. But then she becomes fascinated by him, she sees something lost in him. She’s still frightened of him of course. And I think she gets fascinated by court life and because she is an incredibly intelligent woman, I think she starts to ask how can she influence it in terms of her religion, in terms of helping Henry run court life better.
| Jonathan on Henry's last wife:|
"He finds a woman whose not looking for a heated love and knows what life is. She is older and more together than most of his other wives so he feels he can trust her with his children. Catherine Parr is secure, strong and she knows she has a job to do."
6. Catherine Parr: To Be Useful In All That I Do
Other spellings of name : Katharine, Kateryn, Cate
Appearance: Thought to stand about 5'10", Catherine would have been the tallest of Henry VIII's six wives. The colour of her hair is disputed since in some portraits it is shown as an auburn--or even deeper brown--colour. Dark hair is a striking feature in most of the best-known portraits of Catherine Parr.
Character: Survivalist, devoted to her husband and family, intelligent, well educated, strong in her faith, adored by all three of Henry's children. Believed that women should be allowed to deepen their knowledge of 'protestantism,' and to read and write devotional works as well. Praised for her "certain virtue, wisdom and gentleness."At times obsessively pious to the point of self-loathing, she would list her sins in a journal. Lord Chancellor Thomas Wriothesley commented that Henry "Had never a wife more agreeable to his heart."
- 1512, November 11 - Born at Blackfriars London
- 1527 - Marries Edward Lord Borough (Catherine is 15)
- 1533 - Is widowed at the age of 21
- 1534 - Marries John Neville Lord Latimer (Catherine is 22)
- 1536 - October 13, Pilgrimage of Grace starts up Catherine is greatly affected as they take her husband up as a prisoner and he joins the cause
- 1543 - Catherine is made a widow again [Catherine's story in The Tudors starts here]
- 1543 - Begins a relationship with Thomas Seymour, but this is broken off when she catches the eye of King Henry VIII
- 1543 - July 12, Catherine marries Henry, making Catherine Parr Henry's sixth wife and Queen Consort which also makes her the first Queen consort of Ireland (Catherine is 31 Henry is 52)
- 1544 - July 7, Catherine is appointed Queen Regent of England during the King's absence while he leads troops in France
- 1544 - September, Henry returns from Boulogne Catherine's title is demoted to Queen Consort
- 1546 - May 24, Catherine's friend, the reformer Anne Askew, is arrested and horribly tortured in the Tower of London. There is also, supposedly, enough 'evidence' against the Queen to issue a warrant for her arrest.
- 1546 - A warrant for the arrest of Queen Catherine is drawn up.The warrant is accidentally dropped; someone loyal to the Queen sees it and quickly informs her of it. This incident is well-documented. Catherine manages to reconcile with Henry
- 1546 - November/December, Henry says goodbye to Catherine and his daughters and sends them away because he fears he is sick, Catherine celebrates Christmastide by herself and never sees her husband again [Season four ends here]
- 1547 - January 28, King Henry VIII, Catherine's husband dies making Catherine the "Queen Dowager"
- 1547 - May, Catherine marries Thomas Seymour, this is her first and only 'love-match' marriage
- 1547 - 1548 - Princess Elizabeth (aged 14) lives with the former Queen Catherine and her new husband at Sudeley Castle. Elizabeth eventually leaves under a cloud, due to the scandal of being pursued by her stepmother's husband, Thomas Seymour
- 1548 - August 30, Catherine gives birth to her first child Mary Seymour
- 1548 - September 5, Catherine Parr dies of puerperal fever at the age of 36
- 1548 - September, she has the first known funeral with protestant rites which becomes legal the following year. She is buried as a Queen.