Unlike the prolific ghost of Anne Boleyn, the ghost of Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth and last wife reportedly haunts only two locations: Sudeley Castle and Snape Castle.
After Henry VIII’s death in 1547, Catherine Parr married Thomas Seymour and moved to Sudeley Castle to await the birth of the couple’s first child. Catherine was 36 years of age, had been married three times before and was now wed to a man she loved and pregnant for the first time.
This should have been a blissful time in her life but instead, tragedy struck. After the birth of baby Mary on August 30th 1548, Catherine fell ill with puerperal fever and sadly died on the 5th September. She is buried in the chapel of St. Mary at Sudeley.
Eleven years earlier, ‘childbed fever’ as it was often called, also claimed the life of her sister in law, Jane Seymour.
Unfortunately, Thomas Seymour’s life at Sudeley was also short lived as on the 20th March 1549 he was executed for Treason and other crimes against the King and Crown.
So little Mary Seymour was left an orphan. Her fate has been debated for centuries but it seems likely that she died very young as she disappears from history at around the age of two.
Catherine Parr has been seen roaming the grounds of the picturesque Sudeley Castle dressed in green seemingly searching for someone or something. Could she be looking to be reunited with her infant daughter?
In another sighting, a maid, Margaret Parker, working in the castle reported seeing a tall, beautiful woman in a long green dress looking out of a window. She mistook the woman for an artist that was working in the castle on that particular day. As it turns out, the artist was in a different part of the house and nowhere near the window where the woman was sighted. Margaret Parker believes this to be the ghost of Catherine Parr.
The following video contains a re-enactment of this sighting filmed at Sudeley Castle.
Fast Tube by Casper
At Snape Castle, the ghost of a young girl, with long fair hair wearing a blue Tudor style dress is also said to be the ghost of Catherine Parr.
Her second husband, John Neville, 3rd Baron of Latymer, used Snape Castle as his ‘chief house’ during his marriage to Catherine. So it’s likely that she would have spent a large part of her married life here.
Catherine’s ghost is reported as being a “happy spirit” (Brooks, Pg. 162) unlike the more forlorn spectre at Sudeley Castle.
Perhaps the different apparitions reflect two very different times in the life of Queen Catherine Parr.
References & Sources: Brooks J.A. Britain’s Haunted Heritage, 1990. Snape Castle Website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudeley_Castle