Lady Jane Grey - 5 Life and Death

Catherine Parr

Catherine Parr

My dearest sister Catherine, this comes to you in a moment of both great joy and greater sorrow.

Her Majesty the Queen Dowager Catherine Parr has gone to be with our Heavenly Father. I pray for her soul daily, that she may find peace and happiness.

In joy, a child has been born. A mere two days since my last letter, Her Majesty the Queen Dowager gave birth to a beautiful and healthy daughter. She is to be named Mary, for Her Majesty's step daughter the Lady Mary.

In the hours after the birth, Her Majesty was well and strong. This was a deception of the cruelest nature as by the next morning, Her Majesty was scorching to the touch. For five days she suffered. Oh Catherine how I lament not being able to bring ease to her final days. I read to her when she was awake. When her fever brought with it the delirium, I held her hand and prayed. In her final moments she was taken by slumber and left this world in peace.

I am to act as her Chief Mourner. I take this honour with a heavy heart. She was a most kind and generous guardian. 

I do not know what this means for me sweet Catherine. It was her Majesty who invited me into her home. Perhaps we will see each other soon. Until then, I remain your good sister,


Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire

This 6th September, 1548