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Parr, William, 1st marquis of Northampton

Parr, William, 1st marquis of Northampton (1513–71). Parr was the son of Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal and the younger brother of Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's last wife. He took part in suppressing the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536 and was created Baron Parr of Kendal in 1539. The following year he became captain of the gentlemen pensioners and in April 1543 was appointed warden of the Scottish marches and given the Garter. In July 1543 his sister became queen and her relatives began to prosper. Parr's uncle was made Baron Parr of Horton and the same day he was advanced to the earldom of Essex. He fought in the French campaigns of 1544 and at the accession of Edward VI was made marquis of Northampton. He was influential during Edward's reign as a leading protestant, though his campaign against the Norfolk rebels in 1549 finished in humiliating defeat. In 1550 he was appointed lord chamberlain. On the death of Edward, Northampton backed Lady Jane Grey and when her cause collapsed was sent to the Tower for execution. Surprisingly he was pardoned, though he lost his titles and most of his estates. But his fortunes rose again when Mary died. Elizabeth restored him to his titles and gave him back the Garter. He remained in favour for the rest of his life and the queen paid for his funeral at St Mary's, Warwick.

J. A. Cannon

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