William, Lord Parr, first Earl of Essex and first Marquess of Northampton
© The Dean & Canons of Windsor

William, Lord Parr, first Earl of Essex and first Marquess of Northampton

1513-1571

Nominated 1543. Degraded 1553. Re-elected 1559

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Aged eleven, William Parr entered the household of the King's illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. He was appointed a Knight of the Garter in April 1543 and his sister Katherine became Henry's sixth wife a few months later. Made Earl of Essex in December 1543. Fought in the French campaign of 1544. Prominent in the government of Edward VI, but imprisoned at the start of Mary's reign. Regained influence under Elizabeth, at whose expense he was buried in 1571.