The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Season 1 Episode 6

Catherine Parr

Aired Unknown Feb 05, 1970 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Corpulent and old, Henry makes a final trip to the altar, with the puritan Lady Latimer, Catherine Parr. The new queen brings Henry’s estranged daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, back into the family fold, but irritates the king by debating religion with him and his advisors. The Catholic Bishop of Winchester sets out to prove Catherine to be a heretic, but is thwarted by Henry’s affection for his last queen. Finally, Henry VIII dies, leaving his kingdom fractured by religious differences, and divided over the legitimacy of his daughters. At his own request, he is buried next to the wife who provided him with a son, Jane Seymour.moreless

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  • Infuriating. A great heroine.

    This is the only episode that got me mad. Not because there was anything wrong with the way the story was told, but the political and religious intrigue got me more upset than similar instances in the previous ones. Awful period of history or great writing?

    Catherine Parr was a somewhat older woman (for that time) when she married Henry. From the beginning it's clear that she has her doubts about it all. Being a sixteenth-century woman she had no choice, however, but to obey the sovereign. What Henry sees in her is again relatively unclear. A friendly companion, a mother to his children, a political pawn, ...?

    Once she becomes the queen, she appears to have a mind of her own. In fact, the sixteenth-century woman harbours modern ideas about religion. These ideas and the political aspirations of the Seymour brothers eventually get her in trouble. In one of the most gruesome scenes, a woman preacher is tortured, forced to implicate the queen in heresy.

    Henry's weakness - the reason why this show is about his wives - shines through when he finds her defense of the religious reformers insulting. The very idea that a woman tells him what to do, is repulsive to him. The man whose entire reign was marked by the contradictory advice he was given by warring factions at the court, couldn't stop and listen to the sensible advice of his wife, ... because she was a woman and he was the king.

    In the final scene this admirable woman has to accept a marriage proposal from Thomas Seymour to protect Henry's children. The thing that went through my mind at that time was, "Did she ever smile throughout this episode?" I think not.

    A sad story, an admirable woman.moreless
  • Catherine Parr Lives, Henry VIII Dies

    Catherine Parr got to live while Henry VIII died. She actually came close to dying also, but was able to duck by appealing directly to the king. She was being investigated for heresy. The king was a scary guy to many people and I think many were glad when he died. Catherine was definitely afraid of him and did not want to marry him. She had gone through two other arranged marriages with the same sense of duty. Catherine was successful and a good queen to Henry. She united him with his children and took care of all of them. The king pronounced Edward king and the brother of Jane Seymour as a regent. Thomas Seymour married Catherine to seal his legitimacy as the King's regent. This was a great series and the best I've ever seen of Henry VIII.moreless
Rosalie Crutchley

Rosalie Crutchley

Catherine Parr

Guest Star

Daniel Moynihan

Daniel Moynihan

Edward Seymour, Lord Hertford

Guest Star

John Ronane

John Ronane

Sir Thomas Seymour

Guest Star

Basil Dignam

Basil Dignam

Bishop Gardiner

Recurring Role

Bernard Hepton

Bernard Hepton

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Sir Thomas Wriothesley, Lord Chancellor of England in this episode, fell from power shortly after the death of Henry VIII. Though he was neither imprisoned nor executed, he was unable to regain any of his former glory and died in 1550.

    • Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, would be imprisoned in the Tower of London during the reign of Edward VI but would be released upon the ascension of the Catholic Mary I to the throne of England and made Lord Chancellor. He died of natural causes in 1555.

    • Catherine Parr was England's most married queeen. Widowed twice before marrying Henry VIII, she would get re-married to Thomas Seymour, brother of Henry's third wife, Jane Seymour, a few months after the death of Henry. Sadly, she would die in 1548 only six days after giving birth to her only child.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Henry: I'd forgotten you're beautiful.
      Catherine: If I am, Your Majesty, I cannot believe you would forget. If you have forgotten it's because I'm not nor ever was beautiful.

    • Henry: What think you of Rome, Madame?
      Catherine: It is the headspin of all pride, Your Majesty. The seat of vainglory, hypocrisy, and ambition.
      Henry: They've taught you well. Was it Cranmer or those damned Seymours?
      Catherine: It was the spirit of God that has led me to proper knowledge of the truth.
      Henry: Don't get pert with me, Madame.

    • Seymour: What would you do for a crown?
      Somers: I'd put it on my master's head or in my purse. Which are you offering, sire?

    • Henry (about Catherine's husbands): Did you love them?
      Catherine: They were kind to me.
      Henry: Kindness warms no bed at night.

    • Champuys (to Gardiner): My Lord, you'll be wasted if you don't get a Cardinal's cap.

    • Henry: Cranmer has a wife and children. They irk your flesh, don't they, Gardiner?

    • Catherine: Thomas, the sight of the King doesn't offend me. He's old and lonely.
      Seymour: Then marry him in pity, Madame.

    • Champuys (about Catherine): Would you burn her?
      Gardiner: To save the Church--yes, and I would weep for her.
      Champuys: Your compassion humbles me, my Lord.

    • Henry: What has Gardiner been doing?
      Catherine: He's been burning heretics.
      Henry: He lights fires under a shopkeeper or two, puts a scholar to the rack, but he's my Minister of State.
      Catherine: He's trying to get at Cranmer through them and me.

    • Henry: Trust no one, Kate. Trust no one.
      Catherine: But I must trust you, my Lord.

    • Henry: You would put an Archbishop in the Tower?
      Gardiner: Your Majesty, I would consider it my duty to deliver my brother to the stake if he offended God. And thereby be assured of his salvation.

    • Henry: There's a comfort for my old age, Gardiner, to be taught theology by a woman.

    • Catherine: Save me.
      Cranmer: You must save yourself.

  • NOTES (3)


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