Anne Parr (Bourchier), 7th Baroness Bourchier
|Also Known As:||"7th Baroness Bourchier"|
|Birthplace:||PRESCOT Merseyside England|
Daughter of Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex and Mary Bourchier
|Managed by:||Ivy Jo Smith|
About Anne Bourchier, 7th Baroness Bourchier
The daughter of Henry Bourchier, 2nd earl of Essex (1471-March 30,1540) and Mary Say (1479-June 5,1535+), Anne Bourchier was married on February 9, 1527, when she was barely ten, to fifteen-year-old William Parr (August 14, 1513-October 28, 1571). Twelve years passed before the couple lived together as husband and wife. They were totally unsuited to each other. She was poorly educated and most comfortable living in the country. Her first recorded appearance at court was at a banquet on November 22, 1539. Her husband, in contrast, was a career courtier, and engaged in at least one tempestuous affair, with maid of honor Dorothy Bray, c. 1541. That same year, Anne surprised everyone by running off with John Lyngfield, alias Huntley or Hunt, prior of St. James, Tandridge, Surrey. Parr secured a legal separation on grounds of her adultery and secured a bill in Parliament on March 13, 1543 to bar any child Anne bore from succeeding to her inheritance. Some records give Anne a son by Lyngfield and a daughter (Marie, who married one Thomas York) by an unknown father, while others say she and Lyngfield/Huntley had several children of whom only Mary lived to marry. Details are lacking. The tale that Parr tried to convince King Henry to execute Anne for adultery and that she was saved by Parr's sister, who was about to marry the king, is highly unlikely to have happened. Adultery was not normally punished by death. Even when a queen was judged to have committed adultery, the actual crime was treason. It is unclear what happened to John Lyngfield, but Anne apparently spent the next few years in impoverished exile at Little Wakering, a manor in Essex. On March 31, 1552, a bill passed in Parliament declaring the marriage of Anne and Parr null and void. By that time, Parr was marquis of Northampton and “married” to Elizabeth Brooke and Edward VI was on the throne. This bill was reversed on October 24, 1553, when Mary Tudor became queen. At that time, Parr was in prison for treason, having conspired to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne instead of Mary. Two months earlier, Anne had gone to court to lobby for Parr's release and pardon, which would enable him (them) to keep their estates. That same December, Anne was granted an annuity of £100. Parr was released but left in poverty. Anne appears to have remained at court until at least December 1556, when "Anne, Viscountess Bourchier, Lady Lovayne" was granted an additional annuity of £450. After Queen Elizabeth succeeded her sister, Anne retired quietly to Benington, Hertfordshire and there lived out the rest of her life. Sir Robert Rochester and Sir Edward Waldegrave held Bennington Park as feoffees to her use, but after Rochester's death in 1557, Waldegrave transferred it to Sir John Butler. "Lady Bourchier" then sued Waldegrave (d.1561) and Butler in chancery. When she won, Butler petitioned for revival of the case and meanwhile continued to treat the park as his own. Charlotte Merton, in The Women who served Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, speculates that the Mrs. Nott who waited on the queen in 1577-8 may be the "Katherine Parr," Anne's daughter, who was married to John Nott. She does not give a source for this information, or for the name Hawkins as Katherine's possible father.
She was the 7th Baroness Bourchier