Elin Ulfsdotter Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton

public profile

Is your surname Snakenborg?

Research the Snakenborg family

Elin Ulfsdotter Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Elin Ulfsdotter Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton

Also Known As: "Helena the Red", "Helena Snachenberg Gorges"
Birthdate: (86)
Birthplace: Fyllingarum, Ostergotland, Sweden
Death: April 1, 1635 (86)
Home of son Sir Robert Gorges, Redlynch, Somerset, England
Place of Burial: Salisbury, Wiltshire , England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Ulf Henriksson (Bååt) and Agneta Knutsdotter Lillie (af Ökna)
Wife of Sir William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northumberland & 1st Earl of Essex and Sir Thomas Gorges, MP, of Longford
Mother of Elizabeth Gorges, Lady Smyth; Francis Gorges; Frances Parr Gorges; Sir Edward Gorges, 1st Baron Gorges of Dundalk; Sir Theobald Gorges, Kt. and 4 others
Sister of Jöns Ulfsson Snakenborg Bååt; Brita Snakenborg ( Bååt ); Gertrud Ulfsdotter Snakenborg (Bååt); Karin Ulfsdotter Snakenborg (Bååt); Göran Ulfsson Snakenborg (Bååt) and 1 other

Occupation: Maid of Honour of Queen Elizabeth I
Managed by: Tom Conway
Last Updated:

About Elin Ulfsdotter Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton


Elin Ulfsdotter Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton, also known as Helena, and Helena the Red for her red hair was born Elin Ulfsdotter of Fyllingarum in the province of Ostrogothia, Sweden, in either 1548 or 1549, and died at the age of 86 on 10 April 1635 at Redlynch, Somerset, the residence of her son Sir Robert Gorges. She was buried on 14 May 1635 in Salisbury Cathedral.

She was Maid of Honour of Queen Elizabeth I of England, and titular Marchioness of Northampton.

Parents: Ulf Henrikssson, lord of Fyllingarum (d.c. 1565), Senator of Sweden, and his wife Agneta Knutsdotter, heiress of Norrnes.


  1. in May 1571 in Elizabeth l's presence in the queen's closet at Whitehall Palace to William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton (1513- Oct 1571), son of Sir Thomas Parr and his wife Maud Green, as his third wife. The bride was twenty-two and the groom fifty-seven.
  2. secretly about 1576 to Thomas Gorges of Longford.

Children of Elin Snakeborg and Thomas Gorges:

  1. Elizabeth (1578-1659) Elizabeth l stood godmother. m.1 to Hugh Smythe. m. 2 to Ferdinando Gorges (1565-1647) as his 4th wife.
  2. Francis (b. ca. 1579- d. on or before 1599)
  3. Frances (1580-1649)
  4. Bridget (1584-c. 1634)
  5. Edward (b. 1582/3-d. on or before 1652), first Baron Gorges of Dundalk
  6. Theobold (1583-1647)
  7. Robert (1588-1648)
  8. Thomas (b. 1589-d. after 1624)

Genealogical Notes

Contrary to claims presented in some genealogies, Marchioness Helena's ancestry has not been proven to include medieval Viking Earls of Orkney. And also contrary to claims in some genealogies, she seems not to have descended from the sister of St Bridget of Sweden.

It has been claimed that Helena had no fewer than 92 direct descendants at the time of her death.

Biographical Notes

She came to England as a maid of honor to Princess Cecilia of Sweden on a state visit in the autumn of 1565, traveling some 400 miles by water and 750 miles on ice and snow in the process, and stayed on when Cecilia left in May 1566.

She was being courted by William Parr, marquis of Northampton (August 14,1513-October 28, 1571), who had asked her to marry him, even though he was not legally free to remarry. He promised her a house of her own. At that point, Queen Elizabeth stepped in, taking Helena into her keeping at court, possibly as a maid of honor. Later she was a gentlewoman of the privy chamber, although without pay.

Helena and Parr finally married in May 1571, after the death of his first wife, from whom he had been separated for decades. He died soon after, leaving Helena a wealthy widow and, as marchioness of Northampton, senior to every other lady at court save the queen and the queen's cousin, Margaret Douglas.

Helena was a patron of the arts, rebuilt Langford House in Wiltshire, and was chief mourner at the funeral of Elizabeth Tudor.

The Gorges Monument

The Gorges Monument (1635) in Salisbury Cathedral is the tomb of Helena, Marchioness of Northampton and her husband Sir Thomas Gorges. Each side of the elaborate canopy above the tomb displays two cuboctahedra and an icosahedron. The monument as a whole is crowned by a celestial globe with a dodecahedron on top.

The Gorges monument, c 1635, is located in the north choir aisle in the chapel formerly dedicated to St. Peter and the Apostles.


  • Two articles, Canon J.M. Fletcher, "The Gorges Monument in Salisbury Cathedral," Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 46 (1932): 16-34 and K.A. Esdaile, "The Gorges Monument in Salisbury Cathedral," Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 50 (1942-44): 53-62.
  • See also Roy Spring, Salisbury Cathedral, The New Bell's Cathedral Guides, London, 1987, 128-130.




  • Sjöström (2007): "Scandinavian medieval descendants of Charlemagne: A detailed genealogy of the issue of Agnes Haakonsdottir, of the so-called Fairhair dynasty", Foundations - Journal of the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy 2: 4 (2007, July), ISSN 1479-5078, pp 253–276

EARL OF ESSEX WILLIAM6 PARR (SIR THOMAS OF KENDAL5, WILLIAM4, THOMAS3, JOHN2, WILLIAM MARQUESS OF1) was born August 14, 1513 in Kendall, Westmoreland, England, and died October 28, 1571 in Warwick, Warwickshire, England. He married (1) HELENA HENRICKSSON SNAKENBORG. He married (2) ELIZABETH BROOKE 1547, daughter of GEORGE BROOKE and ANNE BRAYE. She was born June 12, 1526 in Cobham, Kent, England, and died April 02, 1565 in Blackfriars Church, London, County Greater London, England. He married (3) BARONESS ANNE BOURCHIER 1551 in Prescot, Lancashire, United Kingdom, daughter of WILLIAM BOURCHIER and MARY SAY. She was born 1512, and died 1571.

Helena ulfsdotter bååt, dotter till ulf henriksson bååt, kom till england med prinsessan cecilia vasa ca 1564, och blev kvar i england, gifte sig först med drottning catherine Parrs bror William 1571 , men william dog ett par månader efter bröllopet, och då blev Helena en rik änka, enligt wikipedia. hon var känd som markisinnan av Northampton, för william var markis av Northampton. var ingift i den engelska kungafamiljen tack vare att william parr var drottning catherines bror. senare gifte hon om sig med Thomas gorges, utan drottning elisabeths tillstånd som ansåg att hon gifte ner sig.

view all 14

Elin Ulfsdotter Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton's Timeline

Ostergotland, Sweden
June 4, 1578
Age 29
Wraxall, , Somerset, England
Age 30
Age 31
Age 33
London, , Greater London, England
Age 34
Age 35
Age 39