Sunday, May 10, 2009

Question from Monica - Katherine Parr as "nurse"

Do you think that Catherine Parr played a nurse's role to the ageing Henry? I have read this so often, I've never questioned it, but I recently heard that it would not have been acceptable at the time.


PhD Historian said...

I suspect it depends on how one defines "nurse," Monica. Did she act as a companion in the way that many "nurses" of the sixteenth century were companions to their charges (think the Nurse in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet)? Yes.

Did she change his bandages and clean up after him in illness? Almost certainly not.

I did double-check Susan James's biography of Catherine Parr, but she does not offer a clear answer to the question.

Tudorrose said...

There is evidence that Catherine Parr did nurse and look after the king.Her husband Henry VIII when he was in pain.Along with his doctors who tried to help him like william Butts and Rowland Lee.Also he came up with his own forms of medication.self treating medications for his painful ulcerated leg.Basically catherine parr wasn't a trained nurse but she did nurse the king.So in a way this would be typified as nurse even though there is no evidence to say or prove that she did the same for anybody else at the time during her life.