Catherine of Aragon - Wikipedia
During the early s the projected marriage of Catalina and Arthur was . Katherine refused to give an opinion; Henry VII eventually took the decision, and the England would rise in revolt to defend her rights was never put to the test. Henry VIII revelations and Anne Boleyn quizzes: the best bits of a feature on the ups and downs of Henry VIII's explosive relationship with his. Catherine of Aragon's marriage to Henry VIII was, for some years, satisfactory to both -- other than the failure of Catherine to produce a male.
After her death, numerous portraits were painted of her, particularly of her speech at the Legatine Trial, a moment accurately rendered in Shakespeare's play about Henry VIII.
Her tomb in Peterborough Cathedral  can be seen and there is hardly ever a time when it is not decorated with flowers or pomegranates, her heraldic symbol. It bears the title Katharine Queen of England.
BBC Bitesize - KS3 History - Henry VIII - Revision 1
In the 20th century, George V 's wife, Mary of Teckhad her grave upgraded and there are now banners there denoting Catherine as a Queen of England. Every year at Peterborough Cathedral there is a service in her memory. There are processions, prayers, and various events in the Cathedral including processions to Catherine's grave in which candles, pomegranates, flowers and other offerings are placed on her grave.
On the service commemorating the th anniversary of her death, the Spanish Ambassador to the United Kingdom attended. During the service a rendition of Catherine of Aragon's speech before the Legatine court was read by Jane Lapotaire.
The American historian Garrett Mattingly was the author of a popular biography Katherine of Aragon in InCatherine and her many supporters at court were the subjects of Catherine of Aragon and her Friends, a biography by John E. InMary M. Luke wrote the first book of her Tudor trilogy, Catherine the Queen which portrayed her and the controversial era of English history through which she lived.
Antonia Fraser did the same in her own biography of the same title; as did the British historian David Starkey in his book Six Wives: Many places in Ampthill are named after Catherine.
It is on the site of the castle where she was sent during her divorce from the King.
Spelling of her name[ edit ] Her baptismal name was "Catalina", but "Katherine" was soon the accepted form in England after her marriage to Arthur. At a time when there was no established precedent for a woman on the throne. This set off a chain reaction that led to Henry's break with the Roman Catholic Church and his subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn in the hope of fathering a male heir to continue the Tudor Dynasty.
Through her mother, she descended from Catherine of Lancaster, her namesake and the source of her auburn hair. Catherine's sister, Joanna the Mad, was six years elder to Catherine. Consequently it was Joanna who became queen of Castile upon their mother's death rather than Catherine. A few months later, they both became ill, possibly with the sweating sickness which was sweeping the area.
Catherine herself nearly died, but she recovered to find herself a widow. Catherine testified that, because of the couple's youth, the marriage had not been consummated. It was held on June 11, followed by the coronation on June 24, Both as princess of Wales and as queen consort, Catherine was extremely popular with the people.
She governed the nation as regent while Henry invaded France in Henry VIII was apparently happily married to Catherine at first, despite squabbles with her father over the payment of her dowry.
Although he was not faithful, they were married had several children over 18 years, but only one girl survived. As she approached menopause, he became seriously worried about getting a male heir to his throne. Catherine's first child, a daughter, was stillborn in Prince Henry, Duke of Cornwall was born inbut died after 52 days.
Catherine then had another stillborn girl, followed by another short-lived son. Her final pregnancy ended with a stillborn girl in November Katherine complained bitterly of Puebla.
Ferdinand decided to involve her directly in negotiations, in parallel with the ambassador, and she received formal credentials. She was provided with a cipher, painfully deciphered Ferdinand's letters, and eventually managed to encipher her own replies, although with so little confidence that she also sent the same letter en clair. She evidently lacked any sort of confidential secretary, at least one she could trust, and her letters to Ferdinand are in her own hand.
The English council quibbled over details of the payment, and especially the question of Katherine's plate and jewels. By late both Fuensalida and Katherine's household were convinced that her marriage would never take place, and plans were made for her return to Spain. By March even she despaired, asking to return to Spain to lead the religious life.
Henry VII, however, died on 21 April Before 8 May Fuensalida was summoned and told that the new king wished the marriage settled quickly, without quibbles. But more likely the new policy was his own. Katherine's persistence in discouraging, even at times humiliating, circumstances had triumphed. Her experience in these vital years, between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four, may well explain her reluctance in later years to yield her position as queen of England.
Queen and mother, — The first years of her marriage saw Katherine's hold on her husband, and her political influence, at their height. Henry was ostentatious in his attentions. Katherine was frequently pregnant, though her gynaecological history is uncertain, reports of miscarriages and stillbirths being largely derived from ambassadorial reports.
She miscarried a girl on 31 January A boy, named Henry and created prince of Wales, was born on new year's daybut died on 22 February. There is an unsubstantiated report of a live birth shortly after the battle of Flodden in September ; if this happened the child must have died almost immediately. A male child was stillborn in November or December Only on 18 February was a healthy child born, Princess Mary. Katherine's last delivery, on 9—10 Novemberwas a stillborn daughter.
Katherine played some part in foreign affairs. She engineered the recall of the Spanish ambassador Fuensalida in Augustand received a commission from Ferdinand to be his official channel of communication with Henry.
She evidently reported in cipher. A new ambassador, Don Luis Caroz, arrived in March He, too, incurred Katherine's wrath. How far, in fact, Katherine influenced English policy is hard to judge. The alliance with Ferdinand was a natural consequence of Henry's enmity towards France.
It culminated in Henry's joining the Holy League in November and in plans for joint military action. An English army was shipped to the Basque country in May to join with a Spanish force to reconquer Guyenne for England. Ferdinand, however, used his army to conquer Navarre for himself, and failed to support the English, until Henry's troops mutinied and sailed home in October.
Catherine of Aragon - New World Encyclopedia
Katherine played a part in smoothing over the resulting recriminations. But the English belief that they were tricked by Ferdinand in and again in made Katherine's position difficult. Katherine was governor of the realm and captain-general during Henry's absence on campaign in France between 30 June and 21 October She had authority to raise troops and to make appointments, and was provided with a council headed by Archbishop Warham, the lord chancellor.
None the less, a good deal even of routine business was handled by Henry's council in the field. Katherine wrote letters to Wolsey but not to the kinggiving some news, but mostly expressing her anxiety about Henry's welfare and safety, and apologizing for intruding on Wolsey's valuable time. Isabella supervised the making of banners on campaign.
On 9 September Thomas Howard, earl of Surrey, appointed to the command of the north by Henry before his departure, defeated the Scots at Flodden, leaving James and a large number of Scottish nobles dead on the field. Katherine was heading a reserve army on its way north; news of the victory led to its disbandment at Buckingham. A Spanish source credits Katherine with a rousing speech to the troops, but there is no English evidence in support.
She did, however, write triumphantly to Henry, in her own hand and in English: I thought to send himself unto you, but our Englishmen's hearts would not suffer it' ibid. A new Anglo-Spanish alliance was concluded in In Januaryhowever, King Ferdinand died, effectively succeeded by his grandson Charles, Juana's son. Charles was too busy establishing his position in Spain to pursue an English alliance, while Katherine's relations with her nephew were inevitably less close than they had been with her father.
She ceased to be either an informal or a formal channel of communication. Fromif not earlier, there was talk of Henry having a mistress, while by Elizabeth Blount had borne him an acknowledged son, Henry Fitzroy. His marital relations continued with Katherine witness her pregnancybut the five-year age gap between husband and wife was becoming more significant; a Venetian ambassador thought her 'rather ugly than otherwise' in CSP Venice, —19, Certainly the undated National Portrait Gallery portrait shows her as a rather substantial lady, by contrast with the youthful prettiness depicted by Michel Sittow in in a portrait now in Vienna though the identity of the sitter is not entirely certain.
Perhaps Katherine, at thirty, was settling into dignified early middle age, presiding over court ceremonial, supervising her household, attending to her considerable powers of patronage as queen. Katherine had already been fluent in French and Latin when she arrived in England, and she now became proficient in English. She built on and developed the interest in Latin education she had acquired at Isabella's court, more than fulfilling what was expected of her in the field of scholarly patronage.
She visited both Oxford and Cambridge, and received the plaudits habitually bestowed on royal visitors by the universities.
She provided exhibitions for poor scholars and contributed to the support of lectureships. She may have been involved in trying to persuade Erasmus to prolong his stay in England beyondand was habitually praised by him; he dedicated his Christiani matrimonii institutio to her. She was praised in Vives's preface as a model of maid, married woman, and widow. The book advocates a classical education for noblewomen the education of Isabella's daughters and their ability in Latin was mentionedalthough, since women would not have to devote themselves to business, and having due regard to feminine modesty, only a selection of classical writings is recommended.
The scriptures, the church fathers, Plato, Cicero, and Seneca are thought especially suitable. Women should be prepared to converse, although not to thrust themselves forward, and should submit to the precepts of fathers and husbands.
Nor are they to neglect needlework, household management, or the nurture of children.
Given Vives's subsequent involvement with Princess Mary's education, it seems reasonable to assume that Katherine shared these views. Vives reported a conversation with Katherine in January as they returned on a boat from Syon to Richmond.
The talk was of the vicissitudes of life. Katherine claimed to have experienced many turns of fortune. If forced to choose between bad fortune and good, she would prefer the former: Katherine was concerned with the education, in the widest sense, of her daughter, although since Mary was heir apparent and a valuable piece in the international dynastic game, its direction was largely out of her hands.
She commissioned from Vives in a supplementary treatise, addressed to the particular problems faced by Mary as a princess and possible ruler De ratione studii puerilis, Vives's solution was the mixture as before, modified only by the inclusion of more political texts and histories.
When in Mary was dispatched, at the age of nine, to keep a princely household at Ludlow, Katherine wrote that she was glad that in future 'Master Federston [Richard Fetherston]' rather than herself would be teaching her Latin, although she hoped that Mary would continue to show her mother her Latin letters, 'for it shall be a great comfort to me to see you keep your Latin and fair writing and all' Ellis, 1st ser.
Diplomacy and divorce, — Charles V's election as Holy Roman emperor in had simplified the international scene by creating a polarization between the French and imperial Habsburg interests.
English policy in the next ten years played off the parties against each other. Katherine naturally sympathized with the imperialists, but her influence was muted and hardly significant among the contending factors which determined policy. But she had also pleaded family reasons for the brief English visit by Charles V which preceded that event, and which led to a further meeting between Henry and Charles at Gravelines, at which an Anglo-imperial alliance was forged.
In Charles was betrothed to the five-year-old Princess Mary. In and English armies invaded northern France, to little effect. Henry's attempt to take advantage of this situation by mounting an immediate invasion of France foundered on the difficulty of funding it, and on an unwillingness by Charles to play things Henry's way.
Katherine was powerless to influence events. Indeed she complained about never hearing either from Charles or from Spain. Even if they did set up a secret channel of communication it would, she thought, do more harm than good. The specific problem was not merely that Henry and Katherine were related in the first degree of affinity, but that sexual relations with a brother's wife were among those specifically forbidden in Leviticus However, according to Deuteronomy This duty of the 'levirate' did not apply to Christians, but did at least call in question the absolute nature of the prohibition in Leviticus.
The question of whether a pope could dispense from the Levitical prohibition may have explained the apparent reluctance of Julius II to grant the bull in Inin the immediate aftermath of Henry VII's death, the Spanish ambassador was told by an English courtier that Katherine's marriage to the new king was unlikely since Henry VIII himself had a difficulty in conscience about marrying his brother's wife. Ferdinand wrote back in alarm, invoking the papal bull to counter the objection, and instancing the marriage, inof Katherine's sister Maria to Manuel, king of Portugal, who was the widower of her elder sister Isabella.
Ferdinand added encouragingly that the couple had numerous progeny, a possible reference to the Levitical curse. Of course Ferdinand's letter was overtaken by events. Katherine had married Henry, with, apparently, no mention of the affinity problem. A rumour circulated in Rome in that Henry meant to repudiate Katherine; this was probably unfounded, but significantly gave as a reason Henry's inability to have children with his brother's widow.
An awareness of the Levitical prohibition and of doubts about the papal right to dispense from it was known in diplomatic circles from and, probably, equally known to Henry.
Henry later claimed that his conscience was first pricked by a French embassy raising the question of Mary's legitimacy during negotiations for her possible marriage; but since the embassy concerned seems to have been that of Aprilthis is too late to explain the sequence of events, although again testifying to the knowledge in diplomatic circles that the validity of Henry's marriage was open to question.
It seems more likely that Henry had been brooding on the subject since it became apparent that he would have no son from his marriage to Katherine, especially as the possible strategy of marrying Mary to an acceptable husband could not take effect until she was fourteen, in Henry said in that he had not slept with Katherine for seven years.
He may have been keeping his options for the succession open inwhen his illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy was created duke of Richmond and sent to keep his household in the north, at the same time as Mary was being sent to the Welsh marches. The first move towards a divorce was the examination, on 5—6 Aprilof the elderly Bishop Richard Fox about Katherine's marriage to Arthur, the papal bull, and Henry's repudiation of his betrothal in On 17 May Wolsey, as papal legate, summoned Henry before himself and Archbishop Warham to defend the validity of his marriage.
The trial was adjourned on 31 May while expert opinion was consulted; it was never resumed. The popular assumption is that the intention was to rush through a verdict against the marriage and so face Katherine with a fait accompli.
Since Katherine had not been summoned as a party to the proceedings though by 18 May she was aware of what was happeningshe would have had unimpeachable grounds for an appeal. More probably, the intention was to establish the foundations of the case for further proceedings. On 22 June Henry told Katherine personally of his 'scruples', and demanded formal separation; faced with her fury, he retreated, assuring her that his hope was that his scruples would be set at rest.
Katherine immediately sent to Charles V in Spain, asking him to intervene personally with Henry, to rouse the pope to summon the case to Rome, and to revoke Wolsey's legatine authority in England. She continued to preside at court and to occupy her apartments as queen.
Anne Boleyn was also for much of the time prominent at court. On at least one occasion Katherine and Anne are said to have played cards together, Katherine allegedly remarking 'You have good hap to stop at a king, but you are not like others, you will have all or none' Ives, Appeals to Rome and the legates' court, — Charles V's troops had sacked Rome and, effectively, made the pope a prisoner, on 6 May This was known in England by about 1 June and offered Henry both an obvious obstacle, and an opportunity.
Wolsey was sent to France in July with, among other aims, the hope of convening a meeting of cardinals to run the church during the pope's incapacity. At the same time the king sent William Knight to Rome with various suggestions, to be kept secret from Wolsey. The document does not survive, but it seems to have included a request that Henry be permitted to marry immediately, presumably in confident expectation of a subsequent annulment of the first marriage; in effect it amounted to a dispensation for bigamy.