Catherine of Aragon - Wikipedia
Catherine (also Katherine) of Aragon was a Spanish princess, the first wife of Henry VIII and She was the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, whose At three years of age Catherine was betrothed to King Henry VII's oldest son. Why did Henry marry Katherine of Aragon? He loved her . Meet the young Henry VIII, the 'pin-up' prince, through the stories of the people who knew him best. Catherine was born in Aragon, Spain and her parents were King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen She was Henry VIII's first wife and was divorced so that Henry could marry Anne Boleyn. He had also met Anne Boleyn.
As a Princess of Spain, these skills were taught to Catherine to prepare her for the important duties of queenship. This was a role in which Catherine had been groomed for since she was three years old. It was at this young age in which she became betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales.
The details of their betrothal had been outlined in the Treaty of Medina del Campo: The fact that Catherine and Arthur barely knew each other was not a concern for their parents nor was it a requirement in arranged royal marriages. Before their marriage, the only source of contact either of them had with each other was through letters. The only surviving letter from their correspondence is one written by Arthur in October The letter written in Latin began with Arthur addressing Catherine as the: I cannot tell you what an earnest desire I feel to see your highness, and how vexatious to me is this procrastination about your coming.
I owe eternal thanks to your excellence that you so lovingly correspond to this my so ardent love.
Catherine was anxious to meet the love struck Prince and more anxious to fulfill her role as the Princess of Wales and the future Queen Consort of England… But just as Catherine was set to depart from Granada to England to marry Arthur, her trip was deliberately postponed for a year. They addressed their misgivings to King Henry and informed him that they would send Catherine to marry his son only when the latter took his vows as an adult.
Not long after Arthur took his vows, he and Catherine were married by proxy for a second time on 22 November At Exeter, her residence was at the house of the Dean.
She rested [there for] several days, then by short journeys [Catherine traveled] to London. King Henry was so anxious to see the future Princess of Wales that he traveled from Richmond with Prince Arthur to Hampstead just to meet her. When they arrived at Dogmersfield House, Henry was informed by Pedro de Ayla that Ferdinand and Isabella had requested that neither he nor his son were to see Catherine until the day of the wedding.
With the help of her ladies, Catherine was made presentable to see the man who would soon become her father in law. After a quick introduction, Catherine slowly lifted the veil that was concealing her face.
The King was relieved to find that his future daughter in law was just as beautiful as the Spanish and English diplomats had reported to him: However, Catherine could barely speak English, and she and the King had to conduct the rest of their meeting entirely in Latin.
What mattered most to King Henry was not only that Catherine was beautiful and had polite manners but that her dowry filled his coffers and that her marriage to Arthur strengthened the Tudors claim to the throne.
Margaret was the great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt and his mistress Katherine Swynford. John and Katherine were later married, but their offspring were excluded from the line of succession. In any case, it was a battle, not imperial heredity that empowered the Tudors to take over the throne of England.
Catherine of Aragon
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were initially hesitant to have their daughter marry a Prince whose father may not hold on to his position as King for long. Before they agreed to sanction the match, Ferdinand and Isabella pressured King Henry to execute one of the claimants to the throne: Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick.
More celebrations followed before Catherine went back to Lambeth Palace to prepare for her wedding day. Midway through the extravagant festivities, the young bride and groom were ushered into a bedchamber to consummate their marriage. After a number of ceremonial tasks were performed — which included the blessing of the marriage bed by the bishops— Catherine and Arthur were left alone…. It was those very words that would come back to haunt Catherine twenty eight years later, when her honor was questioned as well as her right to be Queen of England.
As a devout Catholic, Catherine risked eternal damnation of her soul if she were to lie before God about the validity of her virginity prior to marrying her second husband.
A contemporary scribe reported: Thus much we wished to show unto you by this our letter that you may understand our excessive love which we bear towards the most illustrious Lady Catherine, our common daughter, even to the danger of our own son. Closeted in his royal bedchamber, Henry and Elizabeth wept for the loss of their eldest son. Henry was so unnerved by the tragic news that Elizabeth had to comfort him.
Prince Arthur was laid to rest in Worchester Cathedral on 25 April It was custom for royalty not to attend funerals, and so Catherine remained at Ludlow Castle until she recovered from the same illness that killed her husband.
She was then conveyed to London in a black velvet and cloth litter that had been provided for her by Queen Elizabeth. Their daughter now a widow and childless, Ferdinand and Isabella wanted Catherine returned to Spain as soon as possible. The child that she bore was not the boy her husband had desired but a girl, who died at only eight days old. At one point, the forty six year old English King suggested that the seventeen year old Princess Catherine should become his next wife.
Ferdinand and Isabella were, however, still keen on forging an alliance with the Tudor King in order to gain an ally in their war with France. Their marriage was to take place as soon as Prince Henry reached the age of maturity. Since she was a child growing up in Spain, Catherine believed that it was her destiny to become Queen of England. But the road to matrimony was not smooth sailing for Catherine. This law was based on Leviticus Nonetheless a dispensation from the impediment of affinity was requested from the Pope.
At the request of the ailing Queen of Castile, the first draft of the dispensation was sent to Spain. Catherine, it proclaimed loud and clear was no virgin.
The final version of the papal dispensation enabling Catherine and Prince Henry to marry was ratified in August Nevertheless, he carried on the marriage negotiations as if he was going to remain true to his word. VI Catherine was plunged into deep mourning for the third time in three years when, on 12 Novemberher mother Queen Isabella died. Henry began to use the remainder of her dowry to fund his own exploits.
This meant that Catherine could barely afford to run her own household… In Novemberthe impoverished Princess and her attendants were forced to move from Durham House in London to live with the English King in his palaces. Just four months after Catherine moved back to court, King Henry made his son renounce his betrothal to her in a private ceremony at Richmond Palace. But Ferdinand remained vague about when and in what currency the money would be sent to him… VII Trapped in a foreign land, surrounded by rapacious courtiers, and in the care of a pitiless father in law, Catherine wrote to her father to complain of her abject existence.
Known for her unwavering piety, Catherine found refuge in her daily religious practices. But her rigorous bouts of fasting for Lent caused many to fear for her health.
Her feelings were that Dr. At the insistence of her domineering duenna, Elvira Manuel, Catherine wrote a letter to her father on 2 December to complain about Dr. Their plan was to set up a meeting between King Henry, Philip and his wife Juana in the hopes of cementing an alliance that would weaken Ferdinand politically.
Cranmer ruled Henry and Anne's marriage valid five days later, on 28 May Henry refused her the right to any title but " Dowager Princess of Wales" in recognition of her position as his brother's widow. There, she confined herself to one room which she left only to attend Massdressed only in the hair shirt of the Order of St. Francis, and fasted continuously. While she was permitted to receive occasional visitors, she was forbidden to see her daughter Mary.
They were also forbidden to communicate in writing, but sympathizers discreetly ferried letters between the two. Henry offered both mother and daughter better quarters and permission to see each other if they would acknowledge Anne Boleyn as the new queen.
It has been alleged that she then penned one final letter to Henry, her "most dear lord and husband": For my part, I pardon you everything, and I wish to devoutly pray God that He will pardon you also. For the rest, I commend unto you our daughter Mary, beseeching you to be a good father unto her, as I have heretofore desired.
I entreat you also, on behalf of my maids, to give them marriage portions, which is not much, they being but three. For all my other servants I solicit the wages due them, and a year more, lest they be unprovided for. Lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things. The authenticity of the letter itself has been questioned, but not Catherine's attitude in its wording, which has been reported with variations in different sources. At the time there were rumours that she was poisoned,    possibly by Gregory di Casale.
Another theory is that the dressing in yellow was out of respect for Catherine as yellow was said to be the Spanish colour of mourning.
Certainly, later in the day it is reported that Henry and Anne both individually and privately wept for her death. On the day of Catherine's funeral, Anne Boleyn miscarried a boy. Rumours then circulated that Catherine had been poisoned by Anne or Henry, or both, as Anne had threatened to murder both Catherine and Mary on several occasions.
Henry did not attend the funeral and forbade Mary to attend.
Henry VII and Catherine of Aragon; “The King and the Pauper Princess”
Privately, however, she was aware of what she identified as the shortcomings of the papacy and church officialdom. In Alfonso de Villa Sancta, a learned friar of the Observant reform branch of the Friars Minor and friend of the king's old advisor Erasmusdedicated to the queen his book De Liberio Arbitrio adversus Melanchthonem denouncing Philip Melanchthona supporter of Luther.
Acting as her confessorhe was able to nominate her for the title of " Defender of the Faith " for denying Luther's arguments. Such was Catherine's impression on people, that even her enemy, Thomas Cromwellsaid of her "If not for her sex, she could have defied all the heroes of History.