BBC History - Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon was born in and died in Catherine was born Catherine married Arthur, the Prince of Wales and Henry's older brother, in When Arthur brother's widow. He had also met Anne Boleyn. Catherine of Aragon was Queen of England from June until May as the first wife of By , Henry VIII was infatuated with Anne Boleyn and dissatisfied that his marriage to Catherine had produced no surviving sons, leaving their . Catherine and Arthur met on 4 November at Dogmersfield in Hampshire.  — King Henry VII of England, to King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Catherine was anxious to meet the love struck Prince and more.
Catherine was the youngest daughter of the two most powerful sovereigns in Europe: Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Growing up, Catherine spent a lot of time with her parents during their military crusades.
Catherine learned from her parents how to effectively lead an army into battle; a skill that would come in handy when she led the English in victory against the Scots in Thanks to her formidable mother, Catherine and her sisters received a broad education almost equal to that of their brothers.
Catherine of Aragon
By the time she was fifteen years old, Catherine was fluent in several languages including French and Latin; she was also well versed in matters of religion, philosophy, history, and law. It was essential for all high-born ladies of the 15th and 16th century to be proficient in domestic pastimes such as needlework, sewing, and cooking.
Catherine excelled at them all as well as the more refined purists like dancing, music, and singing. 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.
Catherine of Aragon - Wikipedia
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. 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: Henry defended the legality of their union by pointing out that Catherine had previously been married.
If she and Arthur had consummated their marriage, Henry by canon law had the right to remarry.
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.
Henry wanted to end his marriage to Catherine. However, there was a problem for him. The Roman Catholic Church did not recognise or accept divorce.
Henry, as with everybody else in England, was a Roman Catholic. He expected the Roman Catholic Church to make an exception for him as he was king of England. However, the Roman Catholic Church refused to do so. Between andHenry did all that he could to end his marriage to Catherine. All his attempts failed. Throughout these difficult two years, Catherine maintained a dignity about herself and the situation she was in that further endeared her to the people.
In Henry decided on a different course of action. He decided that he was absolute ruler in all areas in his kingdom — and that included religion and answering religious questions.The Six Wives of Henry Vİ - Catherine of Aragon (BBC Documentary)
This was the start of the process that lead to the break from Rome and the Roman Catholic Church and ultimately led to the creation of the Church of England. The divorce case came before a court in May 10th