Catherine Parr (To Be Useful in All I Do)

15 Nov

Born: 1512

Died: 5th September 1548

Catherine Parr was Henry’s sixth and final wife. Catherine was the only wife of Henry’s that survived him. Henry and Catherine were married on the 12th July 1543. Catherine Parr took a major interest into Henry’s three children, their education and their care. Especially Princess Elizabeth. Catherine Parr nursed and read to Henry when he became ill and then in 1547 King Henry VIII died. When Henry died Catherine became the soul guardian of Princess Elizabeth. Catherine was now free to marry the man that she wanted to marry before she caught the eye of Henry. Catherine married Thomas Seymour 6 months after Henry’s death. This was Catherine fourth marriage in her lifetime and also her final marriage. Catherine soon became pregnant with her and Thomas’s first child. Catherine gave birth to a healthy baby girl in 1548. Catherine and Thomas named their new born daughter Mary Seymour. However, their happiness was short lived Catherine became ill, she sadly died of the same ill that took her sister-in-law Jane Seymour’s life which was childbed fever. Catherine was buried at St. Mary’s Chapel at Sudeley Castle.

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Katherine Howard (No Other Will But His)

15 Nov

Born: 1518/1524

Died: 13th February 1542

Katherine Howard was the fifth wife of Henry VIII. She was his youngest bride just a teenager. By the time Henry married Katherine he was almost 50 years old. They were married almost immediately after Henry’s annulment to Anne. Katherine was a Lady-in-waiting to Anne while Anne was married to Henry. Henry adorned Katherine and showered her with expensive gifts and jewels. However, this wasn’t enough for Katherine and she embarked on an affair with Thomas Culpeper who was one of Henry’s courtiers. Henry soon found out about his young bride’s affair and he charged Katherine with treason. This led to Katherine and her lover Culpeper to be executed. The night before Katherine was due to be executed she ask if the execution block would be brought to her private room so that she could practice how to place her head on the bloke. On the 13th February 1542 Katherine was executed and she was buried in an unmarked grave with her cousins Anne and George Boleyn.

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Anne of Cleves (God Send Me Well to Keep)

15 Nov

Born: 22nd September 1515

Died: 16th July 1557

Anne of Cleves was Henry’s fourth wife. Henry had in fact fell in love with Anne when he saw a portrait of her. However, it was a whole different story when Henry meet Anne face to face. He called her a Flanders Mare. But he stuck by his word and married Anne. Henry valued education a lot whereas Anne didn’t and she wasn’t very well educated like Henry’s previous wives were. Henry and Anne’s marriage was never consummated. Only months after Henry married Anne he asked her for annulment of their marriage. Which Anne agreed too. He asked Anne to leave the court and there marriage was then annulled. However, Henry made sure that Anne was well looked after and comfortable for the rest of her life. He also gave her a title which was “The King’s Beloved Sister”. Anne died short before her 42nd Birthday and the most likely cause of Anne’s death was cancer. Anne was then buried in Westminster Abbey.

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Jane Seymour (Bound to Obey and Serve)

15 Nov

Born: 1507-1509

Died: 24th October 1537

Jane Seymour was Henry VIII’s third wife. Jane had been a Lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon. Jane was a faithful wife to Henry and did everything that she promised she would. It believed that Jane was the true love of Henry. Jane gave Henry the thing that he desired more then anything in the world and that was a son and heir. On the 12th October 1537 Jane gave birth to a healthy baby boy. The King was overjoyed with the news that he at last had a male heir. They named the baby boy Edward. Edward would grow up to become Edward VI, King of England. After a long and difficult labor Jane was quite unwell. She made it to the christening of her son and after was taken back to her bed chambers where she became seriously ill. News was sent to Henry that they didn’t know what was wrong with her and that she was dying. When Henry went to visit Jane he said I know what’s wrong with her. She has childbed fever the same ill that took my mother’s life. On the 24th October 1537 Jane sadly died. Jane was never crowned Queen but she Henry continued to call her his queen Consort even years after her death. Jane was the only one of Henry’s wives to receive a proper Queen’s funeral. Henry had Jane buried in the tomb that he was having built for himself and he stated that when died he wanted to be buried alongside his true love and wife Jane Seymour. Henry was that devastated by the death of Jane that he wore black for 3 months and didn’t remarry for 3 years.

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Anne Boleyn (The Most Happy)

15 Nov

Born: 1501/1507

Died: 19th May 1536

Anne Boleyn was Henry VIII’s second wife. Before Henry’s interested in Anne occurred, his mistress was Anne’s sister Mary Boleyn. Once Mary had given birth to Henry’s child a baby boy, he turned his interest to Anne. Anne was a Lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon. Anne refused Henry’s advances until Henry’s marriage to Catherine were annulled. Once this happened Anne gave herself willingly to Henry and they were later married. Anne and Henry were married on the 25th January 1533. Anne was in fact the only Queen other then Catherine to be crowned. Anne soon fell pregnant and on the 7th September 1533 Anne gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Henry and Anne named the new born baby girl Elizabeth. Elizabeth would grow up to become Elizabeth I, Queen of England. Anne fell pregnant for a second time and in August/September 1534 Anne gave birth to a baby boy. They named his Henry, Duke of Cornwall. But within 2 minutes of the birth of the baby boy he died. Anne fell pregnant again and in 1535 Anne sadly miscarried a baby boy. Anne fell pregnant for the fourth and last time and on the 29th January 1536 Anne gave birth to a baby boy who was unfortunately stillborn. By this point Henry was already courting his next wife Jane Seymour. Henry had grew tired of Anne and he failed attempts to give him the son that he desired so much in life. An investigation occurred and Anne was charged with adultery, incest and treason. On the 14th May 1536 Cranmer dissolved Henry and Anne’s marriage which meant Henry was free to marry again. On the 17th May 1536 Anne’s brother George and the other accused men were executed. Henry employed an expert swordsman and on the 19th May 1536 Anne Boleyn was executed.

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Catherine of Aragon (Humber and Loyal)

15 Nov

Born: 16th December 1485 
Died: 7th January 1536  

Catherine of Aragon married Prince Arthur Tudor on the 14th November 1501. Prince Arthur was betrothed to Catherine at the age of 2. Their marriage was part of the Treaty of Medina del Campo. Unfortunately Prince Arthur and Catherine’s marriage was suddenly cut short. Prince Arthur suddenly died at the age of 15. Catherine was now a widow. On the 11th June 1509 Catherine of Aragon married Prince Arthur’s younger brother Henry VIII by this point Catherine was 23 years old and Henry was almost 18 years old. Catherine quickly fell pregnant after the wedding. On the 31st January 1510 Catherine gave birth to baby girl but sadly the baby girl was stillborn. Catherine fell pregnant for the second time and on the 1st January 1511 Catherine gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Catherine and Henry were overjoyed and named the baby Henry and he was given the title of Duke of Cornwall. However there happiness was short lived because on the 23rd February 1511 young Henry suddenly died. Henry and Catherine were devastated. However, Catherine did fall pregnant again and in October 1513 Catherine gave birth to another baby boy was unfortunately the baby was stillborn. Yet again Catherine fell pregnant again and in December 1514 gave birth to another baby boy. Henry and Catherine gave this baby boy the same name as their first born son Henry, Duke of Cornwall. However, yet again their happiness was short lived the baby boy died within a few hours of birth. Catherine fell pregnant again and on the 18th February 1516 Catherine gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Henry and Catherine named the young Princess Mary. The baby girl would later grow up to be Mary I, Queen of England. Catherine fell pregnant for the last time and on the 10th November 1518 Catherine gave birth again to baby girl. The baby girl died within a week of her birth and remained unnamed. By this point Henry was growing tired of Catherine not giving him the one thing her desired the most a son. Henry started taking an interest in Anne Boleyn one of Catherine’s Lady-in-waiting. Henry started to believe that his marriage to Catherine was cursed because he married his brother’s bride. Henry decided that he wanted to annul his marriage to Catherine. However, the Catholic Church refused the annulment. It is believed that Anne Boleyn talked Henry into breaking away from the Catholic Church and start up the Church of England. Henry sent Catherine away to Kimbolton Castle, where she died. She was then buried in Peterborough Cathedral. Henry never attended the her funeral and he refused their daughter Mary to attend too. 

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On this Day 14th November 1541

14 Nov

On this day in the year of 1541 Queen Catherine Howard was taken away from Hampton Court Palace to Syon Abbey. The suite that they put Catherine in held only 3 rooms. Catherine was also only given a few items of clothing and her jewels had already been return to King Henry VIII. (Photo taken by me in 2010)

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