Wife of King Henry VIII: Catherine of Aragon

On the 15th December 1485, Catherine of Aragon was born in Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Spain.

The treaty of “Medina del Campo” an agreement of marriage between Prince Arthur of England and Catherine of Aragon was duly signed in 1489.  On the 14th November 1501, the couple were married in St. Paul’s Cathedral, performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury; Henry Deane and the Bishop of London, William Warham.

In January of 1502, the Prince and Princess of Wales arrived at Ludlow Castle in the Welsh marshes, their new home, which had been uninhabited since 1483.

In the latter part of March 1502, Prince Arthur and his wife Catherine, were struck down by a viral infection, which took the life of Arthur on the 2nd April 1502, and was buried at St. Wulfstan Abbey in Worcester.

Pope Alexander VI approved a Papal dispensation allowing the marriage of Prince Henry, heir apparent to the English throne and Catharine of Aragon.  On the 25th June 1503, Henry and Catherine were betrothed.

On the 21st April 1509, King Henry VII died at Richmond Palace, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

In early June of 1509, Henry formally proposed to Catherine, and they were married on the 11th June 1509 at the Church of the Palace Friary in Greenwich.

On the 24th June 1509 Prince Henry ascended to the English throne as King Henry VIII along with his Queen; Catherine.

On the 31st January 1510, Catherine gave birth to a stillborn daughter.  On the 1st January 1511, Catherine gave birth to a son; Prince Henry who died on the 22nd February 1511, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

On the 30th June 1513, Catherine acted as Regent of England, whilst Henry went off to war in France, and on the 9th September, beat the Scots at the “Battle of Flodden Field.”

In November of 1513, the Duke of Cornwall was born, died after birth, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.  Then in January of 1515, Catherine gave birth to a still born child.

After a run of unsuccessful births, Catherine gave birth to a healthy daughter in February of 1516; Mary, who would grow up to be Queen Mary I.

In November of 1518, Catherine gave birth to a daughter, who died within a few days.

In the June of 1519, Bessie Blount the King’s mistress, gave birth to a son; Henry Fitzroy the Duke of Richmond.

In June of 1520, Henry and Catherine met with King Francis I of France, on the Field of Cloth of Gold.

In 1525, Henry had an affair with Mary Boleyn, who gave birth to a son; Henry on the 4th March 1526.

By 1526, Catherine had given Henry no son, no legal heir to the English throne, he knew the problem lay with Catherine, as he had two affairs, and both bore him son’s.  He sought out an answer, through the bible; “If a man shall take his brother’s wife it is an unclean thing… they shall be childless.”  (Leviticus Chapter 20 verse 21).

The answer was to divorce his wife, but under the Catholic faith, this was permitted, which led to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey being dismissed for failing to obtain permission from the Pope.

In 1532 , Anne Boleyn announces to Henry, that she was carrying his child.

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, approves the divorce between Henry and Catherine, thus allowing King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn to marry, but these events led to excommunication by Pope Clement.

Queen Catherine of Aragon becomes Princess Dowager of Wales, separated from her daughter Mary, for refusal to abide by the terms of the divorce.

Elizabeth, who would become Elizabeth I of England, is born on the 7th September 1533 to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

By an Act of Supremacy, Henry VIII declared himself, England’s reigning monarch, and head of the Church of England in 1534.

Catherine of Aragon dies on the 7th January at Kimbolton Castle, and was buried at Peterborough Cathedral.

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