Sunday, December 16, 2012

Catherine of Aragon is Born - 1485

On December 16, 1485 Catherine of Aragon was born in Madrid. She was the daughter of King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile. Catherine was the first of King Henry VIII’s wives. At the age of three, Catherine was betrothed to Prince Arthur, heir to the English throne, and they married in 1501, but Arthur died five months later. In 1509, Catherine married Arthur's younger brother, the recently-succeeded Henry VIII. By 1525 Henry was infatuated with his mistress Anne Boleyn and dissatisfied that his marriage to Catherine had produced no surviving sons, leaving their daughter, the future Mary I, as heiress presumptive at a time when there was no established precedent for a woman on the throne. He sought to have their marriage annulled, setting in motion a chain of events that led to England's break with the Roman Catholic Church. When Pope Clement VII refused to annul the marriage, Henry defied him by assuming supremacy over religious matters. In 1533 their marriage was declared invalid and Henry married Anne on the judgment of clergy in England, without reference to the Pope. Catherine refused to accept Henry as Supreme Head of the Church of England and considered herself the King's rightful wife and Queen, attracting much popular sympathy. Despite this, she was acknowledged only as Dowager Princess of Wales by Henry. After being banished from court, she lived out the remainder of her life at Kimbolton Castle, and died there on January 7, 1536.  

Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Great Britain’s Royal Tombs: A Guide to the Lives and Burial Places of British Monarchs. The book can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes and Noble through the following links: 

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