Geskiedenis Podcasts

Prins Arthur en Catherine van Aragon

Prins Arthur en Catherine van Aragon

Spanje, saam met Frankryk, was die twee groot moondhede in Europa. Henry VII was voortdurend bang vir 'n inval van sy magtige buurman. Ferdinand van Aragon en Isabella van Kastilië was ook bekommerd oor die moontlike ekspansionisme van Frankryk en het gunstig gereageer op Henry se voorstel van 'n moontlike alliansie tussen die twee lande. In 1487 het koning Ferdinand ingestem om ambassadeurs na Engeland te stuur om politieke en ekonomiese betrekkinge te bespreek. (32)

In Maart 1488 het die Spaanse ambassadeur by die Engelse hof, Roderigo de Puebla, opdrag gekry om Henry 'n ooreenkoms aan te bied. Die voorgestelde verdrag bevat die ooreenkoms dat Henry se oudste seun, Arthur, met Catherine van Aragon moet trou in ruil vir 'n verbintenis deur Henry om oorlog teen Frankryk te verklaar. Henry het met entoesiasme sy "negentien maande oue seuntjie gewys, eers geklee in doek van goud en daarna kaal uitgetrek, sodat hulle kon sien dat hy geen misvorming het nie". (33)

Puebla het berig dat Arthur 'baie uitstekende eienskappe' het. Hulle was egter nie bly daaroor om hul dogter na 'n land te stuur waarvan die koning te eniger tyd afgedank kan word nie. Soos Puebla aan Henry verduidelik het: "Met inagneming van wat elke dag met die konings van Engeland gebeur, is dit verbasend dat Ferdinand en Isabella dit sou wou waag om hul dogter te gee." (34)

Die Verdrag van Medina del Campo is op 27 Maart 1489 onderteken. Dit het 'n gemeenskaplike beleid teenoor Frankryk ingestel, die tariewe tussen die twee lande verlaag en 'n huwelikskontrak ooreengekom tussen prins Arthur en Catherine van Aragon en het ook 'n bruidskat vir Catherine van 200 000 krone ingestel. Dit was 'n goeie deal vir Henry. Op die oomblik het Engeland en Wallis 'n gesamentlike bevolking van slegs twee en 'n half miljoen gehad, vergeleke met die sewe en 'n half miljoen van Kastilië en Aragon, en die vyftien miljoen van Frankryk. Ferdinand se motivering was dat Spaanse handelaars wat Nederland wou bereik, die beskerming van Engelse hawens benodig as Frankryk hulle belet. Die Engelse het ook steeds die hawe van Calais in Noord -Frankryk beheer. (35)

Die huwelik is egter nie gewaarborg nie. Soos David Loades daarop wys: "Die huwelik van 'n heerser was die hoogste vlak van die huwelikswedstryd en het die grootste insette gedra, maar dit was nie die enigste vlak nie. Beide seuns en dogters was stukke wat verplaas moes word in die diplomatieke spel, wat het gewoonlik begin terwyl hulle nog in hul wieg was. 'n Dogter kan veral 'n halfdosyn verloofde ondergaan om die beleid te verander voordat haar lot haar uiteindelik inhaal. " (36)

In Augustus 1497 is Catherine en Arthur formeel verloof in die ou paleis van Woodstock. Die Spaanse ambassadeur, Roderigo de Puebla, staan ​​volmag vir die bruid. Die aankoms van Catherine is vertraag totdat prins Arthur die huwelik kon volbring. Catherine is ook aangemoedig om Frans te leer, aangesien baie min mense in die Engelse hof Spaans of Latyn praat. Koningin Elizabeth het ook voorgestel dat sy haarself gewoond raak aan wyn, aangesien die water in Engeland nie drinkbaar was nie. (37)

Catherine en prins Arthur het verskeie briewe aan mekaar geskryf. In Oktober 1499 skryf Arthur vir haar en bedank haar vir die "lieflike briewe" wat sy vir hom gestuur het: "Ek kan jou nie 'n opregte begeerte gee om jou Hoogheid te sien nie, en hoe tergend is hierdie uitstel oor my koms. Laat dit bespoedig, sodat die liefde tussen ons en die begeerlike vreugdes die regte vrugte kan pluk. " (38)

Catherine verlaat die hawe van Corunna op 20 Julie 1501. Haar groep het die graaf en gravin de Cabra, 'n kamermeester, Juan de Diero, Catherine se kapelaan, Alessandro Geraldini, drie biskoppe en 'n magdom dames, here en bediendes ingesluit. Dit is te gevaarlik geag om Ferdinand van Aragon en Isabella van Kastilië toe te laat om die reis te onderneem. Die see-kruising was verskriklik: 'n hewige storm het in die Baai van Biskaje gewaai, en die skip het etlike dae in rowwe see rondgeslinger en die kaptein moes terugkeer na Spanje. Eers op 27 September het die winde gaan lê en Catherine kon Laredo aan die Castiliaanse kus verlaat. (39)

Catherine van Aragon het op 2 Oktober 1501 in Engeland aangekom. Arthur was net vyftien en Catherine byna sestien. (40) As 'n pasgebore Castiliaanse bruid het Catherine tot na die huwelikseremonie vir haar man en haar skoonpa bedek gebly. Henry sou bekommerd wees oor haar grootte. Sy is beskryf as 'uiters kort, selfs klein'. Henry kon nie kla nie, want Arthur, nou vyftien jaar oud, was baie klein en onontwikkeld en was 'n halwe kop korter as Catherine. Hy word ook beskryf as 'n 'ongesonde' velkleur. (41)

Arthur en Catherine trou op 14 November 1501 in die St Paul's Cathedral in Londen. Daardie aand, toe Arthur die sluier van Catherine oplig, ontdek hy 'n meisie met 'n mooi gelaatskleur, ryk rooi-goud hare wat onder die heupvlak val en blou oë '. (42) Haar natuurlike pienk wange en wit vel was kenmerke wat gedurende die Tudor -periode baie bewonder is. Hedendaagse bronne beweer dat "sy ook aan die mollige kant was - maar toe word 'n aangename rondheid in die jeug in hierdie tydperk as wenslik beskou, 'n aanduiding van toekomstige vrugbaarheid". (43)

Die egpaar het die eerste maand van hul huwelik in Tickenhill Manor deurgebring. Arthur skryf aan Catherine se ouers en vertel hulle hoe gelukkig hy is en verseker hulle dat hy ''n ware en liefdevolle eggenoot al sy dae' sou wees. Hulle verhuis daarna na Ludlow Castle. Arthur het 'n swak gesondheid gehad en volgens William Thomas, die bruidegom van sy Privy Chamber, het hy homself te veel inspan. Hy het later onthou dat hy hom "gereeld en verskeie kere in sy nagrok na die prinses se deur gebring het". (44)

Alison Weir het aangevoer dat Arthur onder verbruik ly: "Daar was kommer oor die gevoelige gesondheid van die prins. Hy lyk verbruikend en het sedert die troue verswak. Die koning het, net soos die meeste ander mense, geglo dat Arthur homself te veel inspan in die huweliksbed. " (45) Byna dertig jaar later het Catherine, onder die seël van die belydenisskrif, onthul dat hulle nie langer as sewe nagte 'n bed gedeel het nie en dat sy 'net so ongeskonde en onberispelik gebly het as toe sy uit haar moederskoot kom'. (46)

Antonia Fraser, die skrywer van Die ses vroue van Henry VIII (1992) het aangevoer dat sy glo dat die huwelik onvoltooid was. "In 'n tyd waarin huwelike gereeld aangegaan is om staatsredes tussen kinders of diegene wat tussen kinderjare en adolessensie sweef, is daar meer aandag aan die tydsberekening van die voltrekking geneem as wat dit voltrek is. Sodra die huwelik amptelik afgehandel is, kan daar 'n paar jaar verloop voordat die regte die oomblik is aangekom. Angstige berigte kan tussen ambassadeurs oor fisieke ontwikkeling oorgaan; koninklike ouers kan advies inwin oor die gereedheid van die nageslag vir die beproewing. is inderdaad nie so ver nie. Die verwekking van die nageslag was die belangrikste stap in hierdie koninklike huwelike, so eindeloos onderhandel. " Fraser voer verder aan dat die Tudors van mening was dat die geboorte van kinders te jonk hul kans op verdere kinders kan benadeel. Byvoorbeeld, Henry VII se ma, Margaret Beaufort, was net dertien toe sy hom gehad het en het in die loop van vier huwelike nooit ander kinders gehad nie. (47)

Op 27 Maart 1502 word Arthur ernstig siek. Op grond van die beskrywing van die simptome deur sy bediendes, het dit gelyk asof hy aan 'n brongiale of longtoestand ly, soos longontsteking, tuberkulose of een of ander vorm van griep. David Starkey het voorgestel dat hy moontlik aan testikulêre kanker gely het. (48) Antonia Fraser, meen dat beide van hulle terselfdertyd siek was, aangesien Catherine terselfdertyd siek was.

Prins Arthur is op Saterdag 2 April 1502 oorlede. (49) Elizabeth van York het aan Henry gesê dat sy nog jonk genoeg is om nog kinders te hê. Sy het weer swanger geword en 'n dogter, Katherine, is vroeg gebore op 2 Februarie 1503. Sy het nooit herstel nie en is nege dae later op 11 Februarie, haar sewe en dertigste verjaardag, aan kraamkoors oorlede. (50) Henry neem haar dood baie sleg en "vertrek na 'n eensame plek en wil niemand hom toevlug nie." (51)


Prins Arthur en Katherine van Aragon

Hierdie brief van Arthur Tudor is gedateer 1499, byna twee jaar voordat Katherine in Engeland aankom en met haar prins trou, maar hulle is pas deur 'n gevolmagtigde getroud. Teen die tyd dat hierdie brief geskryf is, was Arthur slegs dertien jaar oud.

In haar nuwe boek, Katherine van Aragon – The True Queen, verklaar Alison Weir dat Arthur nie die brief self geskryf het nie en dat iemand anders hom bygestaan ​​het of dit vir hom geskryf het. Nadat ek die brief gelees het, moet ek saamstem, en ek glo dat hy slegs geleer is hoe om die brief te skryf.

Die gevolmagtigde huwelik van Arthur en Katherine het in Mei 1499 plaasgevind. 'N Ruk na die seremonie blyk dit dat Engelse hooggeplaastes besorg was dat die Spaanse vorste nie hul dogter sou stuur nie. In die Spaanse Letters and Papers word 'n verklaring gevind wat daarop dui dat die koning van Engeland bekommerd is:

RE: Tyd om die prinses Katharine na Engeland te stuur.
Hy vergis hom as hy glo dat hulle van plan is om die stuur van die prinses na Engeland uit te stel. Dit is nie hul bedoeling nie. Inteendeel, hulle is bereid om haar te stuur sodra die Prins van Wallis die veertiende jaar van sy ouderdom voltooi het, 'n tyd wat nie ver is nie.

Engeland was aan die einde van 1499 in gevaar, Perkin Warbeck (die pretender) en Edward, graaf van Warwick (seun van hertog van Clarence) bedreig albei die stabiliteit van die Engelse troon. Katherine se ouers Ferdinand van Aragon en Isabella van Kastilië het blykbaar hul dogter in Spanje gehou totdat die dreigemente geneutraliseer is. Warbeck en Warwick is tereggestel die maand nadat hierdie brief geskryf is. Engeland was stabiel en Katherine kon nou in die hande van die Engelse koning en koningin vertrou word.

Op die 17de Augustus 1501 vertrek Katherine na Engeland, maar is teruggedraai weens sterk storms wat hulle teruggedwing het. Op 27 September probeer hulle weer en was suksesvol in hul reis na Engeland.

Arthur het verskeie briewe aan Katherine geskryf, waarvan dit die enigste is wat oorleef het. Dit is oorspronklik in Latyn geskryf en die enigste taal wat hulle albei verstaan ​​het.

Arthur, prins van Wallis en Katherine van Aragon

Aan die mees roemryke en uitstekende prinses, die Lady Catherine, prinses van Wallis, hertogin van Cornwall, en nog baie meer, my mees geliefde eggenoot. (5 Oktober 1499):

Meest beroemde en mees uitstekende dame, my liefste eggenoot, ek wens u baie gesondheid toe, met my hartlike aanbeveling.

Ek het die mees lieflike briewe van u hoogheid die afgelope tyd aan my gelees, waaruit ek u grootste liefde vir my maklik kon waarneem. Waarlik, u briewe, wat deur u eie hand opgespoor is, het my so aangegryp en my so vrolik en opgewonde gemaak, dat ek gedink het dat ek u hoogheid aanskou en met my liefste vrou gesels en omhels het. Ek kan nie vir jou sê wat 'n opregte begeerte ek het om jou hoogheid te sien nie, en hoe tergend is hierdie uitstel oor my koms vir my. Ek is u ewige dank verskuldig aan u uitnemendheid dat u so liefdevol ooreenstem met hierdie my so vurige liefde. Laat dit aanhou, smeek ek, soos dit begin het, en soos ek u lieflike herinnering dag en nag koester, bewaar u my naam altyd vars in u bors. En laat u aankoms na my toe bespoedig word, sodat ons, in plaas van afwesig, teenoor mekaar kan wees, en dat die liefde tussen ons en die verlangde vreugdes die regte vrugte kan pluk.

Boonop het ek gedoen soos u glorieryke hoogheid my gebied het, dit wil sê, ek het u aan die eerlikste heer en die dame, die koning en koningin, my ouers aanbeveel, en u vriendelike agting teenoor hulle te verklaar, wat hulle die aangenaamste was om te hoor , veral uit my lippe. Ek smeek ook u hoogheid dat dit u kan behaag om 'n soortgelyke goeie amp vir my uit te oefen en my met 'n goeie wil aan my eerlikste heer en dame u ouers te prys, want ek waardeer, respekteer en respekteer hulle, alhoewel ek hulle was my eie, en wens hulle alle geluk en voorspoed toe.

Mag u hoogheid altyd gelukkig en gelukkig wees en veilig en vreugdevol wees, en laat ek dit gereeld en vinnig weet deur u briewe, wat vir my die vreugdevolste sal wees. Van ons kasteel van Ludlow. 5 Oktober 1499.

U hoogheid en liefdevolste eggenoot,

Arthur, prins van Wallis, hertog van Cornwall, ens.

Oudste seun van die Koning.

Briewe van koninklike en beroemde dames van Groot -Brittanje, van die begin van die twaalfde eeu tot die einde van die bewind van koningin Mary


Royal History ╽Catherine Of Aragon: Hartverskeurende briewe van die ware koningin!

Toe Catherine Of Aragon 'n opregte pleidooi aan haar pa skryf, het sy die titel van Prinses van Wallis gehou deur haar huwelik met prins Arthur van Engeland. Die egpaar was nie lank getroud voor die prins se vroegtydige dood in 1502 in die Ludlow -kasteel nie. Catherine pleit by haar pa, koning Ferdinand II, en gee besonderhede oor al haar ellende sedert sy uit Spanje gekom het.

Die jong prinses het geskryf “AEk het gereeld aan u geskryf dat ek sedert ek in Engeland gekom het, Ek het nie 'n enkele maravedi gehad nie, behalwe 'n sekere bedrag wat ek vir kos gegee het, en hierdie bedrag was nie voldoende sonder dat ek baie skuld in Londen gehad het nie, en wat my meer pla, is om my dienaars en meisies so te sien, en dat hulle nie die middele het om klere te kry nie. ”

Die nood is baie duidelik tydens hierdie onstuimige tyd van weduwee vir Catherine, maar ek bewonder haar vasberadenheid. Sy was altyd 'n redelike vrou wat uitstyg bo wat die lewe op haar gebied het, veral tydens haar huweliksprobleme met koning Henry VIII. Die besorgdheid wat sy toon dat haar bediendes genoeg geld kry om hul basiese behoeftes soos klere, kos en skuiling te onderhou, toon die vriendelike gees en hart wat hierdie vrou werklik gehad het.

In die post van vandag het ek verskeie briewe gedeel wat deur Catherine Of Aragon geskryf is of deur ander aan haar gestuur is, soos haar oorlede man, prins Arthur van Wallis self. Laat u kommentaar hieronder om my te laat weet wat u daarvan dink. Is u jammer oor alles wat sy moes verduur? Ek het twee menings hieroor. Ja, ek voel 'n bietjie hartseer vir haar, maar ek is ook trots op haar karakter. Catherine was die definisie van krag, trots, koppigheid, goedheid, en soveel meer! 'N Vrou om nie te bemors of gedwee te verdwyn as dinge moeilik raak nie. Sy het opgestaan ​​vir haarself, ander en vir haar oortuigings.

[Katherine van Aragon]

Catherine van Aragon was die dogter van die koning van Spanje, koning Ferdinand II, en sy vrou, koningin Isabella van Kastilië. Die huwelik van haar ouers het Spanje verenig in die middel van die 15de eeu in 1469. Sy was hul jongste kind. In 'n biografie van die EWB berig hulle dat haar ouers baie lief was vir hul jongste prinses:

Catherine van Aragon was die laaste kind wat gebore is aan die twee regerende monarge, of heersers, van Spanje, koning Ferdinand van Aragon (1452–1516) en koningin Isabella van Kastilië (1451–1504). Catherine is beskryf as 'n klein en mollige prinses met pienk wange, 'n ligte vel en rooigoud hare. Haar kinderjare was gevul met gevegte en vieringe, terwyl haar ouers daaraan gewerk het om die gebied van hul invloed uit te brei.

Die opvoeding van Catherine was van groot belang vir koningin Isabella, wat gesorg het dat haar dogter 'n wye verskeidenheid vakke bestudeer. Catherine was 'n toegewyde student wat Frans, Latyn, Spaans en later Engels kon praat. Sy het opgelei in die regte, genealogie (die studie van familiegeskiedenisse), die bybel en geskiedenis. Catherine het ook gewerk om haar vaardighede in dans, teken en musiek te ontwikkel, en sy het geleer hoe om te borduur, te spin en te weef. Sy het 'n sterk godsdienstige opvoeding gehad en het 'n geloof ontwikkel wat later in haar lewe 'n groot rol sou speel.

Omdat hulle weet dat die huwelik met hul dogters met die koninklikes van magtige nasies hul voet in Europa kan versterk, het die koning en koningin hierdie bondgenote versigtig gekies. In Mei 1499 is die eerste van verskeie huwelikseremonies gehou toe Catherine getroud was met prins Arthur van Engeland, seun van Henry VII (1457–1509). ”

In alle verslae wat oor Catherine van Aragon geskryf is, is dit duidelik dat sy 'n intelligente, sterk en waardige vrou was wat haar titel verdien. Sy was 'n koningin wat deur sy voorbeeld gelei het.

[Prins Arthur van Engeland en Catherine van Aragon]

In 1501 het die Spaanse prinses na Engeland aangekom en met die prins van Wallis getrou. Die reis was nogal moeilik volgens 'n artikel in die Anne Boleyn -lêers wat deur Claire Ridgeway geskryf is. Sy beskryf Catherine se reise en die vertragings as gevolg van die ontkenning wat tussen koning Henry VII en koning Ferdinand II plaasgevind het.

Catherine het oorspronklik op 17 Augustus van Coruna af gevaar, maar sterk storms in die Baai van Biskaje het haar vloot gedwing om by Laredo, naby Bilbao, te land. Nadat sy gehoor het van haar eerste mislukte poging om Engeland te bereik, het Catherine se toekomstige skoonpa een van sy beste kapteins, Stephen Butt, gestuur om haar skip deur die verraderlike Baai van Biskaje te stuur.

Onderhandelinge oor 'n huweliksooreenkoms tussen Engeland en Spanje het in 1488 begin toe koning Ferdinand van Aragon, Catherine se vader, sy ambassadeurs na Engeland gestuur het. Volgens David Starkey het Ferdinand 'n kans gesien: hy het 'n dogter, Henry VII het 'n seun, en 'n huweliksooreenkoms kon Engeland en Spanje verenig teen hul gemeenskaplike vyand, Frankryk. In 1489 stuur Henry VII sy ambassadeurs na Spanje om die ooreenkoms te skik en in Maart 1489, in die Verdrag van Medina del Campo, stem die twee koning in tot 'n huweliksverdrag en 'n alliansie. Ferdinand en sy vrou, Isabella van Castilië, het ingestem om Henry VII 'n huweliksgeld of bruidskat van 200,000 (ongeveer £ 40,000) te betaal, in twee paaiemente verdeel, en Henry het ingestem om 'n derde van die prins van Wallis se grond op Catherine te vereffen, sodat sy sou 'n inkomste hê as Arthur sterf. ”

Voordat die twee ontmoet het, is daar briewe heen en weer geskryf. Die onderstaande brief is in 1499 CE aan Catherine geskryf deur Arthur self. Dit was voordat hulle mekaar ooit persoonlik ontmoet het.

Hieronder is 'n brief wat Arthur, die prins van Wallis, aan Catherine geskryf het voor haar aankoms en hul amptelike vergadering in November 1501. Dit lyk asof hy baie opgevang is deur haar briewe aan hom en sien daarna uit om sy nuwe vrou te ontmoet. Dit is 'n vriendelike en artikulêre brief wat ek aan lesers toon dat Arthur 'n intelligente, saggeaarde en gelykmatige prins van die tyd was.

Meest beroemde en mees uitstekende dame, my liefste eggenoot, ek wens u baie gesondheid toe, met my hartlike aanbeveling.

Ek het die mees lieflike briewe van u hoogheid die afgelope tyd aan my gelees, waaruit ek u grootste liefde vir my maklik kon waarneem. Waarlik, u briewe, wat deur u eie hand opgespoor is, het my so aangegryp en my so vrolik en opgewonde gemaak, dat ek gedink het dat ek u hoogheid aanskou en met my liefste vrou gesels en omhels het. Ek kan nie vir jou sê wat 'n opregte begeerte ek het om jou hoogheid te sien nie, en hoe tergend is hierdie uitstel oor my koms vir my. Ek is u ewige dank verskuldig aan u uitnemendheid dat u so liefdevol ooreenstem met hierdie my so vurige liefde. Laat dit aanhou, smeek ek, soos dit begin het, en soos ek u lieflike herinnering dag en nag koester, bewaar u my naam altyd vars in u bors. En laat u aankoms na my toe bespoedig word, sodat ons in plaas van afwesig kan wees, en dat die liefde wat tussen ons en die verlangde vreugde ontstaan, die regte vrugte kan pluk.

Boonop het ek gedoen soos u glorieryke hoogheid my gebied het, dit wil sê, ek het u aan die eerlikste heer en die dame, die koning en koningin, my ouers aanbeveel, en u vriendelike agting teenoor hulle te verklaar, wat hulle die aangenaamste was om te hoor , veral uit my lippe. Ek smeek ook u hoogheid dat dit u kan behaag om 'n soortgelyke goeie amp vir my uit te oefen en my met 'n goeie wil aan my eerlikste heer en dame u ouers te prys, want ek waardeer, respekteer en respekteer hulle, alhoewel ek hulle was my eie, en wens hulle alle geluk en voorspoed toe.

Mag u hoogheid altyd gelukkig en gelukkig wees en veilig en vreugdevol gehou word, en laat ek dit gereeld en vinnig weet deur u briewe, wat vir my die vreugdevolste sal wees. Van ons kasteel van Ludlow. 5 Oktober 1499.

Die mees liefdevolle eggenoot van u hoogheid,

Arthur, prins van Wallis, hertog van Cornwall, ens.

Die toekoms het belowend gelyk toe Catherine in haar nuwe land aankom om met sy prins te trou, maar dit sal glad nie lank duur nie. Prins Arthur sou sterf slegs maande na die huwelik in die lente van 1502. Die amptelike oorsaak van die dood is onbekend, maar daar word vermoed dat die plaag hom doodgemaak het. Die buikpes of 'sweet -siekte' het Europa in die 15de en 16de eeu swaar getref.

Verslae van die Tudor Society verduidelik dat die siekte gedurende hierdie tyd gereeld voorkom as gevolg van infeksies van die rotpopulasie. Die siektes word redelik maklik aan mense oorgedra, en dit kan die dood van die prins verklaar. In 1501 het die Spaanse prinses na Engeland aangekom en met die prins van Wallis getrou. Die reis was nogal moeilik volgens 'n artikel in die Anne Boleyn -lêers wat deur Claire Ridgway geskryf is. Sy beskryf die reise van Catherine en die vertragings as gevolg van die ontkenning wat tussen koning Henry VII en koning Ferdinand II plaasgevind het.

Ongelukkig het plaag en siektes in Ludlow geduur, maar die jong prins het nie hierop ag geslaan nie en met sy pligte voortgegaan. Aan die einde van Maart is hy en Catherine deur 'n siekte getref. Albei is in hul beddens bestel en in hul kamers toegesluit terwyl dokters hulle versorg het. Diensknegte het woes vir die jong prins en prinses van Wallis gebid, maar dit sou niks baat nie. Terwyl Katherine nog siek was in haar kamers, sterf haar man en erfgenaam van die Engelse troon.

Alhoewel die presiese oorsaak van die dood van Arthur onbekend is, is verskeie teorieë aangevoer. Daar word beweer dat Arthur moontlik aan een of ander vorm van kanker gely het of moontlik verbruik het. 'N Ander teorie wat algemeen voorgestel word, wat terselfdertyd verband hou met Katherine van Aragon se siekte, is die gevreesde sweet siekte.

Die sweet het Engeland in die vyftiende eeu die eerste keer getref en verskyn aan en af ​​met een van die ergste epidemies in 1528. Dit is vermoedelik deur rotte uit Europa vervoer en deur klein bytende insekte na mense oorgedra. Die simptome was soortgelyk aan griep of longontsteking, met die pasiënt oor die hele liggaam, hoofpyn, 'n groot dors en verskriklike sweet. Hulle sal groot uitputting en 'n begeerte om te slaap, 'n vinnige polsslag en duiseligheid ervaar. Baie wat die sweet gekry het, was binne vier en twintig uur dood. ”

[Prins Arthur van Wallis]

Alle hoop was op Catherine se swangerskap met 'n erfgenaam by die dood van prins Arthur. Dit was 'n groot slag vir die land wat alreeds onrus en konflik ondervind het. Koning Henry VII en sy vrou Elizabeth van York was verpletter deur die verlies van hul oudste kind.

Geen tyd is gemors om Catherine van Ludlow Castle na Londen terug te bring nie. Volgens Susan Abernethy, wat op haar geskiedenisblog skryf dat:

'' N Karretjie wat in swart gedrapeer is, is na Ludlow gestuur om Catherine na Londen terug te vervoer. Op bevel het dit jammerlik stadig gevorder omdat Henry en Elizabeth geglo het dat Catherine swanger was met die kosbare Tudor -erfgenaam. ”

Die dra van die ontslape prins se kind sou nie die lot van Catherine wees nie, want die twee wat net 'n kort tydjie saam gewoon het, het nooit die huwelik voltooi nie. Prins Arthur was die meeste van hul tyd saam swak en siek. Toe sy later verloof was aan Arthur se broer, prins Henry, het sy 'n pouslike bedeling van die Heilige Roomse Kerk gekry om weer te trou.

Voor haar verlowing met prins Henry was dit nie goed nie, want koning Henry VII, wat oor sy seun rou en later sy vrou, was baie versigtig in sy sorg teenoor Catherine, wat die Dowager -prinses van Wallis genoem is. Die jong meisie het geen ondersteuning van haar skoonpa of haar gesin uit Spanje gehad nie. Catherine was vas. Dit was op hierdie breekpunt dat sy 'n lang brief aan haar pa, koning Ferdinand, geskryf het.

Hoogste en mees puise heer,

Tot dusver wou ek nie u hoogheid die sake hier laat weet nie, sodat ek u geen ergernis sou gee nie en ook dink dat dit sou verbeter, maar dit blyk dat die teenoorgestelde die geval is, en dat my probleme elke dag toeneem en dit alles aan oor die dokter de Puebla, aan wie dit nie volstaan ​​het dat hy van die begin af duisend valshede teen die diens van u hoogheid afgehandel het nie, maar nou het hy my nuwe probleme gegee en omdat ek glo dat u hoogheid sal dink dat ek sonder rede kla, Ek wil u alles vertel wat verby is.

U hoogheid sal weet, soos ek gereeld aan u geskryf het, dat ek sedert ek in Engeland gekom het, geen enkele maravedi gehad het nie, behalwe 'n sekere bedrag wat ek vir voedsel gegee het, en dit 'n bedrag wat ek sonder omdat ek baie skuld in Londen het en wat my nog meer pla, is om my bediendes en diensmeisies so verlore te sien, en dat hulle nie die middele het om klere aan te skaf nie, en dit is volgens my alles met die hand gedoen deur die dokter, wat nieteenstaande u hoogheid het geskryf en hom die boodskap gestuur dat hy geld van die koning van Engeland moet kry, my heer dat hulle hul koste moet betaal, maar om hom nie te pla nie, sal u die diens van u hoogheid eerder vestig en verwaarloos. My heer, 'n paar dae gelede het donna Elvira de Manuel my verlof gevra om na Vlaandere te gaan om genees te word van 'n klagte wat in haar oë gekom het, sodat sy een van hulle uit die oog verloor het en daar 'n dokter is Vlaandere wat die baba Isabel genees het van dieselfde siekte as wat sy aangetas is. Sy het moeite gedoen om hom hierheen te bring om my nie te verlaat nie, maar kon nooit met hom slaag nie en ek, want as sy blind was, kon sy my nie dien nie, durf haar reis nie belemmer nie. Ek het die koning van Engeland gesmeek, my heer, dat sy hoogheid tot ons donna Elvira sou terugkeer beveel dat ek as metgesel 'n ou Engelse dame moes hê, of dat hy my na sy hof sou neem, en ek het dit alles meegedeel die dokter het gedink om van die skurk 'n ware man te maak, maar dit het my nie volstaan ​​nie - omdat hy my nie net hof toe getrek het nie, omdat ek 'n plesier het, omdat ek die koning om 'n asiel gesmeek het, maar hy het onderhandel dat die Koning moet my hele huishouding ontslaan en my kamer-uitrusting wegneem en stuur om dit in 'n eie huis te plaas, sodat ek dit in geen opsig meesteres sou word nie.

En dit alles lê my nie op nie, behalwe dat dit die diens van u hoogheid betref, in teenstelling met wat gedoen moet word. Ek smeek u hoogheid dat u van mening is dat ek uw dogter is, en dat u niet toestemming verleen dat ek vanweë die dokter sulke probleme moet ondervind, maar dat u 'n ambassadeur sal beveel om hierheen te kom, wat 'n ware dienaar van u hoogheid is , en sal sonder ophou om dit te doen wat op u diens betrekking het. En as u hoogheid my nie vertrou nie, beveel u dan dat iemand hierheen moet kom, wat u van die waarheid kan inlig, en dan sal u een hê wat u beter sal dien. Wat my betref, ek het soveel pyn en ergernis gehad dat ek my gesondheid in groot mate verloor het, sodat ek twee maande lank ernstige tertiaanse koors gehad het, en dit is die oorsaak dat ek binnekort sal sterf. Ek smeek u hoogheid om my te vergewe, dat ik veronderstel om u te smeek om my so 'n groot guns te doen dat ek mag beveel dat hierdie dokter nie mag bly nie, omdat hy beslis nie die diens van u hoogheid vervul nie, wat hy uitstel tot diens van die grootste belang. wat kan wees. Ons Here bewaar die lewe en die koninklike boedel van u hoogheid, en verhoog dit altyd soos ek wil. Van Richmond, die tweede Desember.

Meneer, ek het vergeet om u hoogheid daaraan te herinner hoe u weet dat daar ooreengekom is dat u die bord en die juwele wat ek saamgebring het, as 'n sekere deel van my bruidegom sou gee, en tog is ek seker dat die koning van Engeland, my Here, sal niks van die bord of van die juwele wat ek gebruik het, ontvang nie, want hy het self vir my gesê dat hy verontwaardig was dat hulle in sy koninkryk moes sê dat hy my ornamente van my weggeneem het. En net so min mag u hoogheid verwag dat hy dit in ag sal neem en dit aan my sal teruggee omdat ek seker is dat hy dit nie sal doen nie, en dat so iets ook nie hier gebruiklik is nie. Net soos die juwele wat ek van daar [Spanje] gebring het, ter waarde van 'n groot bedrag. Die koning sou dit nie in die helfte van die waarde neem nie, want hier word al hierdie dinge baie goedkoper geag, en die koning het soveel juwele dat hy eerder geld wil hê as dit. Ek skryf so aan u hoogheid, want ek weet dat daar groot verleentheid sal wees as hy dit nie sal ontvang nie, behalwe teen 'n laer prys. Dit lyk vir my dat dit beter sou wees as u hoogheid dit vir u neem en aan die koning van Engeland, my heer, sy geld gee. U hoogheid sal sien wat u die beste sou dien, en hiermee sal ek die meeste tevrede wees.

Die nederige dienaar van u hoogheid, wat u hande soen.

[The Trial of Catherine – na skildery deur Laslett J. Pott. Catherine van Aragon, eerste vrou van Henry VIII, getuig by die Legatine Court, waarin sy die wettigheid van haar huwelik en haar posisie as koningin van Engeland verdedig. Augustus 1529]

BOEK PICK VAN DIE DAG

Henry VIII, koning van Engeland en Ierland in die eerste helfte van die 16de eeu, is om baie redes een van die bekendste monarge in die geskiedenis. Hy regeer genadeloos en huil vinnig "verraad!" en uitvoer, en ewe vinnig om in en uit liefde te val. Henry het die godsdienstige weefsel van Engeland vir ewig verander en sy stempel afgedruk op die breër wêreld - maar wat van die ses vroue wat hy as koninginne geneem het?

Van die koninklike en bekwame Catherine van Aragon tot die geduldige en vrygewige Katherine Parr, Henry se vroue verteenwoordig 'n verskeidenheid persoonlikhede, doelwitte, oortuigings en invloede op die koning. Elkeen van Henry se ses vroue verteenwoordig 'n faset van die koning self, of hy dit graag wou erken of nie, 'n koningin van Engeland aan die kant van Henry VIII kon nooit seker wees van die liefde van haar man - of haar veiligheid nie. Dit is die verhale van drie Catherines, twee Annes en een Jane.


3. Haar huwelik met Henry was so na aan 'n liefdeswedstryd as wat 'n diplomatieke huwelik kon wees

Catherine was 6 jaar ouer as Henry, haar voormalige swaer, toe hy in 1509 koning geword het. Henry het 'n aktiewe besluit geneem om met Catherine te trou: hoewel daar strategiese en politieke voordele was, kon hy met enigeen van Europa trou prinsesse.

Die twee was goed bymekaar. Both were attractive, well-educated, cultured and accomplished sportspeople, and they were devoted to each other for the first years of their marriage. The two were married in early June 1509 outside Greenwich Palace, and crowned at Westminster Abbey about 10 days later.


Catherine of Aragon and Her Marriage to Prince Henry

Issues over the dowry were not the only obstacle faced by Catherine and her fiancé Henry. The couple required a papal dispensation in order to marry, which was a special permit from the Pope to avoid a Canon Law which stated that a man was forbidden from marrying his brother’s widow. Catherine had to testified that her marriage with Arthur was never consummated - making the marriage invalid.

In the end, Catherine and Henry were married on June 11, 1509, over eight years after Prince Arthur’s death. This was mainly due to Henry being 12 years old when his older bothered died. He married Catherine when he was 19, and she was 24. Their wedding lasted for a week, with a banquet at Westminster Hall and a series of medieval tournaments. “My wife and I be in good and perfect love as any two creatures can be,” wrote Henry in a letter to his new father-in-law, Ferdinand.

Three months before Catherine and Henry’s marriage, King Henry VII, Henry’s father, died. Suddenly Henry became the next King of England and the pair celebrated an unusual joint coronation. Although many accounts throughout history have depicted Catherine as a frumpy pious Spaniard, she was actually an intelligent and charismatic queen. Catherine used her education and experience at her father’s court to help her husband in foreign affairs, and in 1509 Catherine became the first female ambassador in European history serving as England’s ambassador to Spain.

Catherine also became Governor of the Realm, and Captain-General after Henry left to campaign in France for four months in 1513. During this time, she was faced with a significant crisis, as James IV of Scotland invaded England during Henry’s absence. Catherine ordered troops to defend England and James retreated back to Scotland. She wrote a letter to Henry, in her new-found English, proud of her accomplishment. “In this, your grace shall see how I can keep my promise, sending you for your banners a King’s coat. I thought to send himself unto you, but our Englishmen’s hearts would not suffer it.”

Many reports hold that the pair had a happy marriage, in the beginning at least. The two would ride and hunt animals together, eat all meals together, and seemed to completely trust each other. Over time however a series of miscarriages fueled Henry’s growing frustration with a lack of a male heir. During this time Henry started to have affairs with other women, even siring an illegitimate son named Henry Fitzroy.

Catherine of Aragon was separated from her daughter, Mary Tudor who is seen here, who went on to become Queen of England. ( Public domain )


Net geskiedenis.

Arthur, Prince of Wales ca 1501. Photo Credit- Scanned from Tomas P. Campbell, Henry VIII and the Art of Majesty: Tapestries at the Tudor Court, Yale University

There are always points in history where a different choice could have been made and the end would have been very different. There are many what if points in the Tudor time period. In this post, I will address two of the most tantalizing.

Prince Arthur lived and became King of England

Arthur Tudor was the first born of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. He was meant to be the embodiment of the golden age of England, and the flower of the Tudor dynasty. He was married to Catherine of Aragon on November 14, 1501. The newly married pair traveled to Ludlow and administered Wales from that castle. In real life, Arthur died of an unknown illness not long after their arrival setting in motion a train of events that led to the troubled reign of Henry VIII that has fascinated many people over the years. But what if Arthur survived?

Catherine and Arthur could have had a line of healthy children including a son and heir. This would solidified the alliance between Spain and England against France. Catherine was quite active in pillow side diplomacy with Henry, so it is reasonable to theorize she would be with Arthur as well. With a bevy of healthy children with both Spanish and English royal blood running in their veins, he would have no reason to go against Spain. This takes the Spanish armada coming against England out of play.

However, it is theorized the illness that laid him low at Ludlow would have weakened him. Also, Catherine had difficulty carrying a child to term, and this may not have been due to a problem with Henry. We have no way of knowing. Therefore, this casts doubt on their ability to have healthy sons. Arthur and Catherine may have been in the the same succession crisis as Henry and Catherine, however, this is no doubt Arthur would have handled it differently than Henry. Arthur had been trained more closely by his father, Henry VII, and was said to take after him in his cautious nature. It is doubtful he would have put aside his wife, and if he did it would not have been for a commoner. Arthur would have made a powerful European alliance with his second marriage.

Catherine van Aragon. Photo Credit- Wikipedia

Without the tantalizing prospect of Anne Boleyn and her slender white hands pushing books on reform into Henry’s hot hands, the reformation of the English Church would have not been so violent. The will to reform the church was there, but would spring not from the government or the monarchy. In this scenario, it would come from a more grassroots level. And who knows what Bishop Henry, the king’s brother and defender of the faith, would think of it?

Catherine and Henry’s first son lived

Born on January 1, 1511, Henry, Duke of Cornwall, was the son and heir of Henry VIII and his wife Catherine of Aragon. The couple had already lost a stillborn daughter, and were overjoyed at the birth of this healthy boy. The public called him “the New Year’s Price” or “little Prince Hal” and toasted him with wine and bonfires and dancing in the streets. He was christened a few days later with all the pomp and circumstance of a prince of England at the Chapel of the Observant Friars at Richmond. His father, King Henry, jousted at a tournament in his honor carrying the motto “Sir Loyal Heart” as a tribute to the prince’s lady mother. Then it all went wrong.

Henry VIII of England Photo Credit- Wikipedia

In real life, the wee babe lived only fifty-two days. No one knows for sure what happened to the child, but infant mortality was high in the those days. But what if the little prince had lived? Henry had his heir. There would be no pressure or rush for him to get rid of his older wife Catherine. When the lovely Anne Boleyn came back to court, she would have no card to play to convince the king to put her on the throne. It was mistress or nothing. Perhaps she would have passed through his arms like her sister did. Or perhaps she would merely flirt and end up happily married to Henry Percy. It is highly likely that Henry would have continued the grand tradition of having a mistress, but no one would have faulted him for it. Both Charles V and his son Philip as well as Francis of France had their share of extramarital affairs. It was the way of the times. But as long as Catherine did her duty and gave the King an heir, there would be no reason to get rid of her. No Great Matter.

Their daughter Mary would have a much happier life as the younger sister to the heir apparent. Her childhood would have been much happier as she would never be forced to chose between her two beloved parents. As the legitimate daughter of the King of England she would have had her pick of eligible princes and been the wife and mother she longed to be.

As in the previous scenario, religious reform would be bottom up not forced from the top down. It is unknown how Henry would react. Henry was always against Lutheranism, but it is possible he could have listened to other reforms. Perhaps Catherine would have brought a moderating influence to his decisions. However, she was a daughter of the monarchs who instituted the Inquisition, so it is possible she could have pushed him to a more hard line position.

However, none of this was meant to be and a beautiful young woman named Anne Boleyn strayed into the King’s gaze and the rest as they say was history.


Prince Arthur

Prince Arthur was the eldest son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Arthur’s early death resulted in his younger brother Prince Henry becoming heir to the throne – the future Henry VIII.

Arthur was born on September 20 th 1486 in Winchester. Henry VII’s fascination with the legend of King Arthur meant that Elizabeth was told to go to Winchester – spiritual home of King Arthur’s Round Table – to give birth. There is no evidence from the birth of Arthur that he was born ill or weak. At the age of three, Arthur was appointed Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. Aged five, Arthur became a Knight of the Garter.

In keeping with the time, Arthur had his own personal tutors. Up to the age of fifteen he had three different tutors – John Rede, Bernard André and finally Thomas Linacre.

In the early years of his reign, Henry must have felt a degree of vulnerability. The Simnel, York, Warbeck and Cornish rebellions were all signs that in parts of England the potential existed for Henry to be challenged. Henry sought out an ally in Europe and Spain was seen as a great power at this time.

As early as 1488, talks started with Spain with regards to marriage between Arthur and Catherine of Aragon. Such a marriage had advantages for both countries. Henry would have a powerful ally abroad and Spain would also act as a counter-weight to the threat France posed to Henry. From Spain’s position, England acted as a useful ally to the north of France. France was seen by both England and Spain as being a potential threat so allied they appeared to be squeezing France – a nation that could not afford to fight a war on two fronts.

The start of the marriage talks occurred at the Treaty of Medina del Campo but they stalled when Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain queried whether Henry really was that stable on the throne. Royal advisors in Spain were concerned that the Tudor dynasty was not yet firmly in control of the land. This concern lasted until 1499 when marriage was agreed to – after Henry had shown that he was in full control of his kingdom by putting down the Warbeck Rebellion. It has been suggested that the execution of Perkin Warbeck was a demonstration of domestic authority by Henry VII and was done to impress the Spanish. The terms of the marriage were settled in 1500.

Arthur and Catherine first met on November 4 th 1501 at Dogsmersfield Palace in Hampshire. They married at St. Paul’s Cathedral on November 14 th .

To demonstrate his ‘Welshness’, Arthur set up court at Ludlow Castle. However, he fell ill and died on April 2 nd 1502 and was buried in Worcester Cathedral. Henry did not attend the funeral. Some said that the distance was too far to travel but many believed it was because he was too upset to be there. In keeping with tradition, Catherine of Aragon did not attend the funeral. Arthur’s untimely death led to his younger brother, Prince Henry, becoming the heir to the throne.

Some speculation has been made that Arthur was discreetly murdered with royal conivance and his death disguised as illness as Henry VII saw his son Prince Henry as a more robust and strong person. The argument went that Henry VII was very concerned that if Arthur ever did become king, his obvious physical weakness might stimulate an attack on the throne. There is, however, no evidence to back this up. The only real curiosity regarding Arthur’s premature death concerned the disease/illness that ended his life.

As king, Henry VIII went on to marry Catherine of Aragon. During the bitter divorce proceedings that ended the marriage many years later, Henry used ‘evidence’ from the marriage between Arthur and Catherine to ‘prove’ that she was not a virgin when she married him, despite her claims to the contrary.


History… the interesting bits!

Today I would like to welcome author and historian Sean Cunningham as part of his amazing blog tour. Celebrating the release of his new biography, Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was, Sean has written a wonderful article on the wedding of Arthur and Catherine of Aragon – just for us!

The Wedding of the Century: Prince Arthur, Catherine of Aragon and the Politics of a Teenage Marriage in 1501

The private and public lives of England’s late medieval royal families were no-doubt as fascinating to their subjects as the Windsors are to many citizens today. In a world without social and other media or mass literacy, however, popular discussion of the visibility of the fifteenth century royals is almost completely hidden from modern view. We do know from the propaganda produced by competing sides in the Wars of the Roses that public opinion mattered to the ruling elites. Since rivals for the crown were basically cousins who shared royal blood in more-or-less equal degrees, appeals to popular support were important in the search for political advantage.

Records of royal progresses, visits, formal entries and days of estate stand out in civic records of towns and cities because it was rare for the ruled to see their rulers in close proximity within public spaces. For that reason, we might expect evidence of more ambitious manipulation of London’s concentrated population in spectacular set-piece events like royal marriages. It is not found in the fifteenth century. Lancastrian and Yorkist leaders seem to have shied away from public view when they took their wedding vows.

Joan of Navarre was a thirty-three-year old widow when she married Henry IV at Winchester in 1403 a comforting arrangement, not necessarily to increase numbers of royal children. Henry V’s marriage to Catherine de Valois at Troyes in 1420 was a quiet soldier’s wedding, which very few English people witnessed, despite its massive political implications (or maybe because of them). Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou had a low-key ceremony at Titchfield Abbey in April 1445. Edward IV became Elizabeth Woodville’s second husband in a secret service in 1464. Richard III had married the widowed Anne Neville within Westminster Palace while he was duke of Gloucester in 1472. Henry VII’s own wedding did not occur until January 1486, despite the certainty that many of his supporters had followed him only because of his promise to marry Edward IV’s daughter, Elizabeth. It was not a state occasion, and received far less interest from heralds and chroniclers than King Henry’s first royal progress the following spring.

Prince Arthur in mid-Victorian glass, St Laurence Church, Ludlow

Political circumstances, cost, and the uncertainty of factional politics and civil war account for some of these understated royal weddings. Henry VII had no such reservations about the match of his son and heir, however. The series of events surrounding the marriage of Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon in November 1501 were carefully planned and stage-managed for maximum public impact on an international scale. The marriage reveals a great deal of what the king, his mother and their family thought about themselves and what they wanted their subjects to remember as key messages relating to Tudor power, right, ancestry, and fitness to rule.

In terms of its ambition and complexity, the marriage of Arthur and Catherine was planned as one of the greatest spectacles ever seen in England. Catherine would have a ceremonial journey from her place of landfall to London pageants of welcome to the city and on the river would explore symbolism and allegory as well as being fantastically entertaining displays by human actors and mechanical devices the interior of St Paul’s had been reconfigured to present the wedding service as a ceremonial royal performance the public would enjoy a never-ending wine fountain near the west door of the church tournaments in the rebuilt tiltyard at Westminster Palace would show off the martial skill of Henry VII’s courtiers the wedding feast would be served on gold and silver worth as much as the crown’s annual income from taxation lodgings within the royal palaces and other public spaces had been repaired and refreshed for over two years in preparation for a few days of occupancy gifts, jewels and paintings were purchased from around Europe to be given away as a demonstration of the king’s magnificence. As the public face of England’s alliance with the Spanish kingdoms of Aragon and Castile the marriage was Henry VII’s single-minded statement of intent about the future of Tudor power.

A dragon, or Wyvern, from an initial illustration on a plea roll in the Court of Common Pleas

Henry VII could aspire to build Arthur’s future in this way because 1500-01 was the high-point of his reign. Perkin Warbeck, the pretender to the crown, who had disturbed Henry VII’s sleep for most of the 1490s, was dead. His scaffold confession in November 1499 that he was an impostor (whether forced or genuine), was meant to remove all belief that the sons of Edward IV had survived the reign of their uncle, Richard III. The earl of Warwick – son of Edward IV’s other brother, George, duke of Clarence – was beheaded in the same month as Warbeck. He was the last male Plantagenet of lineal descent from Henry II. These executions made Henry VII’s queen, Elizabeth, the sole direct heir of the House of York. Emphasising that fact strengthened Prince Arthur’s position as inheritor of her ancestry and family loyalties. By 1500, it looked like the Tudor king had finally thrown of the shackles of the Wars of the Roses. Only when England was free from these lingering threats, did the Spanish monarchs agree to start preparations to dispatch Princess Catherine in the summer of 1501.

The nature of Henry VII’s reign meant that things were not stable for long. Indications soon emerged that the king’s dynastic struggles might recur. Henry’s failure to expand the ranks of his allies meant that he soon felt the effects of deaths within his circle of old friends. Two long-standing supporters, John Morton, archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor, and John, Lord Dynham, Treasurer of England, had helped to shape Henry’s power since 1485. They died in September 1500 and January 1501 respectively. This problem would accelerate after 1502 and was magnified by other factors.

Henry VII’s imperial arms form a plea roll of King’s Bench court

More alarmingly, Edmund de la Pole, earl of Suffolk, one of the queen’s nephews, fled overseas in spring 1501. With the help of Sir James Tyrell, he was contemplating launching a claim for the crown. Tyrell was a rehabilitated loyalist of Richard III. His defection and the seeds of another attempt to start a pro-Yorkist conspiracy can only have filled the Tudor royal family with dread. Suffolk’s departure might have been prompted by the certainty that Arthur and Catherine’s marriage would strengthen Henry VII’s power even further. Evidently he felt it was worth taking a risk to secure foreign help before that happened. Although he was persuaded to return, Suffolk soon fled again to the protection of Maximilian Habsburg, Archduke of Austria and ruler of the Low Countries. He became another pretender intent on deposing the Tudor family. King Henry moved quickly, therefore, to finalise the preparations for the wedding of his son with Princess Catherine while the political situation remained in his favour.

Ferdinand and Isabella were able to exert pressure on Henry to demonstrate that England was a stable place for their daughter’s future because their nation was a rapidly-rising world power. With little prospect of recovering former lands in France, the Tudor regime in England had recognised almost as soon as it came to power that the Spanish should be wooed as a new centre of gravity in European diplomacy. In 1501, it was less than ten years since the Columbus had discovered a new world for the Spanish monarchs. Later voyagers were only just beginning to realise the potential of the Americas, but at that time the Spanish had no rivals (following the Treaty of Tordesillas with Portugal in 1494). The reconquest of Granada at the very start of 1492 also allowed a unified Spain to begin a new focus within Europe. By the end of 1494, King Ferdinand had entered the alliance against France which soon drew many European states into the Italian wars. In the years since 1489, when Henry VII had opened negotiations for a marriage alliance, it was clear that Spanish influence was under transformation. A European superpower was emerging and the English king put himself in exactly the right place at the right time to take full advantage.

Prince Arthur’s bride, Catherine of Aragon

Catherine left Corunna on 17 August 1501. Storms and delays meant that she landed in Plymouth and not Southampton, as planned, on 2 October – a month later than expected. She therefore had to endure a far longer land journey towards London but that did give more people the chance to see her on the road. Henry VII was annoyed by the disruption this caused to his arrangements, but could do little until Catherine got nearer to his base at Richmond Palace. Records suggest that genuine excitement travelled ahead of the princess and down the road to London as she, her massive and exotic entourage, and the English nobles and gentry accompanying her crossed southern England.

At the centre of all of this complex activity were two teenagers. When looking at the lavish and elaborate events that were part of the marriage, it is really important to remember that Arthur and his bride had only just met. Sixteen-year-old-Catherine had been in the country for six weeks by the time of her wedding on 14 November. She had barely paused for more than a few days after a direct journey of almost two hundred miles from Plymouth to London.

This was an arranged marriage, too. Although both young people had been bred and trained for a demanding public life, nerves and perhaps shyness must still have been part of their first meetings. Language was certainly an issue – even conversational Latin was tried. Having seen England’s future queen, Henry oversaw a renewal of the couple’s marriage vows in person at Dogmersfield in Hampshire on 6 November. The king and Arthur then headed for London. Catherine stayed in Lambeth until 12 November when she was met by Prince Henry, the duke of Buckingham and many other lords in St George’s field, south of London Bridge, for the start in earnest of her wedding festivities.

Old St Paul’s Cathedral, London

The king and his council had worked with the mayor and aldermen of London for almost two years to devise and to build pageants of welcome. The first was at the south side of London Bridge. It depicted the story of St Catherine and St Ursula. Actresses playing those saints flattered Catherine’s virtue and honour as part of an astrological allegory on the constellations of Ursa Minor and Arcturus. At the other end of the bridge, a second setting contained a castle covered in Tudor badges and imagery – the Castle of Policy. Catherine was presented as the evening star whose noble presence spontaneously opened the castle gates. A third construction on Cornhill was a mechanical zodiac that placed Arthur and Catherine in heavenly proximity to God. Arthur was depicted as an ideal knight in splendour on the heraldic fourth pageant on Cheapside while the fifth, outside the Standard Inn, was even more celestial. God’s throne and a representation of heaven presented a dazzlingly-armoured Arthur as divine Justice. At the sixth pageant, by the entrance to St Paul’s churchyard, the Seven Virtues guarded empty thrones awaiting Arthur and Catherine next to an actor representing Honour. The clear message was that honour could only be reached by virtuous living.

Much of the level of detail would have had little impact upon the mass of onlookers. It was meant to be visually stunning but not necessarily understood in all of its allegorical complexity. The constant use of badges and beasts like the red rose, portcullis, red dragon, and greyhound made for a quick visual association between the spectacle and the king’s authority. Ramming home the message that Arthur and Catherine were deserving inheritors of this extravagant power was vitally important. This need continued on the wedding day itself.

A marguerite rose form a plea roll of King’s Bench court

Arthur and Catherine were meant to be seen together. This marriage was a union of two people and an alliance of two nations. The setting of the church and orchestration of the ceremony reflected that. A raised platform built from thousands of deal planks formed a walkway that stretched along the interior of St Paul’s. Henry and Queen Elizabeth watched from a small closet so that they did not detract from the focus on the married couple. The bride and groom wore white satin. Catherine was escorted towards the altar by Arthur’s brother, Henry. Her Spanish style of verdugeo dress and highly fashionable hood were noticed by the herald’s keen eye. Before the service, a formal exchange of agreements and documents took place. They guaranteed Catherine’s status and income and firmly endorsed Ferdinand and Isabella’s alliance with Tudor England. The most notable moment in the ceremony came when Arthur and Catherine, now married, turned at the door of the choir to look back down the body of the church. It is easy to imagine their dazzling outfits and the faces of hundreds of people, who then spontaneously began to shout in celebration.

Outside another strange pageant was constructed like a mobile mountain, complete with rocks, trees, herbs, fruit and metal ore. A river of wine confirmed this as the allegorical source of all the things that the king’s subjects needed. Dit was die riche-mont, a pun on Henry’s former title of earl of Richmond. The presence of the Christian Nine Worthies placed Henry VII and Arthur in the same category of ruler as Charlemagne, King Arthur and Godfrey de Bouillon.

The magnificent wedding banquet then followed in the bishop of London’s palace. Spanish and English lords and ladies intermingled as the king’s chefs excelled themselves in inventiveness. It was also remarkable that the feast was served on magnificent silver and gilt plate while another set of dishes and jewelled chalices remained on display within the room. Henry’s proclamation of his wealth was hard to miss. The feasting and drinking lasted for most of the afternoon. In the early evening, chambers were prepared for the wedding night. What happened next (and its implications), is another part of the story and one that requires longer discussion elsewhere.

Dragon and greyhound from an Exchequer account, 1508

Here we must leave Arthur and Catherine at the end of their exhausting wedding day. In the full glare of attention and with a weight of expectation around their shoulders, it would be no surprise if a good sleep was all that the couple managed that night. They had time on their side and in the middle of November 1501, the future for Tudor England looked to be strong and dynamic. Henry had spent a fortune in coin and energy in ensuring that the political dimension of his son’s wedding was achieved spectacularly and flawlessly. No-one could have expected that within fifteen months the regime would once again be creaking on the point of collapse as both Prince Arthur and Queen Elizabeth were dead in their tombs. The wheel of fortune had turned once again for Henry VII. How he recovered would depend on a radically different strategy to rescue control over the succession of the crown, then reliant on the survival of his only surviving son, Prince Henry.

Dr Sean Cunningham, has worked at the UK National Archives for over twenty years, where he is currently Head of Medieval Records. He is the author of several works on late medieval and early Tudor history, including Henry VII in the Routledge Historical Biographies series and the newly-released Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was, for Amberley. Sean is about to start researching for a major funded project on the private spending accounts of the royal chamber under Henry VII and Henry VIII. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and co-convenor of the Late Medieval Seminar at London’s Institute of Historical Research.

Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was is available from Amberley, Amazon and other online outlets and bookshops.

Pictures of Catherine of Aragon and Old St Paul’s are courtesy of Wikipedia, all other pictures courtesy of Sean Cunningham.

My book, Heroines of the Medieval World, is now available in hardback in the UK from both Amberley Publishing and Amazon UK and worldwide from Book Depository. It is also available on Kindle in both the UK and USA and will be available in Hardback from Amazon US from 1 May 2018.

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Her Legacy is Undeniable

Until her death, Catherine continued to refer to herself as King Henry’s legitimate wife and the one true Queen of England. Even if the House of Tudor did whatever they could to erase her from the dynasty, her role in the monarchy and the events that led to a breakup with the Catholic church will remain a part of her legacy forever and are key to an important period in English history.

What do you think about the interesting history of the Spanish princess? Had you heard of her before? Have you seen her in any films or TV shows? I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below and tell me what shocks you the most about this strong and iconic female character.

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