Little Bits of History

Wedded Bliss

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 11, 2012

King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

June 11, 1509: King Henry VIII marries Catherine of Aragon. Catherine was the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile. Catherine was born in Madrid on December 16, 1485. Her first husband was Arthur, Prince of Wales. Arthur was Henry VII’s eldest son. The two youngsters were married on November 4, 1501 – just ten days after they first met. By April 2, 1502 Catherine was a widow. She was just sixteen, her husband was only fifteen when he died suddenly, succumbing to some unknown disease. Catherine had also been ill, but she recovered.

After his older son’s death, Henry VII was intent on not returning the dowry to Catherine’s parents. Henry, Duke of York, was now in line for the throne, a job he was not prepared for. Catherine was betrothed to the younger brother who was only ten years old at the time. The marriage was delayed due to a number of reasons, not least of which was the groom’s age. The dowry payment was at issue. Catherine maintained her first marriage was not consummated. The Pope needed to grant permission for the couple to marry because of the familial relationship between the royals.

By the time they married, Catherine was 23 and Henry was soon to turn 18. On June 24, the newlyweds were anointed and crowned together by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The new King (Henry VII had died on April 21, 1509) and his Queen celebrated their marriage and coronation at Westminster Hall. In 1510, they had a stillborn daughter. In 1511 a son was born but he died 52 days later. Catherine had two more sons who died. Finally, her daughter born in 1516 survived. Mary would one day become Queen of England. Catherine had one more daughter who died shortly after birth.

Since the Tudor line was new to the throne, Henry VIII wanted a male heir. He was afraid of another Civil War after his death unless he could provide a replacement King. Catherine’s six pregnancies left him with one daughter and his wife aging. Henry looked to Anne Boleyn to replace Catherine. His attempt to get his marriage annulled failed. Catherine was banished from the castle and Anne was secretly wed. Henry’s desire to have a son led him to marry six times and begin a new religion. Edward VI did succeed his father to the throne, at least for a short time.

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate. – Barnett R. Brickner

In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage. – Robert Anderson

It destroys one’s nerves to be amiable every day to the same human being. – Benjamin Disraeli

All marriages are happy. It’s the living together afterward that causes all the trouble. – Raymond Hull

Also on this day:

Epicurean Feast – In 1939 the US President serves the King of England hot dogs.
Limelight – In 1892, a new filming industry opened in Australia.
Great Barrier Reef v. Endeavour – In 1770, Captain Cook ran aground.

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