Catherine (of Aragon)

 Born  15 Dec 1485   Born At  
 Died  Jan 1536   Buried At  
 Father  Ferdinand (II, King of Aragon 1479-1516)   Mother  
Catherine of Aragon is well known as the first of Henry VIII's six wives but she was first married to Henry's elder brother Arthur. The marriage between Catherine and Arthur was arranged by Arthur's father Henry VII, King of England as part of a campaign of securing peace in Europe. As the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Aragon, the marriage would secure trust between the two countries. Catherine arrived in England in 1501 and in the November was married to Arthur then heir to the English throne. Within months Arthur had fallen ill and died. Arrangements were then made to marry Catherine and Henry, now heir to the English throne. Henry and Catherine were married at Greenwich in 1509 a month before they were both crowned at Westminster Abbey. Catherine was five years older than Henry. She gave birth to a baby boy in January of 1511, but unfortunately the child died a few weeks later. Catherine had several more babies but all died in infancy until Mary was born in February of 1516. Mary was healthy and Henry now had an heir to the throne but he really wanted a son. Henry began to believe that the marriage to Catherine was wrong because she was his late brother's wife and this was why they were not having the son that Henry needed. Henry needed the marriage to be declared invalid so he could marry again.

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YearMonthAgeEvent
1485 Dec 15  Birth of Catherine of Aragon
 Catherine of Aragon is born at Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Spain. Her father and mother were Ferdinand and Isabella of Aragon. 
Early Modern Period (1500-1800)
1501 Oct 2  16yrsCatherine of Aragon arrives
 After several months of travelling Catherine of Aragon finally arrived at Plymouth in preparation for her marriage to Prince Arthur.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
 Nov 14  Prince Arthur marries Catherine of Aragon
 After several days of celebration and reception Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon were married at St. Paul's Cathedral.[1]

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
1502 Jan  17yrsPrince Arthur moves to Ludlow
 Prince Arthur took up his position as governor of the Welsh Marches and moved to Ludlow Castle. He was accompanied by his wife Catherine of Aragon.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
1503 Jun 23  18yrsHenry and Catherine's marriage arranged
 Catherine of Aragon was now a widow and on the 23/24 of June the marriage was arranged between her and Henry (VIII). Catherine was the widow of Henry's brother and special dispensation was required from the Pope for the marriage to be lawful.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
1505   20yrsPapal dispensation
 Pope Julius II gave permission for the marriage between Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII. The legality of the marriage was in question because Catherine had been married to Henry's elder brother Arthur. 
1509 Jun 11  24yrsHenry marries Catherine of Aragon
 Henry VIII married Catherine at Greenwich.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
 Jun 24  The coronation of Henry VIII
 Henry and Catherine of Aragaon were crowned at Westminster Abbey.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
1511 Jan 1  26yrsBirth of Henry's first son
 Catherine gave birth to a boy on the first of January but the child did not live long and died in February of the same year.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
1516 Feb 18  31yrsBirth of Mary
 All of Catherine of Aragon's children died in infancy until Princess Mary was born in February of 1516. Mary was healthy and Henry was happy to have an heir. But Henry would have been happier to have a son.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
1527   42yrsHenry VIII meets Anne Boleyn
 Anne Boleyn came to the attention of Henry VIII. Anne was a lady-in-waiting for Queen Catherine and the sister of Mary Boleyn who was at the time the mistress of Henry VIII. Henry became besotted by Anne.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
 May  Wolsey sets up secret court
 To end the marriage between Henry and Catherine Wolsey set up a secret tribunal where Henry VIII had to answer charges of having a illegal marriage. The court was held in secret so Catherine did not know. The plan was to present the facts to the Pope who would annul the marriage. Problems occurred when Rome was attacked by Catherine's nephew Charles and the Pope was captured. Any chance of the Pope annulling the marriage was now gone. 
 Jun 22  Henry VIII declares his marriage invalid
 Henry VIII told Catherine of Aragon that their marriage was invalid because she had earlier been married to his brother Arthur. Anne Boleyn, who Henry had become besotted with, wanted Henry to divorce Catherine and to marry her.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
1533 Spring  48yrsAct of Succession
 A statute passed by Parliament called the 'Act of Succession' declared that Mary Tudor was illegitimate and not Henry's heir because the marriage between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon was void. This meant that children of Henry and Anne Boleyn would be the true heirs to the English throne.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  
 May 23  Marriage to Catherine of Aragon declared illegal
 Thomas Cranmer declared that the marriage between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon was illegal and was annulled. The marriage between Henry and Anne Boleyn could then be formalised. 
1536 Jan  51yrsDeath of Catherine of Aragon
 Catherine of Aragon died. It was believed that she had been poisoned but it is possible that she died of cancer. Catherine died at Kimbolton Castle.

Episode: Henry VIII and his Six Wives  

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