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Abuse and Dishonour in the Life of Katherine Howard – Guest Article by Conor Byrne

| December 17, 2014

Abuse and Dishonour in the Life of Katherine Howard – Guest Article by Conor Byrne

Historians, particularly popular writers, have customarily identified Katherine Howard’s relationships as consensual. Believing that she was, in fact, older than she actually was, they have suggested that she was the dominant party in her liaisons. Tracy Borman termed Katherine ‘a sexual predator’, believing that Katherine ‘knew exactly what she was doing’.1 Lacey Baldwin Smith similarly […]

10 December 1541 – The Executions of Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham

| December 10, 2014

10 December 1541 – The Executions of Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham

Following their conviction for treason at a trial at London’s Guildhall on 1st December, Thomas Culpeper, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and Francis Dereham, secretary to Queen Catherine Howard, fifth wife of King Henry VIII, were executed at Tyburn on 10th December 1541. Culpeper was beheaded but Dereham had to face the brutal traitor’s death […]

2 November 1541 – Henry VIII finds out about Catherine Howard’s colourful past

| November 2, 2014

2 November 1541 – Henry VIII finds out about Catherine Howard’s colourful past

On 2nd November 1541, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer left a letter for Henry VIII in the Holy Day Closet at Hampton Court Palace detailing Catherine Howard’s colourful past, and how she had “lived most corruptly and sensually”. Cranmer had been persuaded by Chancellor Audley and the Earl of Hertford to relate the story told by Mary […]

RIP Francis Dereham and Thomas Culpeper – 10 December 1541

| December 10, 2013

RIP Francis Dereham and Thomas Culpeper – 10 December 1541

Today marks the anniversary of the executions of Thomas Culpeper, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and Francis Dereham, secretary to Queen Catherine Howard, fifth wife of King Henry VIII. If you watched “The Tudors” series, you may be forgiven for believing that these men got their come-uppances, after all, Thomas Culpeper was a rapist and […]

Interrogatories to be ministered to the Duchess of Norfolk concerning her and the Queen

| December 4, 2013

Interrogatories to be ministered to the Duchess of Norfolk concerning her and the Queen

On 4th December 1541, Thomas Wriothesley and William Fitzwilliam, Earl of Southampton, wrote to Sir Ralph Sadler, Henry VIII’s principal secretary, regarding a visit they had made to Agnes Tilney, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk and step-grandmother of Queen Catherine Howard. They reported that “she was not so sick as she made out, but able enough […]

8 November 1541 – Catherine Howard Confesses to Archbishop Cranmer

| November 8, 2013

8 November 1541 – Catherine Howard Confesses to Archbishop Cranmer

After abandoning the idea of interrogating the hysterical Queen Catherine Howard on 7th November, Archbishop Cranmer returned to the Queen’s apartments at Hampton Court Palace on 8th November 1541 to interrogate her. Cranmer reported to Henry VIII that he had intended to question her severely, “first, to exaggerate the grievousness of her demerits; then to […]

2 November 1541 – The Beginning of the End for Catherine Howard

| November 2, 2013

2 November 1541 – The Beginning of the End for Catherine Howard

On 2nd November 1541, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer left a letter for Henry VIII in the Holy Day Closet at Hampton Court Palace. He had been given information concerning Queen Catherine Howard’s colourful past and had consulted Sir Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor, and Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford. They advised him to report the matter to […]

RIP Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham

| December 10, 2012

RIP Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham

On this day in 1541, Thomas Culpeper, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber, and Francis Dereham, secretary to Queen Catherine Howard, were executed at Tyburn. They had been found guilty of treason on 1st December at a trial at London’s Guildhall and sentenced to the usual traitor’s death. Although both men petitioned the King to commute […]