On this day in history, Sunday 12th June 1530, according to Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, Henry VIII got a good telling off from his wife, Catherine of Aragon.

At this time, of course, Henry was involved with Anne Boleyn and was trying desperately to get his marriage to Catherine annulled. What did Catherine have to say about this? Well, she exhorted him “to be again to her a good prince and husband, and to quit the evil life he was leading and the bad example he was setting” and referred to herself as “his true and lawful wife”. She should have boxed his ears!

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6 thoughts on “12 June 1530 – Henry VIII gets a telling off from Catherine of Aragon”
  1. Katherine was some gal. Wow, you will respect me and stop acting the fool. She was quite right of course, having made her suit to Rome Henry had to wait for the result. Unfortunately, Rome was too busy appeasing the Emperor to settle Henry’s suit and the Emperor was Katherine’s nephew with his army on the Pope’s doorstep. I love Chapyus’ description of the banquet and the use of the word carousing…fantastic. It was obviously some do and Anne was wrongly being treated as Queen. No wonder Katherine was mad and gave Henry a dressing down.

  2. I can just imagine the scene, there was Katherine trying to be as reasonable as possible but in all truth, her speech sounds more like a sermon, Katherine had always known Henry had mistresses and thought his latest one would go the way of the others, but Anne had some hold over him, it was the way she said no to him, Henry was enchanted by this strange girl who valued her honour so much she had no intention of getting into bed with him, if she had, I truly believe she would have gone the way of her sister and Bessie Blount and others before her, it was her refusal that drove Henry crazy with longing, it was the excitement of it all, for this he was ready to put his country in jeopardy and forsake his queen of many years standing, Katherine did not know how hell bent he was on making Anne his queen, to her he was enjoying a love affair and given time it will fade, no wonder Katherine did not take it seriously and thought that a few words of admonishment would make him see sense, her tragedy was that Henry genuinely loved Anne and his desire for a son made his need all the greater, here was a young healthy woman who could give him that son, Katherine could not have anymore children, she was too old and all there was to show for twenty years of marriage was a daughter, all her brothers had died, and some sisters to, when first married Katherine had seemed the ideal choice, she came from a fertile family and fell pregnant easily, but years of frustration left Henry feeling cheated, she could not give him a healthy male heir, Katherine thought Mary was perfectly capable of ruling England but Henry wanted a prince, then he could die happy in the knowledge that his kingdom would be secure, poor Katherine thought his feelings for his new mistress would fade in time instead they just seemed to intensify.

  3. I just hate that everything was blamed on Anne ,when it was that big dufus who created such a disaster for so many people because of his acting like a two year old throwing a tantrum so he can get his new shiny toy, poor Anne might have married happily had a family and lived to a ripe old age

  4. In South Wales at the moment, just over the Wye Valley, in the Marches, between Monmouth and Chepstow. Visited Chepstow priory today were is the tomb of Elizabeth Brown, Countess of Worcester and her husband, the Lady who was credited with gossip which was used as part of the evidence against Anne Boleyn. There was an information board with a cutting from a newspaper review of Professor George Bernard book Fatal Attraction headed Was Anne Boleyn Guilty After All and a Picture of the Countess showing a view of her tomb from above. You will remember Bernard used the poem by Lancelot de Carles to name the Countess as Anne’s First Accuser based on the conversation she had with her brother while she was pregnant in which he accused her of behaving like a tart and she says the Queen is even worse. The article of course takes the headlines as it is selling the book, but what a thing to stating evidence on, a gossip. As the relative of Sir Anthony Browne of course she was also related in law to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, Anne’s nemesis who was married to his daughter, Anne Browne, several years earlier. Elizabeth’s brother of course reported the conversation to the King and it is mentioned in the Writhosley Chronicle as her evidence which helped to condemn Anne Boleyn. I found out Elizabeth Browne was buried here with her husband by accident while looking at information about the castle. The priory is now a very large church but Elizabeth Worcester tomb takes a pride of place as you enter by the North door. It was odd looking into the face of one of Anne’s alleged accusers but when you think about it she probably didn’t intend her snappy words to an annoying brother to be taken seriously and any alleged evidence she gave later was probably tricked or frightened out of her. Looking at the woman laying there in repose in her regalia I actually felt sorry for her because she was just as much of a victim of Cromwell and King Henry who took her words at face value and twisted them into something more sinister. I found myself actually patting the effigy and saying never mind, it probably wasn’t her intent that an argument with her brother be used to condemn her mistress to death. Lancelot de Carles does give us a fairly accurate description of most things pertaining to the mishaps of Anne and her time as Queen and in some parts her fall, but here he is repeating gossip and Professor Bernard should have known better than to take it seriously. However, his work is still well argued and gives a critique to the usual analysis.

    1. That’s interesting Bandit Queen, yes she I think was just annoyed with her brother and didn’t think anymore of it, iv seen a picture of her tomb effigy, she looks very attractive but wether it’s a realistic image of her who knows, and yes the family connections does seem to suggest something more sinister, Brandon as we know was Annes enemy and he was all to eager to see her fall, I think Cromwell when interrogating someone could have been pretty scary, who knows what he threatened them with, we know after being with Cromwell for 24 hours Smeaton confessed to adultery with the queen, it’s widely believed he was tortured or threatened with torture, to a woman he would have been just as scary, the threat of being thrown in the Tower and possibly, having their titles stripped from them, being charged with treason for not disclosing the queens abhorrent misdemeanour who knows? Lady Worcester possibly just meant the queen enjoys flirting with the men in her household but I feel it was a foolhardy thing to say, as Queens are supposed to be above reproach, however we know Cromwell jumped on anything to bring her down and harmless words as you say were twisted out of all context.

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