18 February 1516 – The Birth of Queen Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon

Mary I from the Family of Henry VIIIOn 18th February 1516, in the early hours, Queen Catherine of Aragon’s fifth pregnancy1 ended with the birth of a healthy baby girl. This little girl, the future Queen Mary I, was born at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich.

After nearly seven years of marriage, Henry VIII was disappointed that the baby was just a girl but when Sebastian Giustinian, the Venetian Ambassador, congratulated him on the birth and commented that “the State would have been yet more pleased had the child been a son”, Henry expressed hope for the future, saying, “We are both young; if it was a daughter this time, by the grace of God the sons will follow.”2 Unfortunately, sons did not follow. Catherine’s final pregnancy ended in the premature birth of a stillborn daughter in November 1518.

You can read more about Catherine’s pregnancies in my article The Pregnancies of Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon and you can find out more about Mary I in the following articles:

Also on this day in history…

  • 1503 – Henry Tudor, the future Henry VIII, was created Prince of Wales.

Notes and Sources

  1. Some say that this was Catherine’s sixth pregnancy.
  2. Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 2: 1509-1519, 691, p285

Picture: Detail of Mary from The Family of Henry VIII (c.1545)

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One thought on “18 February 1516 – The Birth of Queen Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon”
  1. Mary I has always struck me as a very interesting and yet tragic character.

    There’s a documentary called Most Evil Women in History, and Mary was on that list.

    I completely disagree with this. I do not believe for a second that Mary was genuinely evil. One only has to look at her past to understand this:

    her father breaks off her marriage to her mother and marries another woman.
    she is stripped of her title as Princess. Her mother’s marriage to her father was declared hull and void, making Mary illigitimate, and unfit to inherit the throne

    forced to acknowledge her father as the Head of the Church of England, thus making her believe that she was damning her soul

    It’s also said somewhere that Mary was forced to be servant of sorts to Elizabeth. I don’t want to go too much into this, because I still don’t quite know the accuracy.

    was not allowed to see or talk to her mother.

    All that, would have made anybody grow dark and bitter. I also think that a lot of this took a toll on Mary’s health. Not to mention, she had a husband who did not love her. I think Mary desperatley wanted to be accepted, recognized and loved, but she was robbed of a lot of that.

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