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2 April 1502 – Death of Arthur, Prince of Wales

Posted By on April 2, 2013

On this day in 1502, Arthur, Prince of Wales, son and heir of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, died at Ludlow Castle in the Welsh Marches. He was just fifteen years old, and had only been married to the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon for four and a half months.

It is not known exactly what killed the young prince. The theories include consumption, diabetes, sweating sickness, testicular cancer and pneumonia. Catherine also became ill, but fortunately recovered and went on to marry Arthur’s younger brother, Henry, when he became King in 1509. Arthur was laid to rest in Worcester Cathedral, in Prince Arthur’s Chantry.

In his book The Children of Henry VIII, John Guy writes of how a diagnosis of testicular cancer could explain why Doña Elvira Manuel, Catherine of Aragon’s first lady of the bedchamber, asserted that Catherine and Arthur had never consummated their marriage. Guy goes on to say that “the pains and the damage to his reproductive system could have resulted in an impaired sexual function.” Interesting.

Sources

19 thoughts on “2 April 1502 – Death of Arthur, Prince of Wales”

  1. There were so many diseases then, many that can’t be identified today, that it seems like reaching to suggest testicular cancer in a fifteen-year-old, particularly when it seems the princess also got sick. More likely the reason that they hadn’t had sex is that their caregivers felt it was too soon, that they weren’t ready, a common belief at that time. Perhaps Arthur wasn’t interested (yet).

    My guess about at least some of the unidentified diseases that carried off so many back then is that they were various forms of influenza, passed along by poor sanitation.

    1. Shannon says:

      I feel like if the reason they had not consummated their marriage was that their caregivers thought they were too young, that would have been documented or at least known and able to come to Katherine’s defense as to the reason later on. Henry VII’s own mother was pregnant younger than that. But it’s an interesting theory.

  2. Esther says:

    Great article. John Guy may have the right idea. Arthur may have tried to consummate the marriage (his comments made after his wedding night, etc.), but due to the impaired sexual functioning, been unable to achieve full penetration … something Catherine may not have realized until after her marriage to Henry gave her a basis for comparison. I am curious as to whether there a genetic component to testicular cance Weren’t Edward VI and Henry Fitzroy also around age 15 when they died? Perhaps, some genetic pre-dispositon?

    1. Baroness Von Reis says:

      Esther,Maybe your on to something? That may very well be the case and it does make one wonder ,why so many youngsters died? I know that mortality was a issuue,due to know medication,such as antibiotics.They were smarter then we think as they did know of cancers and other iilnesses. R I P Sweet Prince.

  3. LadyPrincess says:

    I always thought it was interesting to note -though I believe that Katherine of Aragon was telling the truth–that Arthur’s comment about having “been with her” was so quickly dismissed. Which basically meant that Arthur (the Prince of Wales! mind you) was a liar. I’m surprised that Henry 8th –during his chivalrous days–would have stood for the court dismissing the proclamations of his own brother.

    1. Sonetka says:

      That wasn’t necessarily the case — these remarks were being remembered about twenty-five years after the fact and in highly prejudicial circumstances; there’s no guarantee that Arthur even made them — or perhaps what remarks he did make were being remembered with advantages. There’s also the possibility that he wasn’t trying to be taken seriously. I think by the time the court was trying to figure the question out, it was a little late in the day for Henry to be worried about Arthur’s reputation for truth-telling.

      1. Baroness Von Reis says:

        Sonetka,I have to agree with you and LadyPrincess ,as you both make a very good point.I DO NOT think ,Queen Katherine lied about the marriage night ,Prince Arthur was sick and died,Q Katherine was not a lier.With that said ,HenryV111 would have used anything or anyone to get what he wanted, even if it ment his own brothers reputation and the Queens. He was a ,Master of Invention.

      2. LadyPrincess says:

        Hi Sonetka.

        Though Arthur’s remarks about having “been in Spain” was brought up during Henry and Katherine’s court proceedings, I believe he said them (whether in jest or because he was trying to make them think something happened). The reason that many, like Willoughby, probably didn’t mention it during the time that H married K is because of the Pope’s word on the matter and how much influence Spain and Ferdinand had over England then. I doubt Arthur’s attendants wanted to get involved in such a situation back then. Also I don’t think Arthur ever said he did NOT consummate their marriage.

  4. jed says:

    I find it interesting that during Catherine’s and Arthur’s brief marriage, before they fell sick, the question of consumation never arose. Both sides appeared ‘content’ with the marriage. There doesn’t seem to have been a wisper, nor a murmur of anything amis in the bedroom department. Non consumation of a marriage after nearly five months is a big deal by todays standard, imagine what a big deal it would have been back then, especially amongst royalty, as the succession would have been at stake.

    Arthur’s grandmother, Margaret Beaufort was married to her own uncle at the age of twelve and gave birth to Arthur’s father, Henry VII, at the tender age of thirteen. The marriage, as expected, had clearly been consumated straight away.

    Although Dona Elivira and the rest of Catherine’s camp cried non consumation, upon Arthur’s death, (and interestingly, NOT before) this is not proof or suggestion of testical cancer. In fact as far as I’m aware, camp Catherine gave no explanation as to why they believed the marriage was not consumated.

    It appears there was NO PROOF either way of what went on in the bedroom (which I find strange) and that’s why the wording in the dispensation issued to clear the way for Catherine’s marriage to Henry made allowances that the marriage ‘may or may not have been consumated.’ (Seriously, the whole thing sounds dodgy).

    Did Catherine lie? Catherine of Aragon and her camp had a hell of a lot to loose, they were playing for high stakes. Even if Catherine herself didn’t want to lie, the likes of the formidable Dona Elvira would have probably seen to it that she did. Remember Dona Elvira and others stood to loose very lucrative positions and the benefits that went with them, whilst Catherine’s fate hung precariously in the balance, upon Arthur’s demise. And in the abscence of her real mother, Dona Elvira was standing in as a ‘surrogate mother’ to the sixteen year old Infanta.

    1. Jillian says:

      I don’t know that it would have been that big a deal if the marriage hadn’t been consummated after four and a half months, given the ages of the couple. According to Catherine’s later statement, they only shared a bed seven times, and they might have assumed that they had plenty of time.

      In any case, neither of them would have wanted it to be public knowledge if they had not had sex. Whether Arthur confided in his friends is not recorded, but according to testimony given by Catherine’s former servants in Zaragoza in 1531, the Princess spoke to her ladies about her disappointment: she is said to have told Francisca de Cacares that nothing happened on her wedding night and to have later pointed to a young page and said ‘I wish my husband the Prince was as strong as that lad, because I fear that he will never be able to have relations with me’ (quoted by Giles Tremlett in his 2010 biography of Catherine).

      The suggestion that Arthur may have suffered from testicular cancer was made by David Starkey in his book ‘Six Wives: the Queens of Henry VIII’. He quotes from the report of the Richmond Herald following the Prince’s death which refers to ‘his singular parts turned inwards’. The Zaragoza witnesses spoke of Arthur as thin, pale and generally ailing prior to his death. Whilst we cannot be sure that he had testicular cancer or whether that, as opposed to the ‘sweating sickness’ was actually the cause of his death, it seems a reasonable hypothesis.

      Financially, Catherine would have been better off had the marriage been consummated, so Donna Elvira was not telling her parents what they wanted to hear when she wrote to Queen Isabella immediately after Arthur’s death stating that the Princess was still a virgin. It is difficult to see why the duenna would have lied, particularly as a physical examination could have been ordered.

      Finally, Margaret Beaufort was indeed married to Edmund Tudor at the age of twelve, although he was certainly not her uncle. Margaret was second cousin to King Henry VI and Edmund was the King’s half-brother: the couple were not blood relatives. Margaret’s parents were both dead and her wardship was granted by the King to Edmund and his brother Jasper. This, and the fact that she was a great heiress, probably explains her very early marriage and childbirth. She almost died in childbed and was unable to have further children. In later life, Margaret would counsel against too early a marriage between her granddaughter Margaret and James IV of Scotland in order to protect the health of the former. Most families – even royal ones – put the health of young people above the need for immediate heirs.

      1. Baroness Von Reis says:

        Jillian,A great reply!We do not know what Arthur sufferd from,it could have been one or more?I know when one is really ILL,the last thing on your mind is sex and to Queen Katherine became ILL,four and a half months later, you have a dead Prince,he had to have been very ILL. Kind Regards Baroness

        1. Jillian says:

          Many thanks, Baroness.

          It does seem likely that Arthur was suffering from some kind of ‘wasting disease’ but whether this was testicular cancer,, tuberculosis or another ailment is not something that we are likely to ever know.

          I suspect that it was the sweating sickness that actually killed him, though – in a weakened state, he would have been more vulnerable than the strong and healthy Catherine.

      2. Jed says:

        It would have been a big deal indeed if the marriage had not been consummated after four and a half months. According to Starkey’s ‘Six Wives’, P61 – on their wedding night, when Arthur and Catherine were put to bed, ‘the Bishops’ uttered the usual blessings over the marriage bed:
        ‘…Bless O Lord this marriage bed and those in it… that they live in your love and MULTIPLY…’
        This was considered a very important ceremony, and part of the marriage package. Why all this pomp and ritual around the bed if nobody was that bothered as to whether consummation would take place or not, and when?
        Yes they may well have found it somewhat embarrassing and even distasteful to have their business made public, but what they wanted was neither here nor there.
        Concerning the comments made by Catherine’s former servants in Zaragoza in 1531, Like most of the testimonies made regarding ‘the consummation’ they were made thirty years later and not at the time, and as for their description of Arthur being ‘thin, pale and generally ailing, prior to death,’ Unless one is involved in a fatal accident, aren’t most people thin, pale and ailing, prior to death.

        In response to the comment Catherine allegedly made, ‘I wish my husband was as strong as that lad because I fear that he will never be able to have relations with me.’ as quoted by Giles Tremmlett in his 2010 biography; On page 26 of David Starkey’s ‘Six wifes’, the author informs us that throughout the early betrothal of Arthur and Catherine, reports were continually sent to Spain concerning his health and appearance. The Spanish monarchs would hardly have sent their daughter if these reports had not been favourable, which they were. (Although Arthur had been born premature and sickly. He fought for his life and won, at a time when medical care was severely limited.) Starkey also states that the Milanese Ambassador reported that Arthur: ‘about eleven years of age, but taller than his years would warrant, of remarkable beauty and grace.’ And The Marquess of Dorset recollected that Arthur was ‘of good and sanguine complexion’ meaning fit and healthy, at the time of his marriage. It appears that until he fell ill at Ludlow, Arthur had been fit and healthy, hence the immense shock to his parents when he died suddenly.

        As for a physical examination, why wasn’t one given as proof of Catherine’s virginity? P63 of Starkey’s ‘six wives’ states that a couple of days after the wedding night, – the king, the Prince (Arthur) and the Duke of York, (Henry) processed solemnly back to St Paul’s to give thanks to god ‘that so prosperously His Goodness had suffered everything of this laudable (marriage) to be brought to its most laudable conclusion (consummation).’ Catherine watched the ceremony from the privacy of her closet. Would the ceremony have proceeded if the consummation was in any doubt? I wonder.

        ‘Most families – even royal ones – put the health of young royals above the need for immediate heirs.’ ? Margaret Beaufort’s didn’t (Arthur’s grandam) – although you’re right that Edmund was not her uncle (crossed wire), she was twelve when they married and consummation took place pretty much straight away despite her tender years. Also Catherine’s brother, Juan’s death was blamed on his over exertions in the bedroom, after his marriage at the age of eighteen. According to Starkey p20, ‘his parents had been warned of the risks of over-enthusiastic consummation of the marriage… but Isabella had brushed aside the warnings. ‘Whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder,’ she had quoted.’ George Talbot, the Earl of Shrewsbury spoke that he too had consummated his marriage at the age of fifteen, so perhaps ‘most families, or monarchs’ did not ‘put the health of young royals above the need for immediate heirs.’ This was a time when the age of sexual consent was twelve, and many monarchs and courtiers married and consummated at a young age (given the precarious life expectancy of the age).

        Contrary to some beliefs, when people, young or otherwise were ‘put to bed’ after their marriage, it was with a view to consummate (seal) the marriage. It was noted that Arthur and Catherine got on fantastically, hence the decision to pack them off (to Wales) as man and wife in EVERY sense of the word.
        The whole ethos concerning Heirs, ‘the sooner the better,’ is the be all and end all of an age old institution called Monarchy, as continued by William and Kate. And As far as I am aware, Elizabeth I was the only monarch, in a long line, who, by refusing to marry and produce an heir, broke that golden rule.

        1. Jillian says:

          I think that you are misunderstanding what I said previously.

          In describing the testimony of the Spanish witness who characterised Arthur as
          ‘thin, pale and ailing prior to his death’, I was not describing him on his deathbed as you appear to think, but in the period between his marriage and death! There is a notable disparity between the accounts of the Spanish witnesses and the English in their description of Arthur. Of course, all of these were reported many years later, when it was in the interests of the former to emphasise Arthur’s fraility and for the English to do the opposite. However, it is interesting to note that one of the Zaragoza witnesses was the nephew of the doctor who had accompanied Catherine to England, who testified that he had been told by his uncle that Arthur had some kind of wasting disease.

          It may well be true that Arthur did not appear sickly during his engagement to Catherine. However, that does not mean that we can be sure that he was in glowing health at the time of his wedding. Diseases such as testicular cancer develop and progress rapidly, especially in an era with limited medical knowledge and treatment. And the Richmond Herald, who recorded the information about Arthur’s ‘singular parts’, was of course English and would be hardly be biased in favour of Spain!

          When Dr. Starkey makes reference to the contemporary record of the marriage’s ‘most laudable conclusion’, he does NOT add the word ‘consummation’. The marriage had been solemnised twelve years after Arthur and Catherine had first been betrothed, so in that sense at least, it had been concluded after a long wait. I do not thing that we can necessarily draw the inference from this that the marriage had been consummated.

          In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, most people married for the first time in their mid to late teens – Margaret Beaufort was exceptionally young and there was adverse comment at the time and subsequently about how she had been treated. Catherine’s own parents had married when her mother was eighteen and her father seventeen, and we know that the marriage was immediately consummated because the bloodstained sheets were publicly displayed – although given that her father already had at least two illegitimate children, non-consummation would have been very unlikely! Of course, no such display was made in respect of Catherine and Arthur.

          But not all marriages were consummated straight away if the parties were younger – Henry VIIII’s illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy was married to Mary Howard at fourteen but the marriage remained unconsummated by the time of his death three years later. The consummation of the marriage of Mary’s brother Thomas was also delayed for three years because he and his bride were only twelve. Perhaps miindful of the tragic death of Prince Juan, Ferdinand and Isabella ‘made it clear that they would be “rather pleased than dissatisfied” if consummation was delayed for some time in view of Arthur’s “tender age”‘ (Fraser, ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’, quoting CSP Sp.)

          Ultimately, only Arthur and Catherine could state definitively whether their marriage was consummated or not and unless a contemporary letter on the subject from either turns up (highly unlikely!), we will never know for certain. It is interesting, though that Donna Elvira would have seen the sheets in her capacity as Mistress of the Bedchamber and she was adamant that Catherine was still a virgin when Arthur died.

      3. Keeva says:

        Jillian wrote – “Financially, Catherine would have been better off had the marriage been consummated, so Donna Elvira was not telling her parents what they wanted to hear when she wrote to Queen Isabella immediately after Arthur’s death stating that the Princess was still a virgin. It is difficult to see why the duenna would have lied, particularly as a physical examination could have been ordered.”

        Catherine would NOT have been better off had the marriage been consummated. She would have received money from lands in Wales only until such time as she was remarried. Being 16 years old at the time of Arthur’s death and a beautiful Infanta of the Europe’s biggest power couple at the time, she likely could have been remarried quickly. If for some reason her parents felt that the income from the Welsh lands was too great to consider remarrying her, then she would be forced into spinsterhood at the ripe old age of 16. In a time when the alleged greatest glory given woman was the ability to bear their husband’s sons, that’s a really bleak prospect, especially when you were raised essentially all of your life to believe you would be a queen one day. Which brings me to yet another point: Catherine believed wholeheartedly it was her destiny to be Queen of England for her whole life, not just four and a half months.

        You have to add into the fact Henry VII’s reputation as a miserly schemer. He would have done everything in his power to make sure she never saw any of the money he owed her as Dowager Princess. In fact, she never did. In the years between Arthur’s death and her marriage to Henry VIII, she wasn’t paid anything due her. Her dowry wasn’t 100% paid for and the initial marriage contract had already been renegotiated several times, increasingly in England’s favor. Henry VII made it clear that he wasn’t going to pay Catherine anything until the rest of her dowry was paid, something Ferdinand and Isabel couldn’t afford to do at the time.

        So, if Catherine’s marriage had been publicly acknowledged as being consummated, you are left with Catherine being ‘damaged goods’ since she’s no longer a virgin with parents that had already proven that not only can they not live up to their end of a marriage contract, they can’t pay a full dowry, which makes it less likely she’ll marry another Prince with an eye to becoming Queen again and more likely she’ll marry a lesser noble. Henry VII likely would never have given back the half of the dowry he already received and never paid Catherine any monies owed her as Dowager Princess, leaving Catherine and Spain the poorer for it. Plus you have the diplomatic nightmare of two superpowers with relatively new monarchs having hurt feelings leading possibly to the threat of war over the whole mess.

        You are correct that a physical examination could have been ordered. However, unlike you, I find it particularly telling that one wasn’t. If Catherine was indeed a virgin with nothing to hide, then why didn’t someone, like Dona Elvira order one? As you stated, she should have seen the sheets and would have known without a doubt that Catherine was a virgin, so she would have nothing to lose from ordering one, right?

        Here’s the problem with Dona Elvira and why I have to take everything she’s alleged to have said with a grain of salt: She was a power hungry woman who was living on borrowed time as head of Catherine’s household and she knew it. Her position as duenna only lasted until Catherine was an adult and no longer needed her. That day was fast approaching. Also, it is a far more lucrative and overall stable position to be a servant of a Queen than a Dowager Princess with an uncertain future. Dona Elvira had every reason to lie, just like Catherine of Aragon did.

        You also have to take into account the fact that Catherine of Aragon’s tutor turned confessor, Alessandro Geraldini, believed the marriage to be consummated. He was a lifelong friend, spiritual advisor, and trusted confidante of Catherine. He wasn’t power hungry like Dona Elvira and had little reason to lie as his position wasn’t as reliant upon Catherine’s overall importance like Dona Elvira’s was.

        Futhermore, if, as you allege, the marriage was never supposed to be consummated because the royal parents involved felt the couple was too young to engage is such activities, then why were they publicly bedded after the wedding ceremony and why did Arthur officially visit her bed seven times during their marriage? Catherine and Arthur were sent to Wales to live and rule fully as husband and wife. If they wanted them to wait to consummate their marriage, then Catherine never would have been sent with Arthur.

        As far as Arthur’s health at the time he was sent to Ludlow, I have to believe he was perfectly healthy physically. Henry VII adored his son and in no way would jeopardize his tentative hold on the throne as a King from a newly established lineage by sending his heir to Wales if he were ill. He would have kept him in London and made sure he was seen by the best doctors money could buy.

        Something else people seem to be forgetting is that it only takes a couple having sex once to consummate a marriage. If Arthur was healthy enough to go to Wales some time after his marriage, he was healthy enough to have sex with Catherine on his wedding night. 15 and 16 years old were also plenty old enough at the time, and even by today’s standards, to engage in sexual activity.

        Then you have the pesky fact that Catherine of Aragon is proven to have lied about other matters. In the ‘Introduction’ to the oft quoted “Six Wives of Henry VIII’ by David Starkey writes:

        “Here I presented the other key incident from the ‘Supplement’, which concerns Catherine’s first pregnancy. The ‘Calendar’ itself contains only a single letter dated on the subject. It is from Catherine herself, is dated May 1510, and informs her father that, in the last few days, she had miscarried of a daughter. What could be more straightforward? But letters in the ‘Supplement’ make clear that things were anything but. For the letters show beyond doubt that Catherine’s miscarriage had taken place in January; that, despite the miscarriage, she had persisted in the belief she was still pregnant; and that, fortified by this belief, she had ‘taken to her chamber’ (that is undergone the formal, very public ceremony of confinement for a Queen of England) in May 1510. The result, needless to say, was a humiliating end to a ‘false pregnancy’, which cast doubts on Catherine’s fertility and led directly to her first serious breach with her new husband.”

        I believe this is all stated on page 15 in the Introduction. I’m reading the book on my phone via a Scribd subscription so the page numbers might be a bit off. If they are, I apologize. The ‘Calender’ David Starkey refers to is volume 1 and 2 of the “Calender of Letters, Despatches and State Papers…Preserved in the Archives at Simancas and Elsewhere” edited by G.A. Bergenroth and published in 1862 and 1866, followed by the “Supplement to Volume I and II” edited also by Bergenroth and published in 1868.

        While I firmly believe Catherine genuinely thought she might still be pregnant with a twin of the first baby when she ‘took to her chamber’, the fact remains she wasn’t and that it was very much a false pregnancy. How then could she have possibly miscarried a daughter in May 1510 when she had actually already miscarried that same baby in January, as established in other letters? She couldn’t, since it isn’t physically possible to miscarry the same baby twice.

        To put it rather bluntly, Catherine lied in May of 1510. And why not? She had every reason to lie about what happened. She was on the outs with Henry VIII and humiliated at emerging from her lying-in chamber childless without even a stillbirth or miscarriage (sad as both may be) to show for it because she wasn’t pregnant when she went in. To make matters worse, now her ability to have children was being called into question which is something that could easily garner an annulment of her marriage from the Pope. She was potentially considered ‘damaged goods’ once more and quite possibly under threat of losing her status as Queen yet again. And all of this within a short time after being married once more!

        If Catherine can lie under these circumstances in 1510, why do so many people consider it unfathomable to believe that she lied under very similar circumstances in 1502, after Arthur’s death?

        I think it’s because so many people are wont to believe Catherine of Aragon is some sort of idol deserving of worship. They have turned her into a heroine in a tragic romance; a mere character of who she was instead of a someone who actually lived. Does the fact she lied make her any less great? No, not at all. It just makes her more human. She is still a woman unfairly wronged by a husband she adored; courageous and stubborn, perhaps to a fault; brilliant and loving; beloved by her people. She was and remains a wonderful woman and Queen, deserving of praise.

        1. Aud says:

          Where is the evidence that the Catholic Monarchs were ever considering leaving KOA as a spinster? There is none, and in fact Ferdinand was arguing or KOA to have both her dower rights and marry Henry VIII of England. At 16, she was political pawn to be married off at her parent’s will. Look at the case of the Catholic Monarch’s eldest daughter, Isabel of Aragon. was married to Alfonso of Portugal in 1490 and a widow in 1491. She was twenty at her widowhood and guess what? In 1497, she married King Manuel of Portugal. No disgrace or scandal attached to her name, because her husband died, and she became Queen of Portugal.

          If her marriage to Arthur was consummated, she would not be “damaged goods”. Plenty of royal princess had more than one marriage, without a taint on her honor. Now it seems either KOA was a failure for failing to consummate her marriage or damage goods? I don’t buy that at all. The girl can’t help it that her husband died 4 months and some days after their marriage.

          So in your view it was better that KOA was a virgin, which would make it easier I suppose to contract another marriage, which frankly doesn’t look to good for Dona Elvira, if she wanted to remain in charge of KOA’s household. As for a physical examination who knows? Might just be the simple matter of fact that KOA didn’t want to.

          As for Alessandro, he claimed that KOA was pregnant which led to him being fired. Now if this man was a lifelong trusted friend and confidant of KOA, are you saying she falsely accused that man of lying and threw him out of a job all to cover up a lie?

          As for the living together part, there is some argument to it. One was the matter of KOA’s dowry in which made up a part of her plate, if she went with Arthur and of course had to use her plate in Wales, then Henry VII could refuse to accept the plate and ask for coins. I believe the plate and jewels were worth about 35,000. Big financial motive here, and it should be taken into account. As for the 7 times, KOA was the one who said this, if she was lying why not deny it him visiting her at all or lowering the amount of times that he did? Also curious to why if the marriage was consummated, KOA never got pregnant. Here she was young and much more healthy and as her later record shows, didn’t really have too much of a problem conceiving.

          Keeva, rhetorical question and I want you to think about it. Have you ever lied in your life? Does that mean that whenever you spoke you were lying? Same thing here, what happened in 1510 has nothing to do at all with KOA’s marriage to Arthur unless someone was arguing KOA was perfect and I surely am not.

          Now less talk about the lie itself. This isn’t one simple lie, this is a multitude of them told over years before her marriage to Henry VIII and during the annulment proceedings. In Catholicism this is called being in mortal sin, and KOA risked her soul telling such lies. While yes, KOA was capable of lying and had her faults, I think this is something of a different caliber. Oh and don’t forget the fact that she lied to the Pope, lied in court, etc. In Christianity there is no lying for a good cause, its still a sin period and that fact cannot be changed. If KOA wanted absolution/forgiveness she would confess and not only that, she would have to stop committing the sin. Just because people recognize this fact doesn’t mean we think of her as some sort of idol or flawless character, she wasn’t!

          Also, as we both see, regardless of whether or not the marriage was consummated,
          a dispensation was required for her marriage to Henry VIII. And while the eventual dispensation covered both ways, suppose it had come back only saying that it was for if the marriage was unconsummated. Because there was always the risk of that and that was what KOA was telling from the year 1502. Julius could have written that dispensation to be based on the fact that she was a virgin. Are you telling me KOA would not only falsely enter a marriage that couldn’t be real as she didn’t have the correct dispensation and (due to her lying), she would not only be willing to be a concubine, but give birth to illegitimate children in country that had come out of a dynastic civil war? I’m sorry but no way, no way do I believe something like this, KOA may have thought her destiny was to be Queen of England, but it was to be a legitimate and true Queen of England. Especially considering the fact that her sister Maria got a dispensation to marry Manuel who had been married and had a child with their elder sister Isabel.

  5. Dawn says:

    Hello.
    It seems to me that Henry must have believe that Catherine was
    Still a virgin. Henry was a very vane and narsositoc man. Especially so in his early years
    I dont think that Henry would take his brothers ” used” wife. He was far to
    Saticfied with himself and jumping from bed to bed. He could have any virgin
    The fact thst he choose Catherine says that he must have believed she was still a virgin.I just cant buy that he would have thought otherwise and still married her.

  6. Alison says:

    Poor Arthur, I forgot his death day. I have a bit of thing for Arthur myself and often wonder what he and Catherine would have been like as King and Queen. God rest his soul.

  7. nanci says:

    I do have a question, apart from the consummation issue. I understand that Arthur’s casket was located in 2002, and they planned to do an endoscopic examination, but I have been unable to find any results or further discussion. Does anyone have any info on this?

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