Catherine and Henry and Isabel and HenryOn this day in history, 25th June 1503, Henry, Prince of Wales and eldest surviving son of King Henry VII, became betrothed to Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, and the widow of Henry’s elder brother Arthur, at the Bishop of Salisbury’s palace in Fleet Street, London. Catherine was seventeen and Henry was eleven, nearly twelve.

Click here to read more about the terms of the marriage treaty which had been negotiated between the couple’s parents.

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One thought on “25 June 1503 – Young Prince Henry becomes betrothed”
  1. I assume that the dispensation used standard language, adapted slightly for the exact circumstances, as the marriage with Arthur assumes consummation. As most people in the royal family of Europe were closely related you would need to issue a dispensation or more than one, all the time. The terms of the treaty are interesting, especially the specification that Katherine should succeed to the throne of Spain. The survival of Charles of Castile her nephew changed this, but what a thought, imagine had Katherine been Queen of Spain, just how much more powerful that would have made her, how that could have changed things.

    The financial parts of the treaty caused problems, however, with Ferdinand not paying part of the dowry and Henry not handing over part of the original dowry, leaving Katherine in financial straits and social limbo, married and not married, nor free to marry, renounced, deserted, unable to go home, joined again to Henry, yet still not married. It’s no wonder that when Henry became King and immediately told Katherine he wanted to marry her and for her to be his Queen, she jumped at the chance. I think that Henry really did want to marry Katherine, but was forced to renounce her by a whily fox, his father, Katherine really did want to marry Henry and at this point, her life began.

    Question: what is a Squdio? The treaty says that Katherine was given a squdio of 1000 gold pieces, a squdio of jewellery, cloths, clothing, so I assume it is some form of measurement, but does anyone know what it is exactly?

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