27 September 1501 – Catherine of Aragon sets sail from Spain

Posted By on September 27, 2014

The present day port of Laredo

The present day port of Laredo

At 5pm on 27th September 1501, fifteen year-old Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, set off from the port of Laredo in Spain bound for England. She was travelling to England because her parents and Henry VII had negotiated a marriage match for Catherine to marry Arthur, Prince of Wales.

Catherine had left the beautiful Alhambra Palace, in southern Spain’s Andalucia region, on 21st May 1501 and had travelled over 500 miles on horseback. Her fleet had frst set off from northern Spain, from A Coruña, on 17th August but had been forced to land at Laredo, near Bilbao, after being caught up in strong storms in the notorious Bay of Biscay. Catherine finally set foot on English soil on 2nd October when she arrived at Plymouth, on England’s south-western coast.

I live near Granada and I have travelled by car from Andalucia to Spain’s northern coast, to Santander, and it took nearly 10 hours. That was a long enough journey for me so I can’t imagine how exhausted Catherine must have been after her long and arduous journey through Spain in the heat of summer.

You can read more about her journey in my article Catherine of Aragon sets sail for England and more about Catherine herself in the following articles: