27 September 1501 – Catherine of Aragon Sets Sail for England

On this day in history, 27th September 1501, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, the 15 year old Catalina de Aragón, or Catherine of Aragon, set sail from the port of Laredo in Spain. Her ship was headed for England and she was due to marry the heir to the English throne, Arthur, Prince of Wales.

It was the party’s second attempt at sailing from Spain to England. Their first attempt, on the 17th August from A Coruña, had been a failure due to strong storms in the notoriously rough Bay of Biscay forcing the fleet to land at Laredo, near Bilbao.

It had been a long and arduous journey before Catherine had even set sail. She had left her home, the idyllic Alhambra Palace in Granada, on the 21st May 1501 to travel over 500 miles on horseback to the northern coast of Spain. This journey today takes over ten hours by car today, so I can only imagine what it would have been like in the height of summer on horseback. She finally arrived at Plymouth, on the south-western coast of England, on the 2nd October.

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