28 July 1540 – Henry VIII marries for the fifth time

Portrait of an unknown woman, possibly Catherine Howard
Portrait of an unknown woman, possibly Catherine Howard
On 28th July 1540, Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, at Oatlands Palace. His marriage to Anne of Cleves had only been annulled on 9th July, so this wedding was a low key affair.

The first mention chronicler Edward Hall makes of the new queen is an entry for 8th August:

“The eight day of August was the Lady Katheryn Howard, nece to the duke of Norfolk, and daughter to the lord Edmond Howard, shewed openly as Quene at Hampton Court, whiche dignitie she enjoyed not long as after ye shall here.”

Chronicler and Windsor Herald Charles Wriothesley actually dates the marriage to 8th August and at Hampton Court:

“This yeare, the eight daie of Awgust, being Sondaie, the King was maried to Katherin Hawarde, daughter of the late Edmond Haward deceased, and brother to the Duke of Norfolke, at his mannor of Hampton Court, and that daie she dined in her great chamber under the cloath of estate, and was there proclaymed Queene of Englande.”

So, the marriage was obviously kept quiet for a few days, until the open celebrations at Hampton Court Palace.

While Henry VIII and Catherine Howard were getting married at Oatlands, Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex and Henry VIII’s former right-hand man, was being beheaded on Tower Hill. You can read more about Cromwell’s execution in the following articles:

Notes and Sources

  • Hall, Edward. Hall’s Chronicle, p. 840.
  • Wriothesley, Charles. A chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors, from A.D. 1485 to 1559, p.121-122.

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