30 November – Cross Ladies and a Golden Speech

anne-and-catherine-and-elizabethOn this day in history, 30th November 1529, St Andrew’s Day, the two women in King Henry VIII’s life got rather cross with him. Queen Catherine of Aragon, who was still Henry’s wife at this time, confronted the king regarding his treatment of her, which she said was causing her “the pains of Purgatory on earth”. After this tongue-lashing from Catherine, Henry sought comfort from his sweetheart Anne Boleyn only to get reproached by her for not handling Catherine in the right way!

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Also on this day in history, 30th November 1601, Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, delivered her famous Golden Speech to the House of Commons, to address their concerns over England’s economic state of affairs. It was the last speech that she gave to Parliament, and in it she spoke of her position as queen and her love and respect for her realm and for her members of Parliament.

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5 thoughts on “30 November – Cross Ladies and a Golden Speech”
  1. We Moderns think the question, almost immediately, “Wouldn’t Henry Know if his wife was a virgin or not on that wedding night?” Moderns would tend to say ‘Of Course!’ but not if he too was a virgin. Queen Katharine ‘seems’ to be implying that kind of knowledge on his part so that he did not need doctors to inform him whether or not his wife had been a virgin. Now I have no idea if Henry was a virgin on his wedding night or not. I guess it might be argued that even if he wasn’t, a good ‘performance’ on his young wife’s part, would fool him. Is there therefore absolutely no way that we can ‘fathom this enigma’? Yes. A man who lives with his wife so very long, suffers the heartache of the death of his children, persists with her until she is beyond child-bearing years, clearly believes she is all that she claims to bed. It is only afterwards, in retrospect, he comes to see things differently. Then his brain goes into overdrive. Poor, poor Queen Katharine, who I believe
    to be all she claimed, suffering the pains of purgatory of earth at her husband’s behaviour,
    appears to be a victim of biology, as does Henry himself. Feel for them both. Beyond sad.

  2. That’s what I cannot understand about Catherine Howard, she was no innocent yet somehow she managed to fool that great lover Henry V111 that she was a virgin, men do know if a woman’s sexually experienced or not, so she must have been a good actress, yet how could she explain away the fact there was no blood on the sheets? Maybe she got Henry very drunk on the wedding night so he wouldn’t notice as for his first wife, Henry had led a very sheltered life prior to his marriage with Katherine his father had kept him strictly guarded after the sudden death of his heir Arthur, he would not have been able to have had the means or the opportunity to indulge in a fling so we can safely assume he was a virgin on his wedding night therefore he would not have known if his wife was either apart from the obvious signs on the sheets, I do find it comical that both his wife and mistress were nagging him poor Henry! He must have thought, women! why do I bother with them?.

  3. But does every woman bleed when she loses her virginity, that’s another question, perhaps not, would he bother looking for physical evidence afer the ‘throes of passion?’
    Did Henry, being so infatuated with Catherine Howard fool himself she as virtuous, so many scenario’s, every one a possibility. And there is always room for doubt.
    Would it be right to say that the only Queen of Henry that you could be sure that wasn’t a virgin would be Kathryn Parr?

  4. Well we need to get Henry a migraine tablet after this day. Katharine complains about her treatment and legal rights as his wife, her ability to make a better case than him and the mistress to whom he went for comfort rebukes him for listening to the Queen, that she had told him that Katherine would get the better of him and Anne then compains that she is wasting her life and it is off home. Henry in the middle of two powerful, confident, strong minded women did not have a chance, but probably a huge headache.

  5. I am a great fan of Henry VIII’s wives. I see them as individual women, who had qualities in their own right – with each leaving their individual mark in history. Like many people no doubt – I am particularly fascinated with Anne Boleyn, as her story with Henry begins like a fairy tale … only to end in an unimaginable nightmare.
    However, I wonder why Anne started to ‘nag’ Henry, quite so early on in their relationship!
    If Anne had been humble when Henry was ‘putty’ in her hands – I cannot help thinking
    that this might have made it more difficult for Henry to have been swayed by Cromwell’s case against her. Or am I being naive??

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