7 January 1536 – Catherine of Aragon dies at Kimbolton Castle

Posted By on January 7, 2017

On this day in history, 7th January 1536, at two o’clock in the afternoon, Catherine of Aragon died at Kimbolton Castle.

Catherine had been ill for several months but felt worse after drinking a draught of Welsh beer in December 1535 and this, combined with the embalmer’s report that all of her organs were healthy apart from her heart, “which was quit black and hideous to look at”, gave rise to rumours that Catherine had been poisoned. However, the embalmer, who Giles Tremlett points out was a chandler (a candle maker) and not a medical expert, also found a black body attached to Catherine’s heart, and Tremlett concludes that “a secondary melanotic sarcoma was almost certainly to blame”, a secondary heart tumour caused by cancer in another part of the body.

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Catherine of Aragon was laid to rest in Peterborough Abbey, now Peterborough Cathedral, on 29th January 1536 and the cathedral holds an annual Katherine of Aragon Festival to commemorate Catherine’s life. Click here to download the leaflet about the festival and here are the main events:

  • Thursday 26th January – 5.30pm, Sung Eucharist in commemoration of Katharine of Aragon.
  • Friday 27th January – 8.30am, Mass at Peterborough Cathedral.
  • Friday 27th January – 10.30am Service of Commemoration at Peterborough Cathedral.
  • Friday 27th January – 2.00pm Guided tour of Peterborough Cathedral.
  • Friday 27th January – 6.00pm Tudor-style Pottage and Ale Supper – SOLD OUT.
  • Friday 27th January – 7.30pm Festival Lecture: Character and Conscience: a Dynasty of Catholic Queens with Dr Suzannah Lipscomb.
  • Saturday 28th January – 10.00am–5.00pm At Home with the Tudors at Peterborough Museum.
  • Saturday 28th January – 10.30am – 3.30pm A Royal Audience and ‘monarch makes’ in the Knights’ Chamber.
  • Saturday 28th January – 2.00pm, Guided tour of Peterborough Cathedral.
  • Saturday 28th January – 5.30pm Choral Evensong.
  • Saturday 28th January – 7.30pm Katharine and her Ambassadors – A talk by historian and author Lauren Mackay, at Peterborough Museum.
  • Sunday 29th January – 10.00am–5.00pm, At home with the Tudors at Peterborough Museum.
  • Sunday 29th January – 10.30am – 3.30pm A Royal Audience and ‘monarch makes’ in the Knights’ Chamber.
  • Sunday 29th January – 2.00pm, Tudor Peterborough Walk starting at Peterborough Museum.
  • Sunday 29th January – 3.30pm, Choral Evensong at Peterborough Cathedral.

There is also an exhibition running throughout the weekend at Peterborough Museum called “Tremendous Tudors”.

You can find out about all the above events and buy tickets etc. at http://www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/home/katharine-2017.aspx.

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