9 November – The Northern Rebellion against Elizabeth I and the birth of the stillborn daughter of Catherine of Aragon

Posted By on November 9, 2021

This day in Tudor history, 9th November 1569, is the traditional date given for the start of the only major armed rebellion of Elizabeth I’s reign. It’s known as The Northern Rebellion or Rising of the North or Revolt of the Northern Earls.

Northern earls Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland and Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland, led this uprising against Elizabeth I, seeking to depose her, replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots, and restore Catholicism.

But what happened?

Find out about the 1569 Northern Rebellion and the fate of the Northern Earls in this talk…

Also on this day in Tudor history, 9th November 1518, Queen Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s wife of nine years, gave birth prematurely to a stillborn daughter at Greenwich Palace.

This was to be Catherine’s sixth and final pregnancy. She had tried her very best to give King Henry VIII what he wanted, a surviving son and heir, a Prince of Wales.

In this video, I explain what happened on this day in 1518 and what we know about Queen Catherine of Aragon’s pregnancies.

3 thoughts on “9 November – The Northern Rebellion against Elizabeth I and the birth of the stillborn daughter of Catherine of Aragon”

  1. Christine says:

    Very very sad for any mother and father to, to wait through the long months for the birth of a healthy child, for the mother especially to endure the agony of childbirth only to be told the poor little mite was dead, and just as heartbreaking to give birth to a healthy baby only for it to die after being on this earth for a number of weeks or days, Henry Prince Of Wales could have been a cot death, which remains to this day a mystery to the medical profession, why she had so many still born infants as well must have been down to a defect in her biological structure, and she lost more sons than daughters, what is known today is that if a woman suffers a miscarriage or a still birth, she is advised to wait several years before trying again, but still the queen would not rest and instead went on pilgrimage’s and prayed incessantly for hours, her obstetric history is a puzzle and this final pregnancy must have I believe, sounded the death knell on her marriage, just as years later, her predecessor faring no better, fell from grace after losing her longed for son, the beautiful font sadly journeyed back to Canterbury as king and queen had to try to come to terms with yet another failed pregnancy, Katherine tragically was aware that she had failed the king her husband, she had been pregnant for most of her married life and all she had managed to produce from her worn out body was a girl, intelligent and precocious though she was, the king needed a son – a Prince to govern England safely on his death, in secret he held talks with Cardinal Wolsey his trusted adviser, Wolsey favoured a French marriage and Henry was not averse, he began consulting the scriptures, if a man marries his brothers widow he has thus uncovered his brothers nakedness and they shall be childless, there was the answer to his prayers, gleefully he told himself that Katherine was not really his wife and their lack of sons was a sign of god’s displeasure, by now also he was finding her unattractive, so sleeping with her had no doubt become a chore, she was growing quite fat and shapeless and after some time they started to sleep apart, he no longer desired her and so it was easy to end his marriage, his queens loyalty integrity, and passionate devotion to him for many years moved him not a jot, her popularity and the great esteem his subjects held her in moved him not once, the fact that she was related to the most powerful man on earth, the emperor Charles did not deter him, he wanted rid of this stale and barren marriage, his quest for a son led him on to make another five marriages and cost many people their lives, he also put the country through turmoil and the birth of a new religion and church was born, those days were some years in the future, for now on the death of what was to be her last child, Katherine must have felt her god had truly deserted her and she had now no more tears to be shed.

  2. Banditqueen says:

    Oh boy, the Northern Rebellion 1569 is complex and there were several subplots afterwards, that is the Ridolfi Plot and Norfolk’s involvement in an attempt to free and marry Mary Queen of Scots. Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland is regarded as a Catholic martyr because he died for his faith and was brutally executed on the Pavement at York. The Pavement is a small square just off the main road below the Shambles and the exact spot is behind Marks and Spencer. Walking the area with a night camera resulted in some splendid but rather ery pictures. They came out almost green and yellow. They are still very clear and it was an extremely cold moonlit November Night, the night before Gunpowder night. I am very skeptical about ghosts but I swear Sir Thomas was trying to contact me that night, not to harm, just to say hi. Its also amazing how different the place looks at night. It was very quiet. Really quiet. No traffic, no people, just the moon, night lights, Steve and me. We honestly didn’t see one single person between the Swan Inn and the Mickle gate where we stayed. It was only 10.30pm but it was as if the entire population of York had just been beamed up. The pub was very lively, the other pubs where lively, but it was nearly closing time and now they had emptied. Yet where was everyone? Three hours earlier the place was thronged with people. Not that we were complaining about it being quiet, it was just weird. Its the city centre on a Friday night. If that was Liverpool it would still be very lively. York has no night life. We had the centre to ourselves. Not being funny but it happened to us in London as well. Walked along the Thames and the area around Picadilly and the Strand and around Buckingham Palace and not one soul. Now that is weird.

    Anyway, it was the execution of Thomas Percy which is believed to have inspired Blessed Margaret Clitherow to have been reconciled to the Catholic Church. Her home and shrine are on the Shambles.

    The execution of 700 or 800 people is particularly brutal, especially considering it was double the number executed after the Pilgrimage of Grace and the Lincolnshire Rising and 7 x the number executed after the Wyatt Rebellion. It was for this that the Pope issued his Bull against Elizabeth I in 1570, which had long term consequences for Catholic England.

  3. Banditqueen says:

    The sad loss of a child is a great sorrow for any parents but here it was also the loss of another heir for Henry and Katharine. Katharine had lost six children and one daughter had lived and was now two. Mary was the centre of their world but her survival had given the couple fresh hope that living sons would follow. Even more distressing was that the child was a girl. Boy or girl their loss was devastating but the comments suggest it was the baby’s sex which people were more upset about than the loss of the child. Poor Katharine, didn’t anyone think about how she felt? How many more children must she lay to rest? Its a mercy that this was her last pregnancy and also a disaster because it led to the ending of her marriage.

    Now Henry continued to sleep with Katharine and she was still very much the main lady in his life two years later at the Field of the Cloth of Gold and when Mary was betrothed firstly to the Dauphin of France and then to her nephew, Emperor Charles V. Henry continued to be devoted to Katharine for several more years. In fact he didn’t question his marriage until 1526, some time after it became clear that Katharine couldn’t give him any more children and not long after that, he was chasing Anne Boleyn around the place. Then he was more serious about the new flash of heavenly revelation that his marriage was not valid and that’s why he had no sons. He certainly wouldn’t have even asked but for the tragic loss of his and Katharine’s children.

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