Catherine of Aragon Loses a Daughter – 9th November 1518

Katherine of AragonOn this day in history, the night of the 9th November 1518, Catherine of Aragon gave birth to a little girl. We don’t know the full details of what happened, but either the baby was stillborn or did not survive very long. Sebastian Giustinian, the Venetian ambassador reported the birth in a letter dated 10th November 1518:-

“In the past night the Queen had been delivered of a daughter, to the vexation of everybody. Never had the kingdom so anxiously desired anything as it did a prince.”

And this is followed by a later report in the Venetian archives:-

“The Queen bad been delivered in her eighth month of a stillborn daughter, to the great sorrow of the nation at large.”

Whatever happened, it was a huge disappointment for Catherine and Henry VIII and it was Catherine’s last pregnancy. Henry’s hopes of a legitimate son and heir were dashed, or so it seemed.

See “The Pregnancies of Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon” for more on this subject.

Also on this day in history…

1569 – The Northern Rebellion or Rising of the North.
In November 1569 an uprising led by Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland and Thomas Percy, 7th Earl of Northumberland, sought to depose Elizabeth I, replace her with Mary Queen of Scots (who would marry the Duke of Norfolk) and restore the Catholic faith as the faith of England. Although the rebels were successful in occupying Durham, where they took mass in the cathedral, Staindrop, Darlington, Richmond, Ripon and also Barnard Castle, they were finally forced to retreat North. Northumberland and Westmorland fled to Scotland. Their rebellion had been a failure.

Notes and Sources

  • Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 2: 1509-1519, 1103 and 1123
  • The Northern Rebellion, article from the Gunpowder Plot Society

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9 thoughts on “Catherine of Aragon Loses a Daughter – 9th November 1518”
  1. some say the little girl although very weak, lived a few days but then others say she she was stillborn. Argh! So frustrating!

  2. I have a question regarding Catherine’s name. Why is it that there is no definitive Katherine or Catherine? I keep seeing it being used interchangeably. The same with Catherine/Katherine Parr. I know the book Elizabeth made for Henry and Katherine used the initial K so why the C in encyclopedia entries? I am newer and I am hoping someone has an explanation. Thanks!

    1. There was no standardized spelling in Tudor times and it is funny when you look at primary sources and the same name is spelled differently in the same sentence. Catherine of Aragon was known as Catalina in Spain so “Catherine” is closest to that but the English spelling was Katherine. Katherine Parr signed her name “Kateryn the Quene” so there’s another spelling!

      1. Okay! That makes sense because I reading a letter Katherine wrote to Mary and it is signed with a K not C. Thanks for answering so quickly! I know how to respond when someone asks me.

  3. Poor, poor Katherine, she endured so much heartbreak in her life. But this time the tradegy was three-fold, another daughter, who sadly died, and the knowledge that there was a very good chance that would be her last pregnancy… it is maybe a good thing she had her strong faith to help her through such pain and despair.
    I doubt anything would of changed though, even if the child had lived, Henry would have still gone on his quest to have a son, don’t you think.. after all she was just another girl and not on his wish list.

  4. I have often wondered what would have happened if as well as her other children Mary had been stillborn or died in infancy. Would Henry have started investigating his marriage earlier ? If so would he have chosen a different second wife ? Would the Pope have been able to give him his annulment ? Would Catherine have held out so long against him ? It’s interesting to think how differently things would have worked out.

  5. I wonder what would it would have been like if this little girl survived adulthood. What would her name be? Would kind of personality would she have? What if she ruled after Mary I or married and had a son who would succeed her/Mary I? What would Elizabeth’s life turned out like? Even if Henry still married Anne Boleyn and treated Catherine terribly, Mary probably would have grew up less damaged with the support of a sister.

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