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Was Katherine of Aragon a virgin?
January 28, 2015
5:12 pm
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Sharon
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Nunnery or no, Henry would have declared Mary illegitimate. No matter what Katherine had chosen, Henry was the final decider of his children’s legitimacy. A trip to a nunnery by Katherine would not have saved Mary. Whether Katherine was at a nunnery or a remote castle, Henry was determined to make Anne’s child his heir. The first Act of Succession (1533) bastardized Mary. She was dropped from the succession by Parliament. There was no chance for her. He could do what he wanted with his children. Neither Katherine’s choices, nor Anne’s for that matter, made much difference in the end.

January 31, 2015
8:53 am
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Hannele
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Sharon said

Nunnery or no, Henry would have declared Mary illegitimate. No matter what Katherine had chosen, Henry was the final decider of his children’s legitimacy. A trip to a nunnery by Katherine would not have saved Mary. Whether Katherine was at a nunnery or a remote castle, Henry was determined to make Anne’s child his heir. The first Act of Succession (1533) bastardized Mary. She was dropped from the succession by Parliament. There was no chance for her. He could do what he wanted with his children. Neither Katherine’s choices, nor Anne’s for that matter, made much difference in the end.

You miss the point.

If Katherine had gone to the nunnery, all would have been OK for both the Pope: as Henry and Katherine’s marriage would have been legal until then, there would have no doubt of Mary’s legitimacy.

In the same time, all would have been OK for Henry: his marriage with Anne would have been legitimate and thus also their children. Thus, there would have been no need for Henry to break away from Rome.

Because England would still have been a part of the Catholic Church, Henry would have had no power to make Mary a bastard. Nor would he have any need do so. Any son(s) by Anne (or any later wives) would automatically have been before Mary in succession, any daughter(s) after her.

There would have been no need to the Oath.

February 1, 2015
2:54 am
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Anyanka
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Hannele said

Sharon said

Nunnery or no, Henry would have declared Mary illegitimate. No matter what Katherine had chosen, Henry was the final decider of his children’s legitimacy. A trip to a nunnery by Katherine would not have saved Mary. Whether Katherine was at a nunnery or a remote castle, Henry was determined to make Anne’s child his heir. The first Act of Succession (1533) bastardized Mary. She was dropped from the succession by Parliament. There was no chance for her. He could do what he wanted with his children. Neither Katherine’s choices, nor Anne’s for that matter, made much difference in the end.

You miss the point.

If Katherine had gone to the nunnery, all would have been OK for both the Pope: as Henry and Katherine’s marriage would have been legal until then, there would have no doubt of Mary’s legitimacy.

In the same time, all would have been OK for Henry: his marriage with Anne would have been legitimate and thus also their children. Thus, there would have been no need for Henry to break away from Rome.

Because England would still have been a part of the Catholic Church, Henry would have had no power to make Mary a bastard. Nor would he have any need do so. Any son(s) by Anne (or any later wives) would automatically have been before Mary in succession, any daughter(s) after her.

There would have been no need to the Oath.

ITA.

Under 16th Canon law, the issue of a marriage made in good faith by both parties could never be made illegimate even if the marriage was found to be unlawful afterwards. Had Katherine retired, all of Mary’s legal rights could not have been stripped from her. Indeed Henry would not hae needed to at that time

However KoA held that thier marriage was lawful since the Pope had issued 2 Papal Bulls allowing for both the consumation and non-consumation of the Arthur marriage. So she had no reason to retire regardless of how much easier that could have made hers and Mary’s lives.

Henry would have had no reason to batter at Katherine and Mary in the way he did had Katherine Took the veil as either a nun or a member of the lay-sisters. Kathrine must have been tempted by the idea of a religous life, given her piety life as nun may have held some temptations. As a noble woman, she could have lived a life of ease with all the extra comforts of her rank while still being a concescrated nun.

It's always bunnies.

February 2, 2015
4:19 pm
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Sharon
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Yes, I misunderstood. I get what if scenarios confused with the truth. You are both correct. It would have worked out for all concerned if Katherine had given up her 20+ years of married life, as if they never happened, and had taken the veil.

March 7, 2015
10:12 am
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Aud
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Hannele said

Aud said

Hannele said

Aud said Katherine viewed herself as the rightful Queen and Mary was the rightful heir to the throne, she wasn’t going to enter a nunnery or dissolve her marriage just because Henry changed his mind in his desire for a son.

I was not “just because”. The job as a Queen was to bear a son, and Katherine had failed. That’s how it was thought at that time.

I am just reading Linda Porter’s biography of Mary I. She says that by dismissing the honorable option of nunnery which had left Mary legitimate (and an heir until a son was born), Katherine let her own pride overrule the interests of her daughter. The result was that Mary was physically and emotionally damaged for life.

Of course KoA could not at than time know how Henry would treat Mary, on the contrary she believed that Henry would “come to his senses” which shows that she did not know her husband (and he did not know her).

Except KoA had a daughter, and she came from a country where women could rule. So it wasn’t a failure in her eyes, though I am sure she would have liked to have more children. The interests for her daughter was not just being legitimate but being the heir to the throne and becoming Queen of England. For Katherine, doing the right thing was important, no matter what the price. It was Henry who chose to act the way he did, and it was he who abused and neglected his daughter. That being said, I wish Mary had been left out of the matter, but still the fault was Henry’s. As for the nunnery, Katherine didn’t want to be a nun, that wasn’t what she wanted to do nor what she believe she had been called to do.

Probably Katherine believed so, but did she not use he reason to see what was possible to achieve and what was not?

Katherine’s marriage and Mary’s position were political matters and in those, it was vain to be “right” in her own mind, when the king believed equally to be right and only he had force behind his opinion. Katherine had lived with Henry 18 years but seemed to know him at all when she believed that he would change his mind which would meant losing his face in front of the whole country world.

If Katherine had gone to the nunnery, she would have secured what was possible: Mary had retained her position as a legitimate child, a princess and an heir to the throne until a son would have been born in Henry’s new marriage and she could have made a splendid match with a foreign prince. There would have been a chance that there would have no son and as a eldest daughter, Mary would have become a Queen. And not least of all, Mary would have retained his father’s love and thus her physical and mental health. A mother who had loved her daughter best would have chosen that option, despite the results to herself.

But Katherine was a religious fanatic who by sticking to her principles gambled to endanger all for her and Mary. Of course everyone has a right to ruin herself, but the choice she made showed that her pride was more important to her than her daughter and her happiness.

And what about Henry’s duties as a father? Time and time again, I keep seeing comments that Katherine should have retired to a nunnery because that would have been better for Mary. Well let me address this argument. Firstly, I 100% understand why Katherine did what she did. It is called sticking to your beliefs/principles, not fanaticism (unless your killing people because of their beliefs). That is an unfair argument against her. Again, why should she do wrong just to appease Henry? Sometimes doing the right thing has consequences! It wasn’t all pride for Katherine anyways, it was her position, her daughter, her husband and her faith that was wrapped up in the issues. She didn’t just believe in her daughter’s legitimacy, but in her daughter’s right to become the Queen of England. That definitely wouldn’t happen if she stepped aside. Katherine didn’t want to betray her beliefs, or give up her position, or prejudice Mary’s position as heir to the throne. Completely understandable. And on the beliefs not, that is what Christianity is about, it’s not about doing the “right” thing in the good times. It’s about doing what if right even if it gets you killed, which is why you see people being killed for their faith during this time period. Not everyone was some flip-flopper, willing to sell out their beliefs just for some comfort. Katherine did love her daughter dearly, and the evidence shows it, so I am not sure how you are coming to the conclusions that “she didn’t love her best”. Henry VIII sure didn’t. What about his options? Maybe he should have stayed with Katherine, after all he was likely to outlive her and maybe he could have went and married after she died and possibly had another heir. I don’t see him doing that, but then why am I surprised? The man was selfish and egoistical and cruel. As far as the Great Matter is concerned, Henry is in the wrong, and he bears complete responsibility for how he mistreated Katherine and Mary. Not Katherine and Mary, not at all. And while Linda Porter is an excellent biographer of Mary, I don’t agree with her opinions on Katherine of Aragon (whom she admitted to not liking). And something that should be realized is that at the end of the day, Mary chose to support her mother (I don’t condemn her for it), she even did so for about 6 or 7 months after Katherine’s death. Mary believed her and her mother was right, she was devastated to give in to her father and never forgave herself for it.

And lastly, I really wish people would stop blaming Katherine, saying that she “ruined” Mary, or “brought it upon herself and her daughter”. How unfair! It was all Henry’s fault, or does he bear no responsibility here? He was the one who chose to mistreat his daughter and throw her out of the line of succession. I don’t care what Katherine did, it doesn’t justify what he did to his daughter at all! What kind of a man takes away his “love” from his daughter anyways just because he is angry at the mother? A sorry, pathetic excuse of a husband and father that is who, and I don’t see why Katherine should appease him. His actions are entirely his own, and no one forced him to do anything at all.

In my opinion, (and I will not budge regarding this issue), Henry VIII is the blame here, and is the parent who didn’t care about his child. I do not consider Katherine the reason why Mary’s life was ruined, I lay that blame at Henry’s door. The only thing I will say regarding Katherine, is that I wish she and Henry could have left Mary be and fight it out themselves. I don’t like that Mary was caught up in it, that being said, I don’t blame Katherine for any mistreatment that Henry caused. I’m sorry but that argument confounds me. Unless Katherine was saying, beat Mary and throw Mary out of the succession, as far as I am concerned, she is blameless in that regard. And I still find Henry’s treatment of her appalling.

And I will say that Henry after 18 years of marriage certainly didn’t understand his wife either. Why in the world would the daughter of a ruling Queen give up her daughter’s rights to become Queen herself?

March 10, 2015
2:24 pm
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Hannele
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Aud said And what about Henry’s duties as a father? Time and time again, I keep seeing comments that Katherine should have retired to a nunnery because that would have been better for Mary. Well let me address this argument. Firstly, I 100% understand why Katherine did what she did. It is called sticking to your beliefs/principles, not fanaticism (unless your killing people because of their beliefs). That is an unfair argument against her. Again, why should she do wrong just to appease Henry? Sometimes doing the right thing has consequences! It wasn’t all pride for Katherine anyways, it was her position, her daughter, her husband and her faith that was wrapped up in the issues. She didn’t just believe in her daughter’s legitimacy, but in her daughter’s right to become the Queen of England. That definitely wouldn’t happen if she stepped aside. Katherine didn’t want to betray her beliefs, or give up her position, or prejudice Mary’s position as heir to the throne. Completely understandable. And on the beliefs not, that is what Christianity is about, it’s not about doing the “right” thing in the good times. It’s about doing what if right even if it gets you killed, which is why you see people being killed for their faith during this time period. Not everyone was some flip-flopper, willing to sell out their beliefs just for some comfort. Katherine did love her daughter dearly, and the evidence shows it, so I am not sure how you are coming to the conclusions that “she didn’t love her best”.

Sticking to your principles is another matter to a private person and a public leaders like a king or queen, a president and prime minister. In the latter case, what matters most is the interests of your country and that is evaluated by the results of your action, although of course one must remember what you knew when you made your decision. It is quite futile to defend yourself that you are not responsible what the others did to your country if you could have prevented it by acting otherwise. If you want to put your conscience first, you should not be a leader but stay as a private person.

If Katherine was ready to die for her beliefs, that was of course her right. But to what kind of mother her daughter’s right in succession is more important that she stays alive?

If Katherine put her own position and that of her daughter before the interests of England, that was also her right. But was she then a good Queen?

Katherine made serious errors of judgment: she believed that if she just stayed firm, Henry would come back to her. She said no to the nunnery which would have left Mary a legitimate position.

What about his options? Maybe he should have stayed with Katherine, after all he was likely to outlive her and maybe he could have went and married after she died and possibly had another heir. I don’t see him doing that, but then why am I surprised? The man was selfish and egoistical and cruel.

Henry treated Katherine and Mary cruelly but, if he made his decision before he proposed to Anne, he was not selfish, egoistical nor cruel but on the contrary a responsible leader who put the interests of the state first.

However, Henry could have chosen another course of action, such as bigamy or to have the children by Anne declared legitimate.

To wait for Katherine’s death was not an option for it was important to have an heir soon so that he would be of age when Henry died.

March 11, 2015
2:47 pm
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Aud
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Hannele said

Aud said And what about Henry’s duties as a father? Time and time again, I keep seeing comments that Katherine should have retired to a nunnery because that would have been better for Mary. Well let me address this argument. Firstly, I 100% understand why Katherine did what she did. It is called sticking to your beliefs/principles, not fanaticism (unless your killing people because of their beliefs). That is an unfair argument against her. Again, why should she do wrong just to appease Henry? Sometimes doing the right thing has consequences! It wasn’t all pride for Katherine anyways, it was her position, her daughter, her husband and her faith that was wrapped up in the issues. She didn’t just believe in her daughter’s legitimacy, but in her daughter’s right to become the Queen of England. That definitely wouldn’t happen if she stepped aside. Katherine didn’t want to betray her beliefs, or give up her position, or prejudice Mary’s position as heir to the throne. Completely understandable. And on the beliefs not, that is what Christianity is about, it’s not about doing the “right” thing in the good times. It’s about doing what if right even if it gets you killed, which is why you see people being killed for their faith during this time period. Not everyone was some flip-flopper, willing to sell out their beliefs just for some comfort. Katherine did love her daughter dearly, and the evidence shows it, so I am not sure how you are coming to the conclusions that “she didn’t love her best”.

Sticking to your principles is another matter to a private person and a public leaders like a king or queen, a president and prime minister. In the latter case, what matters most is the interests of your country and that is evaluated by the results of your action, although of course one must remember what you knew when you made your decision. It is quite futile to defend yourself that you are not responsible what the others did to your country if you could have prevented it by acting otherwise. If you want to put your conscience first, you should not be a leader but stay as a private person.

If Katherine was ready to die for her beliefs, that was of course her right. But to what kind of mother her daughter’s right in succession is more important that she stays alive?

If Katherine put her own position and that of her daughter before the interests of England, that was also her right. But was she then a good Queen?

Katherine made serious errors of judgment: she believed that if she just stayed firm, Henry would come back to her. She said no to the nunnery which would have left Mary a legitimate position.

What about his options? Maybe he should have stayed with Katherine, after all he was likely to outlive her and maybe he could have went and married after she died and possibly had another heir. I don’t see him doing that, but then why am I surprised? The man was selfish and egoistical and cruel.

Henry treated Katherine and Mary cruelly but, if he made his decision before he proposed to Anne, he was not selfish, egoistical nor cruel but on the contrary a responsible leader who put the interests of the state first.

However, Henry could have chosen another course of action, such as bigamy or to have the children by Anne declared legitimate.

To wait for Katherine’s death was not an option for it was important to have an heir soon so that he would be of age when Henry died.

A good mother, a good queen, and a good wife, and my opinion won’t change on that, so we will just have to agree to disagree on that. The bad person in this situation is Henry.

A person can’t be in a position of leadership because they stand by their principles? I’m sorry but no, I can’t agree with that, and that isn’t fair at all. Was Henry’s machiavellian lying and jumping around in his decisions good for the country? No, it wasn’t. Again, Katherine did nothing to Mary, Henry chose to react the way that he did, and that decision rests with him. Not Katherine, not Mary, not anyone else. It doesn’t excuse his actions.

Everything you apply to Katherine can surely be applied to Henry. Just because he was a reigning monarch doesn’t excuse his actions. He stomped all over his daughters (both of them) to get his son, he persecuted his people, etc. He could have chosen better, he could have done better. And he failed to understand Katherine as well. And as a result It does make him selfish and egoistical. It has nothing to do when he proposed to Anne, his actions were cruel period, and cannot be excused. When he denied Mary attending her mother’s funeral, how was he acting in the interests of his country? When he denied Mary the items her mother had given her, how was he acting in the interests of the state? It wasn’t in the interests of the state, it was spite plain and simple. Was he acting in state interests when he had Anne Boleyn killed? Elizabeth Bastardized? Killing Catholics and Protestants left and right? Destroying all monasteries regardless of whether they were good or not? Killing Margaret Pole? I ask you to think about this, because I do agree with you that Henry wanted a son to secure the succession but the fact remains, that he harmed a lot of people when they crossed him, and not because of state interests.
He chose to harm his daughter (and threaten to kill her after Katherine’s death) and not do right by her and he is not going to get a pass from me on the situation.

Hannele, we are just going to have to agree to disagree because I don’t agree with your arguments, and it looks as if neither of us are going to give in. Kind of like the Great Matter huh? Smile

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