Do you feel that Catherine of Aragon would have taken the same actions as Mary I did and kill the protestants?

I don't think that Catherine would ever have had the chance to do this as she was not monarch but, yes, I think, like Thomas More, she would have felt that she was doing God's work by stamping out heretics, after all, it was her mother and father (Isabella and Ferdinand) who created the Spanish Inquisition. Catherine would have viewed Protestants as heretics and people who were doing the Devil's work and so it would have been her duty to take action if she had been in control of things.

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7 thoughts on “Do you feel that Catherine of Aragon would have taken the same actions as Mary I did and kill the protestants?”

  1. Briony Coote says:

    Henry did plenty of clamping down on Protestants on his own and continued to do so despite his break with Rome. Anne Askew is one example of this and Catherine Parr was a closet Protestant who narrowly escaped a heresy charge; afterwards she didn’t dare discuss religion with Henry who remained entrenched in Catholic views.

    I don’t have any information regarding the role of Catherine of Aragon in the persecution of Protestants in Henry’s reign, but I have little doubt she would have approved.

    1. Linda says:

      I really don’t think Catherine of Aragon would have done the same as her daughter Mary. I believe Queen Mary blamed Anne as a reformist and that hate bled over to her personal reign. The only thing that seemed to save Mary was her religion all those years when she was young. I think she was a “ticking” bomb that finally exploded. Only thing is she only had to look at her father who caused it all.

      I imagion the great love she had for him plus the hate she had for him was enough to drive a person crazy. Her youth was just taken from her on any whim he had.

      1. Briony says:

        I don’t know. Yes, Mary was psychologically scarred from what she went through with her father and this did manifest in her reign. Still, it was an intolerant age in general. Henry had no compunction in burning Protestants, and Edward and Elizabeth had no compunction in burning Anabaptists. Catherine had very strict views regarding religion and she did grow up with the Spanish Inquisition after all. So it is likely that Catherine approved of burning heretics, even if she did not do it. Most certainly she was used to seeing it done.

  2. Thomas says:

    It’s very important to remember that sharing a common religion was very important for the unity of a country in the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods. It didn’t matter if the country were Protestant or Catholic, unity–having the same religious beliefs as the King or Queen (or Duke, Elector or Palatine, in Germany) was the goal. Being an “heretic” was the same as being a “traitor”, no matter who was doing the name-calling. In modern times, we seperate the ideas: one being religious and the other, political. In Tudor times (as before or after) they were intimately tied together.

    It’s also good to remember that there were not clear-cut lines between Protestants and Catholics in those days. The clear divisions of beliefs largely came after Henry’s death in 1547 (a year after Luther’s). The other most influential reformers, like John Calvin and John Knox came a bit later. Oddly, Henry VIII considered himself a good Catholic (though not a Papist) but killed more Catholics than Protestants. Mary I persecuted Protestants for 5 years and Elizabeth perscuted Catholics for over 40 years. It’s not a black-or-white issue. And both Queens persecuted dissenters like Puritans, Seperatists and Pilgrims.

    Over many decades of study and teaching Rreformation history, it has beome very clear to me that the Wars of Religion in the 16th century were more about power and wealth than spirituality. Certainly, many of the Protestant reformers and the Catholic loyalists were sincere in their beliefs. Yet, I think it is an entirely diffent situation when we speak of the King/Queens/Emperors/Dukes/etc. of this time. Their motives were rarely purely spiritual.

    1. FabNayNay says:

      Thomas, I think you’ve summed it up quite nicely. It really goes to show how lucky we, as a modern society are to have been born after all that horrible stuff was over! And what you’ve pointed out above, really illustrates how lives are so dependent on the times we live in and what the moral code & mindset of THAT time period. Really makes you realize just how far we’ve come, and how radically views have changed in five hundred years ago!
      Imagine watching the news today and they’re reporting on heretics being burned on the stake! I guess back then, instead of televised news, most towns had a town cryer. I suppose it was normal for them to hear him report on the burnings of heretics. I, for one, am glad that I was fortunate enough to have been born in these times. I’m glad the thought of hearing that my government is burning heretics sounds so foreign to me!

  3. Angry protestant says:

    absolutely. Catherine is only remembered well because she was a queen consort. If she had been a Queen regnant like Isabella or Mary, she would be better known for the monster she truly was. No sainthood for Catherine of Aragon

  4. Magdalena says:

    Angry protestant: why do you think Catherine was the monster? Just because she was a Catholic? Because she was daughter of The Catholic Monarchs who persecuted “heretics”? She is not responsible for her parents’ actions and believe me, Ferdinand and Isabella, had not let their children see the burnings, like someone suggested, though, certainly they were aware of what the Inquisition was doing. If Catherine of Aragon was a monster, so was Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Catherine Parr, Elizabeth I, etc. We have no idea what these consorts would have done if they had become regnants.
    And I agree Catherine was not a saint and should not be treated as such. Neither should her mother, Mary I, Elizabeth I or anyone for that matter.

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