The Executions of Catherine Howard and Lady Rochford: An Eye Witness Account

On 15th February 1542, Otwell Johnson, a London merchant who David Loades describes as “the clothier and victualler whose customers had included many members of the queen’s household”, wrote to his brother regarding the executions of the Queen and Lady Rochford on 13th February. His is the only eye witness account we have and here is what he said:

“From Calleis I have harde nothing as yet of your sute to my Lord Gray: and for news from hens, know ye, that even according to my writing on Sonday last, I se the Quene and the Lady Retcheford suffer within the Tower, the day following, whos sowles (I doubt not) be with God, for thay made the moost godly and christyan’s end, that ever was hard tell of (I thinke) sins the worlds creation ; uttering thayer lively faeth in the blode of Christe onely, and with goodly words and stedfast countenances thay desyred all christen people to take regard unto thayer worthy and just punnishment with death for thayer offences, and agenst God hainously from thayer youth upward, in breaking all his commandements, and also agenst the King’s royall Majesty very daungeriously: wherfor thay being justly condempned (as thay sayed) by the Lawes of the Realme and Parlement, to dye, required the people (I say) to take example at them, for amendement of thayer ungodly lyves, and gladdly to obey the King in all things, for whos preservation thay did hartely pray; and willed all people so to do: commending thayer sowles to God, and emestly calling for marcy upon him: whom I besieche to geve us grace, with suche faeth, hope, and charite at our departing owt of this miserable world, to come to the fruytion of his god-hed in joy everlasting. Amen.

Your loving brother


Notice that the eye witness account makes no mention of Catherine saying “I die a Queen, but I would rather have died the wife of Culpeper” or of Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, confessing to giving false testimony about her husband George Boleyn committing incest with his sister, Anne Boleyn. Both women died with courage and dignity, and they deserve our respect. If you believe that Jane’s execution was ‘karma’, then do read the third article in the list below. I hope it gives you reason to reassess that idea.

Catherine Howard and Lady Rochford were laid to rest in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London, and their memorial tiles lie just beneath the altar table.

You can find out more about what Catherine’s fall in my article The Fall of Catherine Howard. The following articles will also be of interest:


  • Original letters, illustrative of English history: Volume II, compiled by Henry Ellis, Keeper of the Manuscripts in the British Museum, 1825, p128
  • Catherine Howard; The Adulterous Wife of Henry VIII, David Loades, 2012, Kindle edition

Photo from Season 4 of The Tudors.

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68 thoughts on “The Executions of Catherine Howard and Lady Rochford: An Eye Witness Account”
  1. I did find it incredibly disrespectful for ‘The Tudors’ to depict Catherine wetting herself on the scaffold. As Claire says, she died with dignity and courage. It’s similar to Mantel depicting George Boleyn crying and nearly fainting at his trial.
    I do wonder what goes through these writers minds when they make up such stories about people who deserve more. Have they no respectfor the dead? Shameful.

    1. I agree!
      How disrespectful of the writers of “The Tudors” to portray that!
      I’ve always wondered if there was some type of anti-Howard plot in the background that helped bring about the fall of Catherine. I believe I read in Starkey’s “Six Wives” that the person who came forward about Catherine’s behavior in the Duchess of Norfolk’s house, was a John Lascelles whose sister, Mary Hall nee Lascelles (who had also been in the Duchesses household) told him. John then told Cranmer. Starkey states that John Lascelles was later burnt as a Protestant heretic, so that his motive might have been factional motive in denouncing her. Hmmm….

      1. Antonia Fraser says as much in her book — not that it was a fully-fledged plot, but that since there was constant seesawing between the more religiously conservative faction (including the Howards) and the more reformist-minded faction, any dirt that one side could get on the other was useful — she describes Lascelles’ denunciation of Catherine’s behavior as “nothing personal, just (religious) business.”

    2. I also agree that that portrayal was very disrespectful, distasteful and completely unnecessary. As was showing Catherine practically naked in nearly every scene…

      In my opinion the only respect this type of writing has is for the ‘$ and £’ signs that this kind of sensationalising and fantasy brings, through attracting a large audience. The real truth would make low ratings. Sad really…

    3. Louise,I to think that these writers do this with little or know research and it is so disrespectful, in everyway shame on them.It is bad enough there poor soul were already damaged back in the days of Henry V111.So I ask them to do us a favor stop wirtting what is fic and not FACs. Baroness

      1. If you are going to be a Baroness then know it is “no research” also “their poor souls”
        “wirtting” writing 😉 if you want to add a comma, pop it after everyday not after disrespectful. Then you will truly be a Baroness.

    4. We have to remember that if we want to get that bit closer to the truth and nothing but the truth (as we know it), then we need to read non-fiction books about the object that we’re interested in, and not literary fiction. The purpose of the fictional author is to fill in the gaps or pad the story out, so it is inevitable that they are going to make things up or beef thing out.
      And p.s – even non-fiction authors get things wrong as ‘new evidence’ is always coming to light. So whatever you read, fiction or non – keep an open mind and enjoy.

      1. Yes you are quite right Jed in all you say, but I think what we are saying is that the writers went too far there.
        I personally enjoyed the Tudors (got the DVDs) very much, it was very entertaining, well acted, and I loved the artistic license with the costume and jewellery, (not to mention the facts)…it’s just that in a few parts I think the writers let themselves down my being so base. Her youth and fear could have been shown with a little bit more sensitivity.
        It’s so true that things turn up every now and then, I think the biggest find of many years is Richard III body, some writtings will have been proved wrong in this case. History is such a great subject, it seems nothing is set in stone… 🙂

      2. I completely agree with you! The more “rumors” or added sayings and texts of these amazing people, not only confuses us, but as time goes on, starts to make a noise that it has sound basis, which in fact, was manipulated by whomever wrote it. We have to stick to the facts. So that with this preservation, it stays with us as fact, and not elongated myths, containing partial pieces of non-fiction. On top of that I loved The Tudors Showtime series, I love Anne of a Thousand Days, Mary, Queen of Scots etc etc. they are wonderfully put together and I love watching and learning about them. But like Jed said, as long as we keep firm to fact vs dramatic effect, there is a ton of fun in it. We need to keep firm in HISTORY, while still having fun playing with HIS-STORY. I relish all the fun, and have high respect for all the truth.

    5. She may have died with dignity, it is true, but she also would have wet herself with fear: it is a natural thing I am afraid and it is totally realistic. The only dignified thing Katherine Howard did was die without hysterics or trouble: the rest of her life she certainly had none. It was poor taste I agree for them to actually show this in the Tudor’s but it is accurate!

      1. It’s not “accurate” since it has no factual foundation, whatsoever. However, it is certainly believable: I think her wetting herself was supposed to visually represent her fear, because you can understand what it means entirely. She had to witness Jane go before her, so she can’t have the more personal treatment that Anne got, with the close-up shots, slow hymns, and respectfully patient crowd. Katherine, instead, was represented by silence, stillness, and perfectly warranted anxiety on the part of her and Jane.
        Whilst I don’t LIKE that they made her wet herself, (nor do I like the way they made Jane effectively grovel pitifully. She was just as brave at her execution as Katherine was) I understand the thought behind it.

        1. If you are going to criticise someone for being accurate then at least know your own history.

          Katherine Howard died first, not the other way around. Jane didn’t even witness the death of the Queen and both died with dignity. I didn’t say it is recorded, I said it is realistic, because it is an accurate response to fear before death or terror. It is not respectful and in fact we don’t know how afraid she was as she is recorded as being calm. She didn’t say she wanted to marry Culpeper either.

    6. Get real Louise, this is what fear does to a person under that kind of situation. Nothing disrespectful about it, and nothing to be ashamed of. W. Grant

  2. Great article. I wonder, though, how the “death speech myths” (Catherine’s “I would rather die the wife of Culpeper”; Jane’s alleged confession of falsely accusing Anne and George of incest) came to develop.

    1. The good old Spanish Chronicle is partly to blame – they also had Cromwell interrogating Catherine even though he died in 1541! Then you have George’s words “On the evidence of only one woman you are willing to believe this great evil of me, and on the basis of her allegations you are deciding my judgement” which have been taken by some historians to be referring to Jane when they are more likely to refer to either the Countess of Worcester or Lady Wingfield. I think it’s a case of Chinese Whispers (or telephone I think it’s called in the US).

        1. I suspect that ‘myth’ came about from someone voicing a satyrical opinion after her execution, on the lines of ‘I bet she would have rather died Culpeper’s wife that Henry’s Queen’, these kind of comments spead like wild fire, and the next thing you know Catherine has had words put into her mouth….all because of someone’s off the cuff remark….still happens, you see it in the news every day, it seems human nature hasn’t altered that much over time.

        2. The following absolutely true story (read it only if you wish) is the clearest example of why we should be sceptical about unsubstantiated statements:

          There was an incredibly horrible incident where a woman my age at the time had a reaction to medication that made her psychotic. She broke into a school and injured many, killed a few.

          She had gone to grammar school and high school with my circle of friends. The sister of my boyfriend at the time was in proximity to a reporter from the Chicago Tribune and as the reporter kept pressing people for reasons why the tragedy had unfolded, my bf’s sister said, not loudly, but disgustedly, “What? Like she did it because she wasn’t chosen as a cheerleader in high school?”

          One of the headlines the next day was: (you guessed it) “Former Classmate Explains L*** D**** Did It Because She Was Not Picked for Cheerleading Squad.”

          So that is why these stories, these remarks attributed to historical figures need source-checking before being repeated.

  3. We should always remember what The Tudors and other fictional works based on historical persons are, and that is, fictional. Yes they employ the names and general charactorizations of the real people, but writers do tend to use “artistic” license to make the stories more interesting to today’s audiences. I enjoy a well written historical noval as well as anyone else, but I know that it is fiction and I enjoy it as such. Take The Other Boleyn Girl. Talk about fiction, it doesn’t get much more embellished than that one. But I enjoyed watching it. I certainly don’t use it as reference material. Anyway, I send good thoughts out to Catherine and Jane on the anniversary of their deaths. I hope their souls, where ever they may be, are aware of all the interest in finding the truth of their situations.

    1. The thing I found so frustrating about The Tudors, though, was that they got some really obscure facts correct, and some of the speeches/conversations were nearly word-for-word, so you know they had access to the truth as best as we can know it. So their choice to take other situations and distort them beyond recognition (like portraying KH as an actual prostitute who is naked much of the time) is frustrating and maddening to me.

      This was one of the most interesting, complex, and dramatic periods in history, IMO. There’s no need to make stuff up to make it more interesting. What really happened is interesting enough for any modern soap opera!

      1. I agree with you Carolyn. It was, indeed, a most interesting time in history. My favprite for sure. But not everyone shares our intense interest. I have to say, that my family and co-workers tend to get a glazed look in their eyes when I start talking Tudors! lol! Even my husband, bless his heart, who has learned a bunch about the tudors, will let me know when he thinks I’ve filled my quota with him for the day.

    2. Ladycat109,I find The Tudors and MS.P.G book The other Boleyn Girl nothing but rubbish and thats were those books ended up,I also find it ashame that they would write and make, made for TV movies out of these books.The Tudors was horrible and The Other Boleyn was even worse ,so was the acting!!As for Catherine Howard she in my opinon was far to young and not ,he was not to be fooled with and paid the price for her actions.Lady Rochford should have never lied about George,however I do feel very sorry for them,but they new what the King was about and paid the pice with there lives,just my thoughts on the matter. Kind Regards Baroness

      1. Baroness, it’s very good to speak with you again! I first “read” TOBG in my car, commuting back and forth to work. Since I had recently discovered that MB was my 13th GGMother, I was soaking up anything that I could get my hands on, whether it was sound historically or not. I knew so much more about AB, than MB, I just wanted to get to know her. You are right, historically it was rubbish. but I enjoyed listening to it rather than the radio. I want to have good thoughts for most of the people in that era. I know that we will never know the truth of the situations, all we can do is research where we can and venture an educated guess.

        1. Ladycat109,I so agree with you Ladycat and Claire’s site is perhapes the best,to get your facts on these Royals. Kind Regards Baroness

        2. Laddycat,do you speak of Mary Bolen as your 13th GG Grandmothe??If so how wonderfull!!!!! Let me know who MB you are speaking of? Baroness x

        3. Wait, what? You read it while commuting in your car? How does that work? 😉

      2. I have to say without the series The Tudors and the movie The Other Boleyn Girl, I wouldn’t have had my interest spiked, so even though it is very misleading, I want to thank them as now I have taken the time to find the facts and enjoy more then just fictitious nonsense. Thanks guys keep up these great discussions.

        1. Yes Baroness, I’m speaking of Mary Boleyn. I’ve put my lineage on the genealogical forum page, but in a nut shell here it is by surname: Pegram-Macon-West-knollys-Carey-Boleyn.

        2. Ladycat109,WOW!!! Thats great so that would make Anne your GG 13 th aunt also George uncle,to you.My friend went back on her family history it was really time consumming.I often thought o0f doing my history? What great news thx for sharring that info with AB Friends.Happy Val Day to everyone. Baroness x

        3. Thand you Baroness! It’s about 3-4 years since I found out through genealogy research. I was sure I had made a mistake somewhere along the way. I’ve went bak and quadruple checked and it’s still there in my tree. Ancestry’s new autosomnal dna test has also confirmed by linking my DNA with other descendants of Gideon Macon. The test will only show results for 7 to 8 generations, so the fact the matches with other macons of that family confirms the connection. And I left a surname off the list. Woodward it fits between Macon and west.

        4. Ladycat ,Have you seen the movie ,Anne Of The Thousand Day’s??One of the best and most factual movie about the love and hate relationship Henry and Anne had.Also Can you give me some info on how you did your DNA to find out your family tree??I find it most interesting ,I perhapes would like to find all my family tree,my GG grandfather and grand mother hail from Scotland by the last name Wilkins,which I have seen as I read the arcives and am just wondering maybe a relation could be there?? Kind Regards Baroness X

  4. I’ve always had a soft spot for Katherine Howard, such a naive girl who’s greatest crime was simply falling in love. I agree with Carolyn, the Tudor era truly could rival any of the soaps we have today! I’d take it over Eastenders any day 😉

  5. I also meant to say Catherine was not groomed to be a Queen and that Henry was not to be fooled with they new his past. Baroness

  6. I’ve generally thought Catherine really was guilty of adultery: she was young, lively, wanting fun and pleasure, with a sketchy education, not to mention how light the discipline in the Dowager’s house was. But with the arrogance common to youth, she may have indeed thought Henry’s brains weren’t all there any more (he’s sooooo old, he’s going senile attitude) and if he was suffering from ED, that may have only confirmed it in her head. And considering he would have gone out of his way to charm her, I think she lost sight of the danger. Altogether, I can see why she could have mis-stepped so badly.

    Or, alternatively, she could have been trying to provide him with an heir, however she could (which was mentioned in the BBC 6 Wives, as I recall–Norfolk telling her or saying she might). Unlikely.

    Or she could have been a genuine nymphomanic, unable to help herself… nah, I doubt that!

    1. Dee,I really think that Katerine had to really do something to tick the King off,and cheating on the King was a blow to his manhood,which was most likely the worst of crimes any women could do to this King,making him look like a cockhold.However I don’t think he just desided to axe her head, off for know reason?We must remember that Henry V111 could justivfey anything, as he did from the very start with Queen Katherine calling on his fav,the incest card and lets not forget poor Queen Anne he played that card to,brother George. Yes she may have lost her insight when it came to the King ,but all knew what this King was about,never wrong Henry V111 for you would very most likely end up on the scaffold.Just my thoughts. THX Baroness x

  7. Dee I don’t think she ever committed adultery. I’m writing a biography of her, to be published this year, and the reality is much more disturbing. She and Culpeper never had sex.

    I think Katherine has been portrayed pretty awfully in films and TV series. Emily Blunt depicted her as screaming with fear and hysteria on the block, when Katherine really died with more dignity; Tamzin Merchant didn’t wear a single French hood and portrayed her as a total bimbo, while Angela Pleasance presented a scheming, cruel and physically violent Katherine. Lynne Frederick is possibly the only actress who has played Katherine well.

    Katherine was not a bimbo. She was naive, but there is no evidence that she was stupid. She was good-hearted, kind, and genuinely did her best as Queen. People shouldn’t be so harsh on her. She never had sex with Culpeper, and my research indicates that Dereham was sexually violent towards her. A victim in every sense of the word.

  8. Now there’s quite the interesting letter from home — no wonder his brother preserved it. And I agree that Jane Boleyn has been absolutely mauled in the years since her death — what’s odd is that Julia Fox’s book demonstrating the lack of foundation for the accusations came out five years ago and yet novelists just keep on producing Lady Rochford characters who are about as subtle as the Wicked Witch Of The West. I don’t demand total accuracy from fiction (it’s impossible to achieve, much less to achieve and also produce a good novel) but you’d think they’d jump at the chance to invent a different version of her.

  9. The women that married Henry from the Howards all had tragic ends. The Howards were a very powerful family and it seems to me that each time that power increased with a Queen on the throne that they were taken down a few rungs on the ladder from enemies. Henry let people manipulate him so then when everything didn’t go the way he thought he proceeded to blame and destroy the courtiers that he had previously held so high. Classic narcisstic behaviour. Change the game and the players.

    Katharine was especially vulnerable – young, naive,loving and no court experience what so ever. She never really knew the game at all. If she did have sex with Culpepper it was only to have a child – all eyes were looking to her for the spare heir. Katharines body was covered in lime to destroy it so I wonder if at the time of her execution she was pregnant and Henry had the evidence destroyed along with her body. Katharine died almost as well as Anne. I think she was taken advantage of and was the true victim in this case. Katharine never had a chance.

    As for Jane Rochford, what would have been her purpose in being the one to accuse and pont her finger at George and Anne. She lost position,housing,money etc when Anne and George were executed. Jane could have easily been tricked by Cromwell or her words twisted and turned about as to suit both Cromwell’s and Henry’s agenda.

    1. It is precisely because Jane stood to lose (and actually lost) so much that Cromwell would lay as much emphasis as possible on anything that he could attribute to Jane (as opposed to some other source) … just because people would give more weight to an accusation coming from George’s wife than they would to the same accusation coming from anyone else.

    2. I’ve seen/read that depiction of Lady Rochford, including a rather dramatic shriek of denial when she realizes what they made of her testimony–in that version, she was deeply in love with George and wanted to save him. And at least one (fictional) take that she took Kathryn down in revenge on the king and somewhat on the Howards who, while they did help with her support (I believe), also let George die. Not quite wickedness personified, but probably not all there.

      Working on a Tudor novel of my own, but more of a “what-if,” and have to decide on the relationship between her and Anne, since Anne survives in my (& my husband’s) book!

    3. Sheri,Not all ended up in a bad situation,Anne of Cleves made out very well as Henrys sister and Katherine Parr, left with her life and remarried so not all were doomed.I am sure that they wiped the sweet off there forheads they did not end up on a scaffold,Anne Of Cleves young and very clever on how to more attention to Henrys maddness,weather or not she cheated on the King,one didnot want to tick this King off.I don’t know for sure but did read that Henry V111 exacuted 70,000 people in his life time, what a head count!! Kind regards Baroness x

      1. I meant weahter or not Katherine Howard cheated on the King and Anne of Cleves on how to pay attention to Henrys maddness and end up sister to the King ,I found was brillant by Cleves!Aswell as Parr to marry her true love.

  10. I agree that Katherine was awfully young to be executed. Possibly she could have been banished or sent to a nunnery or something far less cruel that would not have ended her life. I find it hard, however to feel too much sympathy for her. I believe she thought that being a Queen, married to one of the most powerful Kings , ever, was all a big game. She was not a Queen, really, I don’t think, in any sense of the word. She just wore the crown, and sat by Henry’s side. It was disgusting that he married her, at any rate. She was young enough to be his grand-daughter.

  11. Thanks for the great article,Clair! I love reading the first-hand account and it definitely shows both women dying with dignity. I think some of the stuff written about Jane came from her losing her cool right when she was arrested. She had a moment of ‘freak-out!’ and who can blame her? She knew very well what it all meant. But she got it together at the end which is very much to her credit. As for Katherine Howard, I have always had a soft spot for her–so young, being used by her family to gain power, having to deal wtih Henry at his age–she must have thought it all very gross–which it was! Thanks again!

    1. Anne,true about being used and far to young reminds me of Queen ,Lady Jane Grey Queen for 11 days’ talk about being used she to was very young. Baroness x

  12. Like so many others in the Tudor era, Katherine Howard was cajoled, bribed, ordered, pushed, into being the next Queen, I think. What young girl would not want to play dress up & wear gorgeous jewelry, & walk around, lording it over everyone.
    Granted, as today, I’m sure there were many, many young women who were intelligent enough and savvy enough, politically and other-wise, to help reign in a country. But Katherine was just a young, naive girl looking for love. I do not know of any landmark decisions that she enforced while she was Queen. Or any good deeds that she may have done. Or any bills she may have enacted. But I have also not really read a lot ABOUT Katherine Howard, as I find her rather dull and boring..It is sad that another young life was taken at the behest of Henry, just to appease his hurt and wounded pride. But she also participated to a degree in her own down-fall. She just was not smart enough to realize it.

  13. After the years-long struggle with Catherine of Aragon to get free so he could marry Anne Boleyn, it would seem Henry found execution much easier and neater than going through the legal channels. He made sure charges were upheld against any woman (or man for that matter!) with whom he was disillusioned or angry. Anne of Cleves was the only one to achieve the divorced state-there was no scandal about her, she kept her head down and agreed to everything, and became Henry’s “sister.” Anyone who might have stood up to him or had embarrassing information about him seemed to be doomed once he no longer loved them…I don’t think Catherine Howard’s and Jane Rochford’s execution had anything to do with what they deserved; Henry simply wasn’t going to tolerate a mess of any kind.

  14. Kateryn did do a couple of good deeds whilst alive. In 1541 she had Thomas Wyatt released from the Tower and also had some warm blankets sent down to the Tower by barge for Margaret Pole just before her execution.

    Kateryn reminds me of Anne they were similar in many ways in more ways than one the only difference was that Anne had been more clever and lasted longer than poor Kateryn ever did. I feel very sorry for her just the same as I do with Anne.

    Kateryn just like Anne was in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were ahead of their times.

  15. It is facinating that there’s so many people interested in The Tudors Henry VIII was an interesting Man who had anything and anyone he wanted its a shame that he didn’t live Longer for it the outcome would have been different maybe he’s Daughter would have married and had children now that would have been awesome but unfortunately he’s ambition was he’s downfall

    1. Maritzal,I think he lived pretty long for those days,Henry sufferd a serious injury to his leg and to being obesse did’nt help with his health.I also would like to say I am happy that the king did’nt live to see his only son Edward die. Kind Regards Baroness x

  16. It is a very interesting family in which I would love to know a lot more about them and if he has any relatives right now one thing I’d love to do before my lifetime is vidit London england and see with my very eyes where they lived ruled and died it would an experience of a lifetime but since I live in the states its not easy but plz feel free to leave me replys and feed back thank you

    1. Maritzal,You will learn so much on Claire’s site and I am sure if you ask Claire Qs as to whom you want to know, she will be happygive factual answers.Also if you go to the Home page on this site you can scroll down and read about past subjects on Claires site.But she can’t answer anything ,if she doe not know what it is you want to know. So welcome new AB Friend and to Claire has two Books out that you can read and get some great factual info. Kind Regards Baroness x

    2. Maritzal,These are the books Claire Ridgway has out ,The Fall Of Anne Boleyn A Countdown and The Anne Boleyn Collection,you can get them on Amazon ,hope that helps. Regards Baroness

      1. th Baroness i would like to know more on Mary and Anne Boleyn and the tudors where they came from and how they came to power and of course if mary’s children were Henry’s?

  17. Tudor Rose

    I think the story of Katherine making a request for clothing for Margaret Pole has been misinterpreted and repeated over and over again by people who haven’t done their research thoroughly – the very sort of thing Teri is highlighting in her article on Gregory Cromwell.

    When you actually get down to the source it is a request from the Privy Council for the Queen’s tailor to provide the garments. At the same time they ask the King’s tailor to provide for Lord Lisle, also incarcerated. These were high profile prisoners who had to be seen to be treated with respect (even if behind closed doors they were having a hard time). There would be hundreds of garments in the Royal Wardrobe that could be recycled in cases like this. I very much doubt that Katherine knew anything about it, and she had no qualms about being granted some of Margaret Pole’s lands after she was butchered soon afterwards.

    The pardoning of Wyatt also, I think, was a stage-managed piece. It was done on an occasion when it was traditional for the Queen to plead for individuals. I don’t believe that what Katherine did had much bearing on a decision that had already been made. A tough old boy like Henry VIII would not have his mind changed by a slip of a girl like Katherine Howard.

    I would love to know the source for blankets for Margaret Pole being delivered to the Tower by barge. I have been working on Katherine for years and have never heard this before.

  18. I think your post is very interesting, and I like to read about Catherine Howard, it is my favorite of all king Henry viii wife’s …

  19. Claire, once again you have given us an enjoyable discussion of our favorite topic! Only on The Anne Boleyn Files can I find the stimulating discussions we all hunger for in our quest for the truth about Anne; as stated by others, many in my everyday life gets that “glazed” look when I bring the topic up. I am lucky that my husband alsohas a passion for a particular topic and recognizes that if he wants me to join in a discussion about his passion then he must return the favor!

    While it frustrates me at times when writers take too many liberties with historial fact and turns it into historical “might be” fact; I realize that unless they do get the ratings we don’t get the show. Why they think the facts won’t generate those ratings, I have no idea; but I can see where a scene showing Katherine H so fearful she urinates before her execution is more sensational than showing her giving a dignified and courageous speech asking for prayers. I guess we will have to accept the writers dilemma and have fun pointing out the errors – at least I did that with my husband although it drove him crazy because he said he couldn’t hear the show after I “pounced” on an error!

    At least we have the beautiful costumes and historical castles and manor houses (when they film there) to enjoy.

  20. I have read a couple of versions of the executions of Katherine Howard and Jane, Lady Rochford. It is true both ladies died with dignity and there is no evidence that Jane had gone potty or that she was was totally acting as a child at her execution. She also died after Katherine and not before her. In the Tudors Katherine had to watch her lady in waiting die, then put her head on a bloodied block. That is not what happened. Jane waited in the Queen’s house until Katherine had died and the block was cleaned and the scaffold washed down. She was then brought out, said a few words that were dignified and then died. She was not mad and she did not have to be held up. Both women were obviously afraid: but hid their fear as best they could. As to the myth of what Katherine said: I think she probably did add that she wished she died the wife of Thomas Culpepper; she was in love with him. There is also a tendency for so called eye witness historians to put speeches in the mouths of other people. It sells papers as they say.

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