The Marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine Howard

Posted By on July 28, 2010

On this day in history, the 28th July 1540*, Henry VIII married Catherine Howard. Henry VIII was 49 and Catherine was about 20 and it was again a love match, well, on Henry’s side anyway. He had fallen in love with his fourth wife’s maid , a girl Starkey describes as “petite, plump, pretty and accomplished in the Courtly graces” with “an easy charm and abundant store of good nature”, in the late spring of 1540.

But who was Catherine Howard?

Background

Catherine Howard was one of the youngest children of Edmund Howard and Jocasta Culpeper and was born around 1520/1521. Her father, Edmund, was the third son of Thomas Howard, the 2nd Duke of Norfolk, and his wife, Elizabeth Tilney, so Catherine was the niece of Thomas Howard, the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and cousin to Anne Boleyn.

Although she was a Howard, her father had not come to much. Anne Boleyn helped him obtain the position of the Controller of Calais in 1531 but he was dismissed from this position in 1539 and died shortly after. Catherine’s mother, Jocasta, was the eldest child and co-heiress of the Culpepers of Aylesford, Kent, and had been married before to Ralph Legh. She had five children with Legh before being widowed in around 1509/1510. She then married Edmund and had around 10 children with him before dying sometime in the late 1520s.

Early Life

Not much is known about Catherine Howard’s early life but David Starkey describes it as “a scrabbled childhood, with a dominant, providing mother, and a weak debt-ridden and… hen-pecked father.” Starkey also writes that her childhood was short, “marked by her mother’s death and her father’s remarriage and appointment to Calais” – Catherine was forced to grow up quickly. At around the age of 10 or 12, being considered a young woman, Catherine found herself being sent to the household of Agnes Howard (née Tilney), the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, her step-grandmother to complete her education. Her father had been left with around 10 children to bring up and so farmed them out to different relatives to ease his burden.

Life with the Dowager Duchess

The Dowager Duchess had houses at both Horsham and Lambeth, and Catherine found herself placed in the Maidens’ Chamber, a large dormitory where the Duchess’s wards, young, unmarried women of gentle or noble birth, slept together. The young women were taught music by a music master and reading and writing by the Duchess’s clerks and secretaries, and Starkey compares the household to “a slackly run boarding school” run by the Duchess who was “an imperious but ineffectual headmistress.” The young gentleman of the house were able to get into the girls’ dormitory and “there was excessive fraternisation between pupils and staff”.

Henry Manox was employed by the Duchess in around 1536 to teach Catherine to play the virginals. Manox promptly fell in love with Catherine, but the affair was put to an end by the Duchess who found the pair alone and “gave… Mrs Catherine two or three blows and gave straight charge both to her and to… Manox that they should never be alone together.”

Catherine soon forget Manox when she met Francis Dereham, a Howard cousin and “gentleman servitor” to the Duchess. His higher class and position meant that he could win Catherine’s affections with gifts and love tokens and it wasn’t long before Catherine was persuading Mary Lascelles, the Duchess’s chamberer, to steal the key of the Maidens’ Chamber, which the Duchess would lock the dorm with every night, so that she could grant Dereham, and various other gentleman, admission. A jealous Manox attempted to put a stop to the relationship by informing the Duchess of the goings-on in the girls’ dormitory, via an anonymous letter, but although the Duchess did remonstrate with the girls, she did not take it very seriously and the night visits continued. We can only imagine what the girls got up to!

A Queen’s Maiden

In late 1539, Catherine was chosen to serve Anne of Cleves when she became queen and she left the Duchess’s household for Court, leaving Dereham behind her. Starkey writes of how her name was soon linked to Thomas Culpeper, a relative of her mother’s and a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber. It was even rumoured that they would marry, but Starkey writes of how quarrels caused the couple to drift apart. It was then that Catherine caught the eye of the King and it seems that it was love at first sight (for the King). Starkey quotes the Dowager Duchess as saying “the King’s Highness did cast a fantasy to Catherine Howard the first time that ever his Grace saw her.”

A Royal Marriage

According to Lacey Baldwin Smith and David Loades, the couple married on the 28th July 1540 at Oatlands. The King had managed to get his marriage to Catherine’s mistress, Anne of Cleves, annulled just a few days before his fifth marriage and was keen to start a new life with his young “rose without a thorn”. Henry had not been attracted to his fourth wife and had been experiencing sexual problems, namely impotence, however, Loades writes of how the King just couldn’t keep his hands off Catherine, even in public. The King was at last happy and showered his young bride with jewels, clothes and estates, but his happiness was rather short-lived and it was not long before the ecstatic King was brought down to earth with a resounding bump.

Trouble in Paradise

Henry’s energy began to wane after a few months of marriage and in March 1541 his leg ulcer closed up and the King became seriously ill, it was even thought at one point that he would die. His illness, weight gain and the pain he was suffering caused him to be bad-tempered and unpredictable, and the King, aware that he was not looking his best, refused to see Catherine for nearly a fortnight. When he did finally see his wife, it must have been difficult for the young woman to handle his mood swings and please him, and it was around this time that Catherine renewed her relationship with Thomas Culpeper.

People often ask “What was she thinking?” and it is astounding that Catherine did not realise that her relationship with Culpeper could well be her undoing. Clearly, the young woman was not attracted to the huge, bad-tempered King, although she may have been fond of him, and Loades points out that the womanizing Culpeper may have established a hold on Catherine, intending to marry her upon the King’s death. He probably set out to seduce Catherine, who was feeling rejected, lonely and frustrated, and Loades writes of how Catherine “needed the gratification of Culpeper’s advances, and may even have believed that she would be more pleasing to Henry if she kept herself in good practice.” Whatever the cause of the relationship, it is apparent from the one surviving letter from Catherine to Culpeper that she was very much enamoured by him. Helped by the principal lady of her chamber, Lady Jane Rochford, Catherine had secret assignations with Culpeper throughout the royal progress of July and August 1541. Catherine also, unwisely, appointed Francis Dereham as her private secretary in August 1541 and she had also allowed her old friend, Joan Bulmer, to join her household. David Loades writes:-

“Catherine had simply given too many hostages to fortune, and the remarkable thing is that Henry’s self-deception was allowed to continue for as long as it did.”

The Beginning of the End

Gossip surrounded the Queen on the royal progress, but Catherine got away with her very inappropriate behaviour and colourful past until John Lascelles, brother of Mary Hall (née Lascelles) from Catherine’s past, opened his big mouth on the 1st November 1541 and told Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, of Catherine’s past. Lascelles knew nothing of Culpeper but his story raised concerns about Catherine’s virginity, or lack of it, and a possible precontract between her and Dereham. On the 2nd November, Cranmer gave the King a note at mass regarding what he had learned, but the King did not believe it and ordered a secret enquiry to clear his wife’s name. Lascelles and his sister were interviewed and the Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas Wriothesley, arrested Dereham and detained Henry Manox. Mary Hall confirmed that what she had told her brother was true and the two men confessed. The King was still not willing to believe that his bride was not the virginal rose he thought she was, but Catherine was still ordered to keep to her chamber. In the meantime, Catherine’s ladies were questioned and Dereham implicated Thomas Culpeper. On the 7th November, Catherine was interrogated by Cranmer and her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk. At the start of the interrogation, Catherine wept and proclaimed her innocence, but started telling the truth the following day.

Bigamy and Adultery

During interrogation, Francis Dereham had confessed to having sexual intercourse with Catherine Howard but claimed that they had been contracted to marry. As I said in my guest post at The Tudor Tutor – http://tudortutor.com/2010/07/22/be-my-guest-claire-ridgeway-part-1/ -a promise of marriage, whether written or verbal, was binding if consummated, so Catherine was a bigamist if Dereham was telling the truth. David Loades writes that the contract between her and Dereham may well have saved Catherine’s life, if she had admitted to it, because it would have made her marriage to the King null and void and would have allowed Henry to annul the marriage easily, BUT, Catherine denied any such contract.

Catherine then went on to write a letter of confession to the King, begging for his mercy and stating that her relationship with Dereham had ended “almost a year before the King’s Majesty was married to my lady Anna of Cleves”, but the King’s Council were now aware of Culpeper, who subsequently confessed to a recent relationship with the Queen. Catherine was moved to Syon and her household at Hampton Court Palace was broken down on the 13th November. When questioned again by Cranmer and Wriothesley, Catherine admitted to having secret meetings with Culpeper but refused to confess to adultery. She laid the blame on Culpeper, for wanting the meetings, and on Lady Jane Rochford for organising them. Culpeper admitted to the meetings but denied full blown sex, although he confessed that he did intend to sleep with the Queen and that the Queen also desired it. We will never know the truth of the situation, but even though Catherine and Culpeper may not have consummated their relationship, it seems that they would have given the opportunity to.

By the 22nd November, the Council had decided that Catherine, Dereham and Culpeper were guilty and Catherine was stripped of her title of Queen. On the 1st December, Dereham and Culpeper pleaded guilty of treason at Guildhall and were both sentenced to a traitor’s death. Both men petitioned the King to commute their death to beheading but only Culpeper was successful. On the 10th December 1541:-

“Culpeper and Dereham were drawn from the Tower of London to Tyburn, and there Culpeper, after an exhortation made to the people to pray for him, he standing on the ground by the gallows, kneeled down and had his head stricken off; and then Dereham was hanged, membered, bowelled, headed, and quartered [and both] their heads set on London Bridge.” Wriothesley, Chronicle, I, p. 131

Following the executions of Dereham and Culpeper, many Howard relatives, including the Dowager Duchess and Lord William, were arrested and on the 22nd December, the Howards, with the exception of the Duke of Norfolk, were tried, found guilty and imprisoned. Fortunately for them, they were later pardoned and released, Catherine was not so lucky.

On the 21st January 1542 the Bill of Attainder against Catherine Howard, the former queen, was introduced into Parliament and on the 11th February Catherine’s death warrant became legal. Two days later, on the 13th February 1542, Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s “rose without a form”, was executed. Contrary to the execution scene of “The Tudors” – SPOILER ALERT! – Catherine did not wet herself or have to watch Jane Rochford get beheaded first. The executions were done in order of rank and Catherine, as the former queen, went first. Eye witness, Ottwell Johnson, wrote of her “steadfast countenance” and “constancy” and Jane Rochford’s biographer, Julia Fox, writes of how Catherine addressed the crowd, acknowledging her faults, stating her faith in Christ and asking the people to pray for her. She followed the usual convention and choreography of executions and did not shout out “I die a Queen, but I would rather have died the wife of Culpeper”, although I wish she had! Her head was then taken off with one blow off the executioner’s axe and her remains buried in the Tower chapel, the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.

Catherine Howard’s Resting Place

In the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, there is a floor marker, a memorial tile, at the altar. Visitors to the chapel today are not able to see Catherine’s memorial floor tile because it is underneath the altar table. However, it is just a memorial tile, rather than a grave marker, because Catherine’s body was not found and identified in 1876-7 when restoration work was carried out. The Victorians believed that lime destroyed Catherine’s young bones but knew that she had been buried somewhere in the vicinity. Alison Weir thinks that it is possible that the bones identified as belonging to Anne Boleyn actually belonged to Catherine Howard because they belonged to a petite young woman with a square jaw. Here is the description from Doyne C Bell’s “Notices of he Historic Persons Buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London”:-

“Dr Mouat… at once pronounced them to be those of a female of between twenty-five and thirty years of age, of a delicate frame of body, and who had been of slender and perfect proportions; the forehead and lower jaw were small and especially well formed.”

In the full report by Dr Mouat, he mentions that the lower part of the face must have been “moderately full, with a somewhat square chin” and I can see why Weir thinks that this is more like the miniature of Catherine Howard rather than the portraits of Anne, with her long face. Who knows?! What we do know, however, is that both women were buried there somewhere.

*David Starkey dates the marriage to the 8th August 1540 at Hampton Court Palace but Lacey Baldwin Smith and David Loades date it to the 28th July 1540 at Oatlands.

You can read more about Catherine’s fall and execution in the following articles:-

Notes and Sources

28 thoughts on “The Marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine Howard”

  1. Matterhorn says:

    ‘Jocasta Culpeper,’ what an unusual name!

    I feel very sorry for Catherine, but I still think it’s incredible how foolishly she behaved, especially with the story of Anne Boleyn in the near past!

  2. mickey mayhew says:

    I’m reading the Joanna Denny book on her right now but it reads more like a general history lesson than a book about Katherine; I hate these authors who bypass the lack of research with general knowledge best suited to a textbook! I’m all for setting the scene, but really…and I’m not buying that Katherine was as innocent as Denny makes out either; and her anti-catholic stand, already offensive in the Boleyn book, is almost plain prejudice here

  3. Claire says:

    I haven’t read that one yet. Lacey Baldwin Smith’s book on Catherine has a lot of information on Tudor life as a context to Catherine’s life but also because so little is known about Catherine. Joanna Denny probably researched her but there just isn’t the info out there and so she had to fill the book with general knowledge. I guess that you wouldn’t recommend it then?!

  4. mickey mayhew says:

    I’d recommend any Tudor book of course, but I as I read I keep rolling my eyes and thinking, get back the story!!

  5. miladyblue says:

    I read somewhere that Thomas Cromwell was executed on Henry and Kathryn’s wedding day. What a ghoulish way to celebrate one’s nuptials, not to mention, was tragically foreshadowing the bride’s fate.

    Another question comes up, a John Lascelles was executed about the same time as Anne Askew – was it this particular gentleman who blew the whistle on Kathryn Howard?

    One last comment is that Kathryn denied her engagement/marriage to Dereham either out of ignorance, or social mores, because he was of a much lesser family than her own. She could have saved her life, and probably Dereham’s too, had she been willing to admit to it, but she adamantly denied the possibility.

    On the other hand, even though it would have annulled her marriage to Henry, isn’t it likely some other charges could have been manufactured against the two, for the “humiliation” of making Henry an adulterer?

    1. Shaestel says:

      In regards to the comment on John Lascelles, yes it was the same man who reported Katherine’s past to Cranmer, who was executed with Anne Askew for heresy. His efforts in religious reform, and his dying a Protestant martyr, adds some weight to his accusations against Katherine, a highly prominent Howard and thus powerful and influential Catholic. A theory of mine is that Katherine’s downfall was definitely a symptom of the reformation (that her own cousin, and another of Henry’s wives, had initiated, no less.) The push to incriminate, and then depose Katherine made was conducted by predominantly Protestants; Lascelles and Cranmer to name two.

  6. Eliza says:

    I can’t understand how Henry didn’t figure out that Catherine wasn’t a virgin when they slept together.. He was supposed to have a lot of experience with women.

    Miladyblue, I also think that Henry would have invented something to get Catherine executed… Just liek he did with Anne. Although in Anne’s case, he was too keen on getting rid of her. He got her executed within days, while in the case of her cousin months had to pass…

    1. epiphany says:

      No, actually, Henry had relatively few bed partners – he was too romantic to sleep with women strictly for sex, at least on a regular basis. He needed an emotional involvement was well to really enjoy it. Also, it wouldn’t be difficult for a woman to convince a man she’s a virgin – do you REALLY believe they’re that sharp that they could tell? Women faked virginity frequently back when that sort of thing was required in a bride. Not to be crude, but they simple had to pretend it was painful, hide a little vial of blood under the pillow, and pour it on the sheets after hubby fell asleep.
      Instant deflowered virgin!

  7. Tudorrose says:

    Catherine lost her mother at a very young age as she did her father but before her father died he sent her away like he did with Catherines other siblings to live firstly in Horsham house in Sussex and then second Lambeth palace in London where she lived with her Uncle Thomas Howard the third Duke of Norfolk and step-grandmother the Duchess Agnes Tilney, nee Howard upon her marriage to Thomas Howard the second Duke of Norfolk which in due course left her a widow.Catherine then after a while went to Lambeth in which she went not of her fathers according this time but of her households accordance.Horsham and Lambeth had been principle residences of a Duke and Duchess back in England during the Tudor era as Lambeth was the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury and still is today. Catherines mother was also known as Joyce aswell as Jocasta Culpepper. Catherine was petite, pretty, plump aswell as uninhibited in her behaviour which means if true that she did some things or a lot of things out in the open, maybe even things that should have been kept private possibly. I would say that Catherine was a bio-product not just of her times but of her upbrining also, it seems that she was never taught certain things like how to behave aswell as being taught right from wrong. Catherine was also not one of the most brightest ladies of her time which also could explain for some of her behaviour and the people responsible for looking after her aswell as many others at these households in which she stayed at would never have worked hence the number of people residing at Horsham and Lambeth at the time, The Duke or Duchess would not have been able to keep an eye on Catherine all of the time or been able to consentrate aaswell as be fixed on one person at the time it just would not have been able to be done full stop even though this is what Catherine should have had in her life, she seemed liked she needed someone but in reality had no one there for her, no one to guide her, show her what to do, tell her what to do, it seems to me that Catherine was just left to get on with her life and way of being as were the others that lived at the households, little did her step-grandmother or little did her uncle know her and what she was like as a person, I doubt that her own parents even knew her, well Catherines can be excused on the subject as she passed when Catherine was but a small child but I would have thought the father possibly may or must have knwn something about his daughter and the way that she was but as he had ten siblings in total to look after I doubt this very much. I have to say that Catherine bears some sort of resemblance to her cousin Anne Boleyn not in the way that she looks but in her behaviour somewhat, not in everything but in a few ways. Also they both were brunette with brown eyes, wearas the rest of all off King Henry VIII’s wives seemed to fair and pale. Though at least Anne had a familly by her side, Catherine had none. The simmilarities that I have noticed between Catherine and Anne apart from the obvious both being tried for adultery and as I mentioned before both being brunette, they really did not seem to have much if at all any luck in their lives apart from being able to catch the kings eye and becoming queen, both of their marriages to the king seemed to end on a bad note, they were also both inappropriate in some way in their behaviours also Anne was known to have laughed a lot and Catherine in her portrait seemes to be smiling slightly on the left side of her face, could you say that she had the Anne Boleyn syndrome?
    Catherine had been a keen dancer in her life, her favourite colour of gown to dance in was said to be silver and as far as I know this is all that she liked to do aswell as flirt and be pampered aswell as flattered by the her husband the King of England It was at Horsham she was to meet her music master a man named Henry Mannox with whom she had a dalliance before she met a man name Dereham, as far as Dereham goes I do not think that they were ever husband and wife, I think that they just liked to call eachother so, hence this idea that Catherine Howard was some sort of bigamist which I highly doubt was true in the slightest. I think that she loved Dereham as she put him in her service upon marriage to the king as her private secretary which gave inclination that there was still something between them when her adulteries hence affairs came to light, they undoubtedly still had feeling for one another but wether they were still continuing on as a couple after Catherine married the King I have no idea as her attentions as Dereham once said under torture seemed to have passed on from him to Culpepper who happened to be a usher and gentleman of the privy chamber. Catherine said that there had been nothing been going on with her Dereham since a year before the King married married Anne of Cleves which means that upon marriage to the King in 1540 her and Dereham had been out of a relationship for a year. I have no reason to doubt this at all, I think it seems plausable enough. As for Culpepper it is hard to know what exactly happened between them, I would say that there was most probable flirting going on there an exchange of a love note as we know but all evidence points to it being a platonic one as Starkey would suggest and have us think, if proven to be true then the allegation of an affair would have to be proven false thus making Catherine aswell as Dereham plus Culpepper innocent and as a result we would have another Anne Boleyn case on our hands. I kind of agree with him, well what is known for sure is that Catherine deffinately loved Culpepper but as far as Culpepper it is hard to say aswell as know for sure as he never replied back to her letter or if he did it now no longer exists.I would like to think that there was love between them both. Catherine in my mind wanted to have her King and her lover and this is how I have always seen this.She wanted the King for numerous certain things as she did Francis Dereham, as she did Thomas Culpepper. Catherine wanted Henry for the power, the privilage it gave her aswell as her familly being in that position, the wealth, which is deffinately something that she would have never of got from Dereham or Culpepper in her life time and she wanted men of her age for the romance and those men just happened to be Dereham and Culpepper.
    I have always wondered what happened to Mannox as by this time he seems to go off the scene and is never heard of or from again, it was probably he whom taught her to dance.

  8. kittyhowardxx96 says:

    tudor rose, how could u say such comments about queen cahterine she was an innocent victim of child sex abuse do please remember she was only only 11 when she lost her virginty to henry manox poor child then she was forced into to marrige by her uncle the duke of norfolk like bait to a fish then her only crime was falling in love with a man her own age!!! what do u expect if u were in her postion married 2 an old incredibly wealthy king wouldn’t u want 2 spend money afterall she was queen of england!!!

  9. Claire says:

    Hi miladyblue,
    You’re right about John Lascelles, he was a friend of Anne Askew and was burned alongside her for his Protestant beliefs.
    As far as the whole Dereham affair was concerned, Catherine probably thought that she’d be in even deeper trouble if she confessed to a contract between them.

  10. Claire says:

    Hi Tudorrose,
    Thank you so much for your comprehensive comment. Regarding Francis Dereham, in Tudor times if a promise of marriage, either written or verbal, was witnessed by 2 people and then consummated, it was a legal marriage, and Alison Weir, in her recent talk on “The Monstrous Regiment of Women” at the Mary Rose Museum, stated that this was how many Tudor marriages began, they did not bother with an actual marriage ceremony. We obviously don’t know whether the promise was witnesses, but it is likely that in a shared dormitory other people knew of the promise and Catherine and Dereham called each other husband and wife. If only Catherine had confessed to it!

  11. Claire says:

    Hi kittyhowardxx96,
    I’m not sure that the Manox relationship can be interpreted as child abuse because if you believe that Catherine was born in around 1520/21, as many historians now do, she would have been 15/16 when Manox was employed in 1536. In Tudor times, it was believed that girls were ready for a sexual relationship at around the age of 12, so what we may consider child abuse today was not so in Tudor times. However, Manox could be seen to be taking advantage of his position as music teacher and taking advantage of Catherine.

    As far as her behaviour with Culpeper is concerned, it was incredibly foolish, particularly as she would have known what happened to Anne Boleyn. Arranged marriages were the norm in Tudor times and it was not usual to marry for love, so Catherine’s arranged marriage to Henry VIII was entirely normal and the Duke of Norfolk would have just been doing his job as Catherine’s ward. Girls and women were chattels to use to obtain status and wealth for the family. Infidelity was against the law, although it was seen as acceptable for a male courtier to have his “bit on the side”, but a woman was risking her life by committing adultery. Catherine as Queen was supposed to be a model of virtue that other women could look up to and should have guarded her reputation fiercely. She was incredibly naive if she thought she could get away with secret meetings with Culpeper. Whether they actually had sex or not, the secret meetings were evidence of a relationship.

    Anyway, I am not attacking Catherine, just trying to put her behaviour into a Tudor context in line with the ways and beliefs of the time. Poor Catherine did not deserve to die and I expect that she was simply looking for some love and attention as her upbringing had lacked both.

  12. Eliza says:

    Wow. I can’t imagine being that young and forced to put up with an obese husband who had your cousin beheaded. If I were Kathryn, I’d be a nervous wreck for the entire marriage. I think it was stupid to have her little dalliance, be it physical or emotional, with Culpepper, yet I don’t blame her. Does that make sense?

  13. Carly says:

    Hello – I am a huge Anne Boleyn fan, and have been reading this site for quite some time, but this is my first post! I truly enjoy reading all of the posts and comments.

    I have a kind of hypothetical question – Katherine was of course aware of her cousin and her fate, but was there any sort of trepidation on her part in marrying the king? Did she expect the same fate, and perhaps THAT was why she was so careless? Most interpretations of Katherine Howard show her as willingly marrying the king, and in being his fifth wife, I can’t imagine that happening, no matter how young and/or silly a person is. I would think that her cousin’s fate would have always been in the back of her mind. Are there no historical documents that mention how aware Katherine remained of Anne’s beheading?

    Personally, I’ve always noticed some physical similarities between Katherine and Anne, and have thought that perhaps Henry was trying to go back to the “good old days” when he had a young, pretty, vivacious wife.

  14. Claire says:

    Hi Eliza,
    I understand what you mean, there must have been a lot of pressure on Catherine and I think that she just craved love and attention.

  15. Claire says:

    Hi Carly,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. We just don’t know how Catherine felt about marrying Henry, perhaps she was happy and excited because it made her Queen and Henry showered her with gifts. Although Anne was her cousin, perhaps Anne’s death didn’t mean much to the younger Catherine because she had never known Anne and was not at court at the time. I have found no evidence of Catherine’s feelings about what happened to Anne or her awareness of events.

  16. Tudorgenealogist says:

    I am hoping that one of you guys may be able to help me wth my family tree.

    I am directly related to Margaret Mundy who married Catherine’s father, Lord Edmund Howard, after the death of Catherine’s mother Jocasta. According to the wikipedia page for Margaret’s father (Sir John Mundy), Margaret remarried after Edmund’s death. The husband is listed as one Henry Mannox.

    Does anybody know if this is the same Henry Mannox who had the relationship with Catherine? And what ever happened to Henry?

  17. Conor Byrne says:

    And she was probably born around 1522-3, being 17-18 when she married Henry, 13 or 14 when she was involved with Manox and 18-19 when she died.

  18. William says:

    This website was really helpful towards my History Homework!
    Thank you all sososososososo much

  19. Lola says:

    Helpful thank-you!

  20. Katie Peterson says:

    Yes Katheryn Howard was used & abused constantly being sexually molested as a little girk. Instead of receiving parental love & guidence. She was basically abandoned. warehoused like an stray animal at the local pet shelter. She was a fragile CHILD! Her acting out was desparate grasp for love. It’s not shocking at all her behavior. Pretty much a lot of molested children continue sexual behavior “acting out.” Their total view on proper relationships & love is retarded. Then to be fished out of the shelter stuck in some fancy clothes & expected to perform with diseased old pig of a man. Omg that poor doomed girl. This is exactly why in today’s society we have laws to protect CHILDREN. I feel Katheryn doomed just by simply having the last name Howard. She needed a hero…to which there was none.

    1. Banditqueen says:

      Although her tutor took advantage, he didn’t constantly abuse her. His relationship with her was not child abuse, but it was one that was oppressive and he overstepped his care towards her. He went too far and definitely used grooming behaviour.

      Katherine was not abandoned or farmed out. Her mother died when she was young and her father remarried, could not support his family as he was always in debt and was sent to Calais. Her ward wss her uncle the Duke of Norfolk and he placed her in the care of her step grandmother. She lived there with other relatives and girls her age and was given a proper female education. When her grandmother discovered what went on she chided Katherine and Mannox and ensured that they were not left alone.

      Katherine moved when she was about 15 to Lambeth and here learned all she needed to run a great household and prepare for marriage. Moving into a nt household was common practice, but the degree of supervision in this case was lax. Oh Katherine was chaperoned and supervised but the girls stole the keys and let young gentlemen from the household in. They shared wine and strawberries and one gentleman Francis Dereham became her lover. ALL of the evidence points to a consensual sexual relationship, with talk of being engaged and calling each other husband and wife. It was not abuse. Contrary to popular myth, child abuse was recognised and prosecuted in Tudor England. Katherine at this time was not a child and to be quite honest I am a little fed up with her being called one. She was passed the age of consent and not considered a child. We can’t enforce our ideas on the sixteenth century.

      When Katherine came to court to serve Anne of Cleves she and her fellows were all simular in age. Ages among her friends ranged from 16 or 17 up to early 20s. Katherine was most accurately aged 17 in 1539 at the time of her appointment to Anne of Cleves. The Duke most probably had arranged for her appointment in the hope of a good marriage, but it was at her grandmother house at Lambeth in 1540 that the King came to pay court to her. Henry courted Katherine and yes, her family arranged her marriage, as was usual, but she was not forced to marry Henry. She was also well treated by Henry, but at times he became ill and she was excluded from his presence. Given his condition though, his ulcers bursting, he was protecting her as she was not mature enough to care for him; his doctors did that. We can’t be certain if Henry had intermittent impotence, but it was possible, although he does seem to have been delighted with his bride and most of the time things were good. Rumours that he may return to Anne of Cleves were dismissed and Katherine was being reassured a lot. However, Katherine found a new distraction.

      Thomas Culpeper was a member of the King’s privy chamber, not Katherine’s household. They had a relationship before she was married to Henry. When Henry sent him to Katherine with gifts she became fond of him and determined to sed him privately. Jane Rochford arranged a secret meeting. From then on messages went back and forth and a relationship developed during the northern progress. Katherine had Jane find places for them to meet and they were together many a night for several hours at each stop. It is not clear that they had sex or just conversation but these meetings were foolish and reckless. They were, however, by mutual consent. Culpeper did not rape her, nor did Dereham.

      Francis Dereham turned up at court and asked for a position, which she granted, but his role seems undefined as she already had several secretaries. He boasted about his early life and became a nuisance. When questioned he denied adultery but named Culpeper as his successor. Henry made a careful investigation that lasted several weeks. He was distraught at the news of Katherines alleged betrayal. Henry became depressed and withdrawn. Katherine was terrified and it was not clear what would happen next. Although adultery was pretty treason it was seen as a sin, but she had denied a precontract with Dereham before her marriage, even though this is what her earlier relationship with him was..Her alleged lovers were accused of planning to sleep with her and a charge of planning the King’s demise was alleged. It is called presumption of treason…they were found guilty on what they intended to do, not their actions.

      Once the two men had been tried and executed it was only a matter of time before Katherine was. Parliament met and passed a bill in which the crime is laid out and she and Jane Rochford for helping her found guilty. It was not a trial. Henry decided against a trial. In this Katherine was condemned as much for her earlier life, rather unfairly and alleged intention to marry one of her lovers. She may not have deserved death, but the law was made to condemn her. In the end she died bravely and well.

      Katherine was not yet 21 but more probably about 19 when she died, young, foolish but not a ninny or a whore as portrayed in the Tudors. She was actually a confident and effective queen, generous and caring. She loved dancing and music and was good for the ageing king. She showed compassionate mercy towards several people condemned to death or prison and succeeded in helping them. She was an adult, not a child. She had a hero and she betrayed him.

  21. Kathleen says:

    Does anyone know if there is any truth to the insinuation in the Tudors show that Katherine practiced some kind of birth control? Is there any information that she ever got pregnant? Would Henry have wondered why not?

  22. Jayne says:

    Henry VIII died of a sexually disease and had many mistresses and was never faithful to any of his wives. However he would not permit this action against him so he was a complete hypocrite and wanted the best of both worlds. This has happened throughout the Royal family as prince Charles famously said to Diana, ‘Do you think I will be the only Prince of Wales that doesn’t have a mistress’.
    Henry VIII acted like a spoilt brat and it has been confirmed that he was the one with a medical condition that didn’t produce the right sperm to have healthy male heirs, not the women in his life.Of course he would always blame the women and not him, if you disagreed with him he will have your head cut off. What a unpleasant form of human being who could never be told the truth for fear of being beheaded when you tried.

    1. Claire says:

      Please can you share your sources. I’ve never read anything to suggest that Henry VIII died of a sexually transmitted disease and there is no evidence that he even suffered from one. His remains have never been exhumed to be tested so it also cannot be said that he had a medical condition that affected his sperm. Please can you share what you’re basing your ideas on? Thanks so much.

  23. Maybeth Shirah says:

    I get so angered by the hypocrisy of Tudor court. Henry wanted to get rid of Anne Boleyn and his supporters cooked up a plot to make it happen. But when he was besotted with Katherine and happy to have finally found his rose without a thorn why didn’t they help him keep her? They could have done it. They could have painted black to white and turned thorns into rose petals. They could have protected her from her own ignorance too. I’ve read that Katherine was kind and generous as well as fun-loving…she sounds like the young Henry. I wish she’d had a guardian angel at court..

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