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  • ID: I60779
  • Name: Catherine Howard
  • Given Name: Catherine
  • Surname: Howard
  • Sex: F
  • Birth: Abt 1520 in Lambeth
  • Note:
    Sources for this Information:
    date: abt 1521 [Ref: Paget HRHCharles p33] abt 1522 [Ref: Paget HRHCharles p94], place: Lambeth(?) [Ref: Paget HRHCharles p33], parents: [Ref: Paget HRHCharles p33, Paget HRHCharles p94], father: [Ref: CP IX p618f]
  • Death: 13 Feb 1542 in Beheaded
  • Note:
    Sources for this Information:
    date: [Ref: Paget HRHCharles p33, Paget HRHCharles p94] 1542 [Ref: CP IX p618f], place: [Ref: Paget HRHCharles p33]
  • Burial: Chapel, Of St. Peter, Ad Vincula, In Tower
  • _UID: 0948936585D942EF8852AC4CBC9FD5F9D3EF
  • Change Date: 28 Oct 2012 at 23:00
  • Note:
    Catherine Howard
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Catherine Howard (1520/1525? - February 13, 1542) was the fifth queen cons ort of Henry VIII of England 1540-1542, sometimes known as "the rose witho ut a thorn." She was born between 1520 and 1525, maybe 1521, probably in L ondon, the daughter of Lord Edmund Howard and granddaughter of the 2nd Du ke of Norfolk. She married Henry VIII on July 28, 1540, at Oatlands Pala ce in Surrey, having caught his eye even before his divorce from Anne of C leves was arranged.

    1 The Rise and Fall of Catherine Howard
    2 Catherine Howard in artwork
    3 In film
    4 Historiography
    5 External links

    The Rise and Fall of Catherine Howard
    It is hard to say precisely when Catherine was born, although it seems fa ir to say that it was at some point between 1520 and 1525. She was the nie ce of the Duke of Norfolk and a first cousin of Anne Boleyn. Catherine's f ather was Lord Edmund Howard, but he was constantly in debt and begging f or handouts. His powerful niece, Anne Boleyn, got him a government job wor king for the king in Calais in 1531. At this point, young Catherine was se nt to live with her step-grandmother, Agnes Tilney the Dowager Duche ss of Norfolk.

    The Dowager Duchess ran a large household, and she had numerous female a nd male attendants. The Dowager was often at Court and took little intere st in her wards. Thus, Catherine soon became involved in the numerous roma nces that existed in the house. At the age of eleven or twelve she beg an a romance with her music teacher, Henry Mannox. Although the two did n ot go so far as to become lovers, they did participate in some far-reachi ng foreplay. This affair came to an end when Catherine fell for a handso me young secretary, Francis Dereham. They did become lovers, and many of C atherine's room-mates knew of the affair. It ended in 1539 when Catherine 's uncle found her a place as lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII's new German w ife, Queen Anne of Cleves.

    As a young and very attractive teenager, Catherine soon caught the e ye of Anne's disenchanted husband, King Henry. Henry divorced Anne in Ju ly 1540 and married Catherine, who had been his mistress for the last f ew months. Henry was almost fifty, Catherine was still in her teens.

    Henry, old and obese, showered his young bride with wealth, jewels and ma ny more fantastically expensive gifts. Of course, he was unaware of her pa st and Catherine was praised throughout court as a young, virtuous queen.

    However, despite her wealth and power, Catherine found her marital relatio ns unappealing. She was repulsed by her husband's grotesque body, and soug ht romantic amusement elsewhere. She embarked upon a light-hearted roman ce with Henry's favourite male courtier, Thomas Culpeper. Their meetings w ere arranged by one of Catherine's older ladies-in-waiting, Lady Jane Roch ford. It is unclear whether Catherine and Thomas were ever lovers in the f ull sense of the word, but it is certainly possible.

    As Catherine's liaison with Culpeper progressed, she was contacted by peop le who had lived with her at her grandmother's. In order to buy their sile nce, she appointed many of them to her household. Most disastrously, she a ppointed Henry Mannox as one of her musicians and Francis Dereham as her p rivate secretary.

    In 1541, rumours began to grow about the queen's conduct. Protestant court iers who resented her family's power were delighted when one of Catherine 's old companions revealed the truth about Francis Dereham. The King refus ed to believe the charges at first, but there was too much evidence to ign ore them.

    Catherine was placed under close guard in her chambers, accompanied on ly by Lady Rochford. She was interrogated by the King's councillors many t imes. There was talk that she would be divorced and exiled, until someo ne discovered a love letter she had written to Culpeper. The charge now ch anged to adultery which, in a queen, meant treason.

    Catherine was imprisoned in an abbey in Middlesex through the winter of 15 41 and stripped of her title as queen. Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereh am were executed at Tyburn on December 8, 1541. The Queen's case was broug ht before parliament in January.

    She was taken to the Tower of London on 10 February 1542. The night befo re her execution, Catherine spent many hours practising how to lay her he ad upon the block. She died with dignity, but looked pale and terrified. H er speech asked for mercy for her family and prayers for her soul. Her dea th was extremely quick and she was buried in the nearby chapel where her c ousin, Anne Boleyn, also lay.

    Painters continued to include Jane Seymour in pictures of King Henry VI II years after she was dead, because Henry continued to look back on her w ith favour as the one wife who gave him a son; most of them copied the por trait by Hans Holbein the Younger because it was the only full-sized pictu re available. In the opposite situation, after Catherine Howard was execut ed, even the Howard family removed her picture from their family portra it gallery, because Henry never forgave her for her perfidy. Nobody dar ed make another portrait of her after she was dead.

    For centuries, a picture by Hans Holbein was believed to be of Catherin e, and some authorities said it is the only portrait of her that exists. S ome historians now doubt that the woman in the picture is Catherine. Recen tly historian Antonia Fraser has persuasively argued that the above portra it is one of Jane Seymour's sister, Elizabeth Seymour-Cromwell. The wom an bears a remarkable resemblance to Jane (especially around the chin) a nd she is wearing the clothes of a widow, which Catherine never had occasi on to wear but Elizabeth Seymour-Cromwell did. Furthemore, the age of t he sitter is given as twenty-one. However, Catherine never reached her twe nty-first birthday. Even if we accept the earliest possible date for her b irth 1520/1521, Catherine would not have turned twenty-one until late 15 41 or 1542 by which time she was either imprisoned or dead. If we accept t he more likely date for her birth as being 1525 then its possible that Cat herine did not even reach her seventeenth birthday. There is therefo re no possibility that the portrait of the lady in blue is Queen Catheri ne Howard.

    There is another picture of Catherine, a water-colour miniature (below, ri ght); it has been dated (from details about how she is dressed and how t he miniature is made) to the short period when Catherine was queen.

    This miniature watercolor is now believed by some historians to be a tr ue portrait of Catherine Howard. Her manner of dress and jewelry suggest h er identity.In it she is wearing the jewels remarkably similar to those Ja ne Seymour was wearing in her official portrait; these were jewels the rec ords show belonged to the crown, not to any queen personally, and the re is no record of their having been removed from the treasury and giv en to anyone else. The only other possibility is that the portrait shows H enry's Scottish niece, Lady Margaret Douglas, the mother-in-law of Mary Qu een of Scots. So, whilst it is almost certain that the above portrait is n ot Catherine Howard, but rather Henry's sister-in-law, Elizabeth Seymour-C romwell, the miniature shown above right is (possibly) Henry's unlucky fif th queen.

    In film
    Catherine first appeared on the silver screen in 1926, in the silent fi lm Hampton Court Palace, in which she was played by Gabrielle Morton. In 1 933, in The Private Life of Henry VIII, she was played by sultry British d ancer Binnie Barnes. In this comedy of manners, Catherine chooses to aband on love and ambitiously sets out to seduce the king. Her tragedy comes up on falling in love with the debonair and devoted Thomas Culpeper. This ina ccurate telling of Catherine's story dominates the film - which began wi th the execution of Anne Boleyn (played by Merle Oberon) and ended with He nry's marriage to Catherine Parr (played by Evelyn Gregg.)

    American actress Dawn Addams made a 10-second appearance as the doomed que en in the 1952 romantic film Young Bess, with Charles Laughton as Henry VI II, Stewart Granger as Thomas Seymour and Jean Simmons as Elizabeth I.

    In 1970, Angela Pleasance gave a melodramatic performance in a 90-minute B BC television drama Catherine Howard opposite Keith Michell as Henry VII I, Patrick Troughton as the duke of Norfolk and Sheila Burrell as Lady Roc hford. In this version of events a shrill, indulgent, cruel, hedonistic Ca therine uses the naļve Culpeper to try and get herself pregnant in ord er to secure her position. The characterisations and plot-lines were ve ry inaccurate - unusually, since the other 5 dramas in this series were wi dely praised in historical circles.

    Catherine Howard made a cameo appearance, played by Monika Dietrich, in t he 1971 slapstick British comedy Carry on Henry, with Sid James as Henry V III. Two years later, Lynne Frederick portrayed Queen Catherine in The S ix Wives of Henry VIII opposite Keith Michell as Henry VIII.

    In 2001, Michelle Abrahams played Catherine in Dr. David Starkey's televis ion documentary on Henry's queens. In 2003, Emily Blunt, potrayed a more s ympathetic portrayal of Catherine in the television drama Henry VIII whi ch chose to focus almost entirely on Catherine's sexual escapades. Once ag ain, her adultery was explained by her relatives' desire for her to get pr egnant. Ray Winstone appeared as Henry VIII.

    Victorian writer Agnes Strickland argued that Catherine had been innoce nt of all charges laid against her. Others, namely American historican Lac ey Baldwin Smith, described her life as one of "hedonism" and Catheri ne as a "juvenile delinquent." Alison Weir, in 1991, described her as " an empty-headed wanton."

    Others are more sympathetic--particularly Dr. David Starkey, who offered r evolutionary theories on Catherine's adultery, and feminist activist, Kar en Lindsey, who was sympathetic but realistic in her assessment of Catheri ne Howard's personality.

    External links
    Website focussing mainly on the Boleyn family, but with a section on Cathe rine's life
    A very brief overview of Catherine's lifebut accompanied by a very good po rtrait gallery
    Tales from the Tudor Rose Bar where Catherine appears as a sexy teenag er in a humourous tale of a Tudor Family re-union
    Cokayne, George Edward, Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct, or dormant. Gloucester: A Sutton, 1982.

    Paget, Gerald, The Lineage and Ancestry of H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. London: Charles Skilton Ltd, 1977. Nypl ARF+ 78-835.

    Weir, Alison, The Six Wives of Henry VIII. NY: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991. MCL 942.052

    Father: (Sir) Edmund Howard
    Mother: Joyce Culpeper b: 1481

    Marriage 1 Henry VIII Tudor b: 28 Jun 1491 in Palace, Greenwich c: in Church Of The Observants, Greenwich
    • Married: 28 Jul 1540 in Palace, Hampton Court
    • Note:
      Sources for this Information:
      date: [Ref: Paget HRHCharles p33] fifth marriage of Henry [Ref: Weir HenryVIII #2], place: [Ref: Paget HRHCharles p33], names: [Ref: CP IX p618f]
      Sources with Inaccurate Information:
      date: 8 Aug 1540 [Ref: Paget HRHCharles p94]
    • Change Date: 2 Sep 2011
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