Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Black hearted

In December 1535 Catherine of Aragon wrote to her husband Henry VIII and included her last will and testament.

 (Public domain image sourced from wikipedia).

Although she recognised herself as the his first wife, Henry himself did not do so, styling her only as the Dowager Duchess of York, a title she held when married to his older brother Arthur.  Their marriage had been declared invalid based on the idea that a man should not marry his brother's wife, some three years prior.  This had paved the way for Henry to marry his long term mistress, Anne Boelyn.  It had also disinherited Catherine's daughter, Mary, a fact which caused her great distress and one she refused to recognise.