Spotlight: Katherine Howard


Name: Katherine Howard

Title/s: Queen of England / Queen of France / Rose Without a Thorn

Birth / Death: c. 1521 – 13 February 1542

Spouse: Henry VIII of England 1491 – 1547

Children: None

Parents: Edmund Howard 1478 – 1539 & Joyce Culpepper 1480 – 1528

Siblings: Charles Howard / Henry Howard / George Howard 1519 – 1580 / Margaret Arundell ? – 1571 / Mary Trafford

Noble Connections: Her uncle was the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, making her cousin Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. During her childhood she was under the care of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. Another of her cousins was Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, which also made the future Elizabeth I her second cousin.

Events of their Lifetime: Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (1533), birth of Elizabeth I (1533), execution of Anne Boleyn (1536), Pilgrimage of Grace (1536), birth of Edward VI and death of Jane Seymour (1537), execution of Thomas Cromwell (1540).

Controversy: What is most controversial about Katherine Howard is her adultery – did she actually do the physical act with Culpeper or did it go no further than intention as both claimed when interrogated. And why did she offer Francis Dereham a position in her household, when he knew what had happened when she was younger?

Works of Fiction:
Dunn, Suzannah, The Confessions of Katherine Howard (2010)
Erickson, Carolly, The Unfaithful Queen (2012)
Gregory, Philippa, The Boleyn Inheritance (2006)
Haeger, Diane, The Queen’s Mistake (2009)
Madox Ford, Ford, The Fifth Queen (1908)
Peters, Maureen, Kathryn, the Wanton Queen (1967)
Peters, Maureen, Noonday Queen (1988)
Plaidy, Jean, Murder Most Royal (1949)
Plaidy, Jean, Rose Without a Thorn (1993)
Purdy, Emily, The Tudor Wife (2004)

Portrayals on Screen:
Michelle Abrams, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 2001, 1 episode
Binnie Barnes, The Private Life of Henry VIII, 1933, directed by Alexander Korda
Emily Blunt, Henry VIII, 2003, directed by Pete Travis
Monika Dietrich, Carry On Henry, 1971, directed by Gerald Thomas
Lynn Frederick, Henry VIII and his Six Wives, 1972, directed by Waris Hussein
Tamzin Merchant, The Tudors, 2009 – 2010, 6 episodes
Angela Pleasence, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 1970, 2 episodes

Further Reading:
Byrne, Conor, Katherine Howard: a New History (2014)
Denny, Joanna, Katherine Howard: a Tudor Conspiracy (2005)
Fraser, Antonia, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1992)
Lindsey, Karen, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: a Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII (1995)
Loades, David, Catherine Howard: the Adulterous Wife of Henry VIII (2012)
Loades, David, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1996)
Mackay, Lauren, Inside the Tudor Court: Henry VIII and His Six Wives Through the Writings of the Spanish Ambassador Eustace Chapuys (2014)
Nonny, Ann, The Merry Wives of Henry VIII: a Tudor Spoof Collection (2012)
Rival, Paul, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1971)
Smith, Lacey Baldwin, Catherine Howard (1961)
Starkey, David, Six Wives: the Queens of Henry VIII (2003)
Weir, Alison, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1991)

Arms:

Arms of Katherine Howard as Queen
Arms of Katherine Howard as Queen

Portraits:

Disputed portrait of Katherine Howard.
Disputed portrait of Katherine Howard.
Katherine Howard miniature by Hans Holbein.
Katherine Howard miniature by Hans Holbein.
Katherine Howard Sketch
Katherine Howard Sketch
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