|1457||28 January||Birth of Henry VII|
|1466||11 February||Birth of Elizabeth of York|
|1485||22 August||Henry VII defeats Richard III at Battle of Bosworth|
|16 September||Birth of Katherine of Aragon|
|30 October||Coronation of Henry VII|
|1486||18 January||Marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York|
|20 September||Birth of Prince Arthur|
|1487||17 June||Defeat of Lambert Simnel at Battle of Stoke|
|1489||28 November||Birth of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland|
|1491||28 June||Birth of Henry VIII|
|1496||18 March||Birth of Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk|
|1499||28 November||Execution of Edward, Earl of Warwick|
|1501||14 November||Marriage of Katherine of Aragon and Prince Arthur|
|1502||2 April||Death of Prince Arthur|
|1503||11 February||Death of Elizabeth of York|
|8 August||Marriage of Margaret Tudor and James IV of Scotland|
|1509||21 April||Death of Henry VII and accession of Henry VIII|
|11 June||Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon|
|24 June||Coronation of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon|
|29 June||Death of Margaret Beaufort|
|1511||1 January||Birth of Henry, Duke of Cornwall|
|1513||16 August||Battle of the Spurs|
|9 September||Defeat of James IV of Scotland at Battle of Flodden|
|1515||22 September||Birth of Anne of Cleves|
|1516||18 February||Birth of Mary I|
|1519||15 June||Birth of Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy|
|1520||7 June||Beginning of the Field of the Cloth of Gold|
|24 June||End of the Field of the Cloth of Gold|
|1521||17 May||Execution of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham|
|17 October||Pope grants Henry VIII title ‘Defender of the Faith’|
|1533||25 January||Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn|
|1 June||Coronation of Anne Boleyn|
|7 September||Birth of Elizabeth I|
|1534||20 April||Execution of Elizabeth Barton, Nun of Kent|
|1535||6 July||Execution of Thomas More|
|1536||7 January||Death of Katherine of Aragon|
|19 May||Execution of Anne Boleyn|
|30 May||Marriage of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour|
|23 July||Death of Henry Fitzroy|
|2 October||Beginning of the Lincolnshire Rising / Pilgrimage of Grace|
|1537||12 October||Birth of Edward VI|
|24 October||Death of Jane Seymour|
|1540||6 January||Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves|
|9 July||Annulment of marriage between Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves|
|28 July||Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine Howard, execution of Thomas Cromwell|
|1541||27 May||Execution of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury|
|1542||13 February||Execution of Katherine Howard|
|1543||12 July||Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine Parr|
|1545||19 July||Sinking of the Mary Rose|
|1546||16 July||Execution of Anne Askew|
|1547||19 January||Execution of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey|
|28 January||Death of Henry VIII and accession of Edward VI|
|10 September||Battle of Pinkie Cleugh|
|1548||5 September||Death of Katherine Parr|
|1549||20 March||Execution of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour|
|1552||22 January||Execution of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset|
|1553||6 July||Death of Edward VI|
|10 July||Proclamation of Jane Grey as queen|
|19 July||Overthrow of Jane Grey and accession of Mary I|
|22 August||Execution of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland|
|1 October||Coronation of Mary I|
|1554||12 February||Execution of Jane Grey|
|25 July||Marriage of Mary I and Philip II of Spain|
|1555||16 October||Execution of Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London|
|1556||21 March||Execution of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury|
|1557||16 July||Death of Anne of Cleves|
|1558||17 November||Death of Mary I and accession of Elizabeth I|
|1559||15 January||Coronation of Elizabeth I|
|1587||8 February||Execution of Mary Queen of Scots|
|1588||19 July||First sighting of the Spanish Armada off the English coast|
|29 July||Battle of Gravelines and defeat of Spanish Armada|
|1601||25 February||Execution of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex|
|1603||24 March||Death of Elizabeth I and accession of James I|
Portcullis, greyhound, crowned Tudor rose, crowned hawthorn bush, red dragon
The portcullis is currently the symbol for parliament, an institution of justice and law, which Henry VII did revolutionise during his reign. The portcullis was also representative of his royal blood through his mother, Margaret Beaufort, as it was the symbol of her house.
Red is typically the colour that represents both military strength and magnanimity. The dragon represents valour and protection, and appears on the Welsh flag. This is possibly to demonstrate Henry’s Welsh roots (he was born in Wales, and the Tudor name is Welsh).
The greyhound represents courage, loyalty and vigilance. Henry VII courageously took the crown on the battlefield, and was vigilant for anyone looking to take it away from him. He appears to have been loyal to his wife, and we don’t know for sure of any illegitimate children he may have had, or even any mistresses. Continue reading
Genre/s: Historical / Drama / Romance
Setting: London, Kimbolton, Buckden (England)
Characters: Henry VIII / Katherine of Aragon / Prince Arthur / Mary I / Anne Boleyn / Eustache Chapuys / Charles V / Henry VII / Maria de Salinas / Elizabeth Darrell / Jane Seymour / Maud Parr / Isabella I of Castile / Ferdinand II of Aragon
Storyline: Katherine of Aragon came to England as a 15-year old princess to marry the heir to the English throne, Arthur Tudor. Arthur died just 6 months into their marriage and Katherine went on to marry Arthur’s younger brother, Henry VIII. The question of whether her first marriage was consummated would dominate English politics for the late 1520s and early 1530s, with Katherine shunted into involuntary exile.
Point of View: Katherine of Aragon – this is what makes this series so unique. It is the stories of the six wives of Henry VIII, one told from the point of view of each wife. The stories overlap, but you only get one point of view per story. Continue reading
- Throughout the book, Alison Weir shows how Katherine was raised to confirm to contemporary cultural and religious norms, and how this influenced her thinking and her actions. What impression did this make on you, and did it aid your understanding of her dilemmas and conflicts? Did this take on her story allow you to empathise more closely with Katherine’s choices?
I think that the standards and norms of 16th century England were very different to today. People believed very strongly in God and in the existence of heaven and hell and purgatory. They saw their lives on earth as a prelude to the afterlife. I think my background in history really helps me to understand the cultural and religious norms of the 16th century. I think that the understanding of the dilemmas and conflicts that Katherine faces in the novel depend on the contemporary culture and standards. You can’t understand Katherine’s motivations and feelings without understanding the context of the 16th century. I think that the emphasis on her religious devotions and the wellbeing of her soul were the central considerations for Katherine and understanding this made me understand more about what drove her to make the choices she did – she wasn’t being stubborn on purpose, she really believed she was saving her soul, and that of her husband. Continue reading
Aragon, Katherine of = First Queen to Henry VIII, marriage annulled 1533, died 1536.
Ashley, Kat = Governess and close friend to Elizabeth I from her childhood. Died 1565.
Aske, Robert = One of the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536. Executed 1537.
Beaufort, Margaret = Mother to Henry VII. Outlived her son and saw the accession of her grandson, Henry VIII.
Blount, Bessie = Henry VIII’s mistress, and the only one to give him an acknowledged illegitimate child – Henry Fitzroy.
Boleyn, Anne = Second Queen to Henry VIII, executed 1536 for adultery and incest.
Boleyn, George = Brother to Henry VIII’s second Queen. Accused of adultery and incest with his sister. Executed 1536.
Boleyn, Mary = Sister of Henry VIII’s second Queen. Mistress of Henry VIII. Died 1543.
Brandon, Charles Duke of Suffolk and best friend to Henry VIII. Married Henry VIII’s sister, Mary. Died 1546. Continue reading
Episode 1 “Everything is Beautiful”
Charles Brandon and his ward – Charles Brandon married his ward, Katherine Brooke, but in reality she was Katherine Willoughby. On TV, Charles married Katherine in 1532, but in reality they didn’t marry until after Anne Boleyn’s coronation, in 1534.
Assassination attempt – According to the TV show, Pope Paul III organised an assassination attempt against Anne Boleyn before her coronation. In reality he wasn’t even elected until after her coronation, and there is no evidence for an assassination attempt.
Episode 2 “Tears of Blood”
Margaret More – Margaret More is shown to be in her mid-twenties when Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn, but at this point she was actually in her early thirties. Continue reading
Giles Tremlett, Catherine of Aragon: Henry’s Spanish Queen (London: Faber and Faber Ltd, 2010), Paperback, ISBN 978-0-571-23512-4
Title: The book is exactly what the title suggests – a biography of Katherine of Aragon, who was Henry VIII’s first wife, and the only one who was Spanish. It was this Spanish connection which made it so difficult for Henry to divorce Katherine, because Katherine’s nephew was Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, the most powerful man in the world at that time.
Preface: The preface pens with the thing that everyone knows about Tudor England – Henry VIII’s divorce from Katherine of Aragon so he can marry Anne Boleyn. Tremlett then moves on and looks at the changing political scene, the religious divisions due to the Reformation and the rise of Lutheranism, and Katherine’s popularity as Queen, compared to Anne Boleyn’s lack of popularity as Queen. Continue reading
Episode 1 “In Cold Blood”
Assassination of the Duke of Urbino – Henry VIII had no uncle at this time, and so the scene that was included was completely made up.
Charles Brandon and the daughter of the Duke of Buckingham – there is no evidence of Brandon having an affair with any daughter of Buckingham.
Richard Pace – Pace was never accused of spying and was never imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Thomas Tallis – there is no record of Tallis being at court until 1543, not as early as is portrayed in ‘The Tudors’.
Katherine of Aragon’s first son – in the television show, Katherine of Aragon says that he lived for four weeks, but it was actually seven and a half weeks.
Marriage of Bessie Blount – in the television show, Bessie Blount is already married during her affair with the king, but in reality she didn’t marry until 1522.
Thomas Boleyn’s family – Buckingham refers to Boleyn’s family as “old” but in reality his grandfather was Mayor of London, and before that the family was rather obscure. Boleyn only had noble connections because his wife was the sister of the Duke of Norfolk. Continue reading
Katherine of Aragon
The reasons for the divorce of Katherine of Aragon have been much debated, both at the time and in the hundreds of years since. It seems that the primary reason for Henry’s wish to be rid of Katherine was that she hadn’t presented him with the male heir. She only had a daughter, Mary. Henry VIII wanted a son to follow him and secure the dynasty.
The second reason, which was used as an excuse to end the marriage, was that Katherine had been married to Henry’s brother, Arthur. There was debate over whether Katherine’s first marriage was consummated, because if so, then the passage in Leviticus could apply. You shouldn’t marry your brother’s widow or you’ll be childless. To Henry, no son was as good as being childless. Continue reading
The education of Mary I was influenced mainly by her mother and her tutor, Juan Vives. They expected a lot from her – she was not taught only feminine pastimes, but also how to rule a country.[i] Mary had experience in ruling a court and country from a young age, since she was Princess of Wales until such a time as Henry VIII had a male heir, so she took up residence in that country. It was an unusual education for a woman, even for a princess, but Katherine’s own parents were unusual in that respect.
Katherine knew that women could rule a country, as her mother Isabella I of Castile had done in Spain, and Mary came to believe that one day she would be Queen and rule England as her grandmother had ruled Spain.[ii] Katherine was more closely involved in Mary’s childhood and education and so she became the primary influence on her daughter. With the death of Katherine’s father, Ferdinand II of Aragon, Katherine transferred all of her familial affection and loyalty to Mary.[iii] As Mary was Katherine’s only surviving child after a number of stillbirths and miscarriages, it was no wonder that they were very close. Continue reading