Catherine Vs. Jane: The Devoted Wives

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Hello!

I love how I feel like I’m done with these versus posts until I think of another batch of people to compare their stories to a newer audience. This is one of two others I want to write sometime before the end of the year.  And after this post, we actually work our way out of talking about the Tudors! So if you’re annoyed over the fact that’s been my topic of choice, hopefully you’ll like those! Until then, we are going to discuss about Katherine of Aragon and Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII’s first and third wives and queens of England respectively.

I know a lot of people are freaking out that I put “Catherine” in the banner, but yet I’m still spelling it with a “K” in this post. Since Henry married three women with the same name, some people recognize her name with a “C” but since I was introduced to her as “Katherine” it’s just what I go for first, so there’s your answer to the mystery. I’m sorry if all I’ve done is confused you.

There’s a lot of speculation whether or not you can fall in love with your arranged spouse. You can find it throughout history of children being married off for different reasons, one being money. If you came from a wealthy family, there were times that the fathers or in some cases mothers would arrange a marriage with one of their daughters to be married off into another family, because they needed the dowry. This goes with Katherine of Aragon, as she was a Spanish princess, she was given to Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales. They married but instead of her returning back to Spain when he died, she stayed because Henry VII needed her dowry, so after the death of the king, she married Henry, who was now the next in line to the throne.

We’ve heard stories of Henry’s hatred for Katherine once he fell in love with Anne, but I think they actually loved each other. I mean, he would have had to love her to make her regent when he went to France in 1512 to fight in the war. A year after they had married, the wedded bliss would start to fade as they lost their first child – a daughter in 1509. Soon afterwards she became pregnant again, this time giving birth to a baby boy that they named Henry, Duke of Cornwall, but unfortunately, the little prince would die just fifty two days after his birth. I can’t imagine losing a child, especially if one was a needed heir for the Tudor dynasty and help to save the marriage to these two people.

Let’s fast forward to when Henry married Jane Seymour.

After the the marriage and beheading to Anne Boleyn was done, Henry quickly married Jane. She was a maid of honour for both Katherine and Anne. Jane’s father was Sir John Seymour and he was a courtier to Henry VIII and majority of his children also became courtiers besides Jane. One of the differences between Henry’s previous wives, was the fact that she wasn’t as educated as they were, but she was good at needlework and keeping a household, which at the time was more of a custom to women.

The other thing that made her different from both Katherine and Anne was her promise to Henry, she actually gave him a son. Their only child together would be Edward VI. After he was born, she was really sick with some type of infection and after reading about how people took care of themselves back then, I’m surprised this didn’t happen more often! After her son’s christening, she died and left Henry a broken man despite she did what nobody else could have give him.

Henry is buried next to Jane at Westminster Abbey. I do think that before his death, she was his only love despite being married to five other women and slept around with some of the ladies in waiting that probably took care of Jane as she was labor with their child and watched her die.  Whether it was only because she was the one to give him a son or the fact that he truly loved her, we’ll never know but I find this decision very interesting. I think once Jane died, I think he was fine without marrying anyone again as there is a pretty big gap between Jane and Anne of Cleves, there’s five years in between these two women. If he wasn’t so paranoid about having a spare like he was after the death of his older brother Prince Arthur, then I think he would never had continued to search for a new wife.

I think every woman that Henry came into contact with, while or after he was married, wanted to please him. Honestly, if you’re in a room with a very high up person like an official or royal, you’ll try your best not to step on their toes. I think all of his wives wanted to be there for him in some way. However, I often wonder, like probably everybody that is obsessed with this time period, is if Jane had lived would Henry still have the same feelings for her as he did after she gave birth to Edward?

Do you believe that King Henry VIII ever loved any of his wives?

If Henry, Duke of Cornwall or any of their other male children had lived, do you think Henry would have asked for a divorce from Katherine? And if Jane had lived, do you think Henry would have loved her just as much?

snowflake

 

Mary Vs. Jane: The Real Usurper

bigbang

Hi 🙂

I’m really enjoying these different history posts I’ve been doing lately. I’m not trying to do one every month but it kind of just happens. The last one about King Richard III and King Henry VII was completely accidental, I actually wanted to do this first but I needed to think about how the other post would do with my audience and so I decided to wait a bit.

Queen Mary I is the oldest daughter of King Henry VIII and Spanish princess Katherine of Aragon. After Katherine declined to annual her marriage to Henry so he could marry his mistress and one of her ladies-in-waiting Anne Boleyn. She was set away from court and was forced to stay away from their daughter. They were technically still married to as he secretly wed Anne and after Katherine passed Princess Mary was then considered a bastard and lost her way to inherit the throne.

Henry had a total of six siblings, but only two of his sisters survived to adulthood. The youngest, Princess Mary was married to Louis XI of France but they didn’t last very long when he died shortly after. When she came back to England, she secretly married Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk who was one of her brother’s best friends. Since they also married in secret, they had to pay a hefty fine to the King for not asking him for permission to marry. Mary and Charles had a total of four children. The only male heirs who were both named Henry died young, but daughters Lady Eleanor and Lady Frances survived to adulthood.

Lady Frances Brandon married Henry Grey, the Marquess of Dorset (who was the great-great-grandson of Elizabeth Woodville and her first first husband Thomas Grey) they had a total of three daughters themselves: Lady Jane, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary. The girls were King Henry VIII’s great-nieces and they were born into a Protestant family. Now I don’t know that much about Lady Jane Grey, only that she was put into succession in King Edward VI’s will and she was married to Lord Robert Dudley. This is all I really know of this part of her personal life.

Lady Jane Grey was the granddaughter of the sister of the former King of England and born into a Protestant family, so she had the means to keep the religion afloat until Queen Mary sent her troops into England and she arrested Jane and her husband and father for their crimes for going against the Act of Succession that clearly states that once Edward died, she would rule after him. Edward had tried to bypass this law and basically threw her into the woods. Jane is known as the “nine day queen” because she only had nine days on the throne of England. To historians, she’s the usurper because she went around the law, but I don’t see it that way.

When Henry finally had his son and kept marrying these other women to make sure he had another “male” heir in case Edward did not survive, which he didn’t and Edward died at the same age as Henry’s older brother Prince Arthur. The kingdom roughly should have went to the Lady Mary, since as Henry got older he did put both Mary and Elizabeth back in line of succession. However, something has always made me wonder, when King Henry renounced the Catholic faith, why did he put Mary back in line to the throne when he knew she still practiced the religion? Did he grow to regret his decision to create the Church of England or did he only do it, so she wouldn’t leave for Spain or France and start a war with her half brother and her homeland?

England was practicing both religions, let’s be honest about here. Lady Jane could have kept the faith but when Queen Mary came and had her killed for trying to go around the law, she brought Catholicism back. In her reign, Mary set ablaze to the Protestant martyrs and with that, she gained the nickname “Bloody Mary” because she killed over hundreds of people for not accepting the true faith. After failing to give an heir with her Spanish husband King Phillip, England went back to being a Protestant kingdom with Queen Elizabeth I as she was the daughter of the reason why King Henry VIII had renounced the religion in the first place.

So I do get the fact that Jane was put on the throne after Edward went around the Act but I doubt she wanted that role or knew what would happen to her after those nine days, but I wouldn’t call her a usurper. Mary was a devout Catholic and was going to change the religion back after her father spent so much time and effort into it. I often think even if Mary wasn’t put back in line anyways, she obviously had the resources to create an army anyways, she would have fought for that crown.

So what do you think, who is the real usurper? Lady Jane Grey or Queen Mary I? 

snowflake

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