Henry VIII & Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, Katherine Parr


Henry VIII

Born: June 28, 1491 at Greenwich Palace, England

Died: January 28, 1547 in London, England

Reign: April 21, 1509 – January 28, 1547

Coronation: June 24, 1509

Father: Henry VII

Mother: Elizabeth of York

Siblings: Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales; Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland; Elizabeth Tudor, Mary Tudor, Queen of France; Edmund Tudor, Duke of Somerset; Katherine Tudor

Spouse: 1. Katherine of Aragon; 2. Anne Boleyn; 3. Jane Seymour; 4. Anne of Cleves; 5. Katherine Howard; 6. Katherine Parr

Weddings: 1. June 11, 1509; 2. Date of private ceremony is unknown; January 25, 1533 for public ceremony; 3. May 30, 1536; 4. January 6, 1540; 5. July 28, 1540; 6. July 12, 1543

Marriages: Ha. See below

Famous for: Six marriages; beheading two of his wives and divorcing two more; breaking from Rome and establishing the Church of England; his red hair and weight



Katherine of Aragon

Born: December 16, 1485 in Madrid, Spain

Died: January 7, 1536 in Cambridgeshire, England

Consort: June 11, 1509 – May 23, 1533

Coronation: June 24, 1509

Father: Ferdinand II, King of Aragon

Mother: Isabella I, Queen of Castile

Siblings: Isabella of Aragon, Queen of Portugal; Juan, Prince of Asturias; Juana of Aragon, Queen of Castile; Maria of Aragon, Queen of Portugal

Spouse: 1. Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales; 2. Henry VIII

Wedding: 1. November 14, 1501; 2. June 11, 1509

Marriages: 1. Arthur Tudor and Katherine of Aragon were betrothed from infancy and married for less than six months in their adolescence. It is unknown what their feelings for one another were. 2. Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon were betrothed shortly after Arthur’s death. By all appearances it began as a love match that soured in the 1520s after years of fertility issues, aging and political complications. Henry asked for a divorce, which Katherine declined – their case was battled out in England and Rome for years before Henry broke with Rome, established the Church of England and had his marriage to Katherine annulled from within his capacity as head of it. Until her death three years later, Katherine maintained she was Henry’s legal wife and queen of England.

Children: 1. Stillborn child; 2. Henry Tudor, Duke of Cornwall; 3. Henry Tudor, Duke of Cornwall; 4. Henry Tudor, Duke of Cornwall; 5. Mary I; 6. Unnamed daughter

Famous for: Her piety, parentage and pregnancies; resolutely signing her name “Katherine, the Queen;” trying to send Henry VIII the head of James IV, King of Scotland after the latter was killed in battle



Anne Boleyn

Born: 1501/1507

Died: May 17, 1536

Consort: May 28, 1533 – May 17, 1536

Coronation: June 1, 1533

Father: Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire

Mother: Elizabeth Howard, Countess of Wiltshire

Siblings: Mary Boleyn; George Boleyn, Lord Rochford

Spouse: Henry VIII

Wedding: Exact date of private ceremony is unknown; public ceremony was January 25, 1533

Marriage: The relationship between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn is one of the most famous in history. The exact point that their relationship began is unknown, but it can be roughly dated to 1525/1526. By this time, Anne had been in England for a few years and Henry, having been married to his first wife for over 15 years without a living son, was already beginning to explore options to extricate himself. Between 1527 and 1532 Henry sought a divorce from within the Catholic Church, before eventually breaking with Rome and establishing himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. After three years of marriage and one surviving daughter, Henry had Anne arrested on the grounds of adultery and beheaded.

Children: Elizabeth I; Stillborn son

Famous for: Almost everything, but specifically her influence over Henry VIII, her role in the break with Rome, her hatred for Cardinal Wolsey, her death and her daughter



Jane Seymour

Born: 1507/1508

Died: October 24, 1537 at Hampton Court Palace

Consort: May 30, 1536 – October 24, 1537

Coronation: None

Father: John Seymour

Mother: Margery Wentworth

Siblings: Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset; Henry Seymour; Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley; John Seymour; Anthony Seymour; Elizabeth Seymour, Marchioness of Winchester; Margery Seymour; Dorothy Seymour

Spouse: Henry VIII

Wedding: May 30, 1536

Marriage: Brief. Henry VIII and Jane Seymour were betrothed one day after the execution of Anne Boleyn and married 10 days later. She died a few days after giving birth to a son 17 months later.

Children: Edward VI

Famous for: Giving Henry his son; reconciling Henry with Mary I



Anne of Cleves

Born: September 22, 1515 in Dusseldorf

Died: July 16, 1557 at Chelsea Manor, England

Consort: January 6 – July 9, 1540

Coronation: None

Father: John III, Duke of Cleves

Mother: Maria of Julich-berg

Siblings: Sibylle of Cleves, Electress of Saxony; William I, Duke of Cleves; Amelia of Cleves

Spouse: Henry VIII

Wedding: January 6, 1540

Marriage: Unconsummated. Henry VIII took a disliking to Anne of Cleves upon meeting her, declaring that the portrait he had been shown prior to her arrival in England had been false advertising. There are various theories as to whether Henry truly found her unattractive or whether he was put off by her reaction, or lack thereof, to him when he greeted her in disguise. Regardless, he sought to get out of the marriage in the days leading up the marriage and was vocal to his minister about being “unable” to consummate the union. Anne submitted easily to an annulment six months later and accepted the position of the “King’s sister.”

Famous for: Not being attractive to Henry; unwittingly bringing about the downfall of Thomas Cromwell



Katherine Howard

Born: Between 1520 and 1525 in London, England

Died: February 13, 1542 at the Tower of London

Consort: July 28, 1540 – November 23, 1541

Coronation: None

Father: Edmund Howard

Mother: Joyce Culpeper

Siblings: Henry Howard; Charles Howard; George Howard; Margaret Howard; Mary Howard

Spouse: Henry VIII

Wedding: July 28, 1540

Marriage: Based on lust – Henry’s. Katherine came to court as a member of Anne of Cleves’ household and Henry met her then. He became infatuated with Katherine while seeking a way out of his marriage to Anne. Just weeks after the marriage was dissolved, Henry and Katherine were married. In the last months of 1541 Katherine was arrested for adultery and pre-marital relationships with other men.

Famous for: Her extra-marital affair; being the cousin of Anne Boleyn; her execution; her youth



Katherine Parr

Born: 1512

Died: September 5, 1548

Consort: July 12, 1543 – January 28, 1547

Coronation: None

Father: Sir Thomas Parr

Mother: Maud Green

Siblings: William Parr, Earl of Essex; Anne Parr, Countess of Pembroke

Spouse: 1. Sir Edward Burgh; 2. John Neville, Baron Latimer; 3. Henry VIII; 4. Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley

Wedding: 1. 1529; 2. Summer 1534; 3. July 12, 1543; 4. May 1547

Marriages: 1. Unknown; 2. May-December; 3. Henry VIII and Katherine Parr met when the latter was a member of his daughter, Mary I’s, household. She is believed to have already been romantically involved with Thomas Seymour at the time Henry became interested. The marriage was generally successful, probably due to Henry’s age and the existence of Edward VI, however Katherine’s belief in the “New Faith” was unpopular with England’s Catholics. 4. Brief, but likely a love match, at least on Katherine’s part. During the marriage of Thomas Seymour and Katherine he had an inappropriate relationship with her stepdaughter, Elizabeth I.

Children: Mary Seymour

Famous for: Surviving her marriage to Henry; Protestantism


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4 thoughts on “Henry VIII & Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, Katherine Parr

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