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Catherine Howard Facts

Catherine Howard

Facts about Catherine Howard

Catherine Howard Biography Summary: Catherine Howard (1521 - 1542) was famous for being Henry VIII’s fifth wife. Catherine Howard would prove to be a very silly and very poor maker of decisions.

Having been neglected by her carer, the dowager Duchess of Norfolk and who also received the same punishment as Catherine did, was largely responsible for the lack of education and decorum that Catherine should have been taught. Instead, as a head girl of very little worldliness she was dreadfully led astray and ultimately paid the very highest price for her crimes.

Catherine Howard Fact Sheet: Who was Catherine Howard? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Catherine Howard.

Catherine Howard Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1521 - 1542 *** Full Name: Catherine Howard *** Occupation: Henry VIII’s Fifth Wife *** Date of Birth: Catherine Howard was born in 1521 *** Place of Birth: Catherine Howard was born in Lambeth, London, England *** Family background: Her father was Lord Edmund Howard and her mother was Joyce Culpeper. Her father’s sister was Elizabeth Howard the mother of Anne Boleyn. Although the family was of noble birth, being a younger son he was not entitled to anything from his father in terms of inheritance which meant he often went cap in hand to other relatives for financial assistance *** Early life and childhood: She grew up after the death of her mother in the home of her father’s stepmother, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk *** Education: Catherine Howard would have been educated as befitted her station ***

Catherine Howard Fact 1: Catherine Howard was born in 1521 and during the 16th century period in history when Portugal and Spain were exploring the oceans of the world and colonizing new lands.

Catherine Howard Fact 2: He mother died when she was on seven years of age and so Catherine was deposited with her father's step mother, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, who would take on her numerous wards of usually aristocratic but financial poor relatives, the only problem being she herself spent much of her time at court leaving the children largely unsupervised other than by servants.

Catherine Howard Fact 3: As a direct result of her lack of any authoritative figure in her life and totally lacking in supervision, with older girls also in the household she was easily led astray and when aged just fifteen an intimate relationship developed between Catherine and her music teacher, Henry Mannox.

Catherine Howard Fact 4: When she left the household of the Dowager Duchess she took up with the households secretary Frances Dereham. They also became intimate although as soon as the Dowager Duchess became aware of the relationship she instantly put a stop to it.

Catherine Howard Fact 5: The Duke of Norfolk would find her a suitable position at court in the household of Anne of Cleves and as such caught the eye of the King.

Catherine Howard Fact 6: She had been described as a brisk, giggly vivacious girl and it would be this that caught his attention.

Catherine Howard Fact 7: Having been in favor with the King during his relationship with Anne Boleyn and subsequent downfall, they were obviously eager to ingratiate themselves once more within the King’s intimate circle.

Catherine Howard Fact 8: Henry began giving Catherine many gifts including land and expensive cloth.

Catherine Howard Fact 9: Henry would refer to Catherine as the ‘very jewel of womanhood’ and his ‘rose without a thorn.’

Catherine Howard Fact 10: The pair were married on July 29th 1540.

Catherine Howard Fact 11: Her position would be short lived however, when she was discovered embarking on a romance with Thomas Culpeper, a favorite male courtier of Henry’s.

Catherine Howard Fact 12: The couple were added by one of her ladies-in-waiting, Lady Rochford who was the widow of George Boleyn, Catherine’s cousin who was executed with his sister, Anne.

Catherine Howard Fact 13: No in a position of power, many of her previous indiscretions came to fore in the guise of people blackmailing her for positions in her court to keep silent.

Catherine Howard Fact 14: In particular, the appointment of her personal secretary was given to Francis Dereham at the insistence of Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.

Catherine Howard Fact 15: This posting would prove her downfall.

Catherine Howard Fact 16: John Lascelles was a Protestant reformer of the time whose own sister, Mary Hall, had worked within the home of the dowager Duchess and so was aware of Catherine’s reputation and was also familiar with her handwriting. Mary would give witness to having seen a letter written in Catherine’s very distinctive hand in the possession of Culpeper.

Catherine Howard Fact 17: However, it was remarked upon how completely incoherent Catherine was during questioning, having been arrested and held on charges of adultery and treason. In such a state was she that Thomas Cranmer had doubts as to her guilt because of her level of distress.

Catherine Howard Fact 18: Her life could have been spared if she had admitted a pre-contract between herself and Dereham, but she steadfastly denied this to be true, instead insisting that he had raped her, but when the allegations of a further relationship with Culpeper emerged this made her situation impossible.

Catherine Howard Fact 19: Her titles stripped and imprisoned in Middlesex’s Syon Abbey was where she stayed until the winter of 1541 when both Dereham and Culpeper were executed on December 10th at Tyburn. Dereham was hanged, drawn and quartered with Culpeper was beheaded.

Catherine Howard Fact 20: Catherine was held until February 1542 when Parliament passed a bill of attainder. The Royal Assent by Commission Act 1541 declared it was a treasonable act and thus punishable by death, that a Queen consort must reveal her sexual history to that of the King within a twenty one day period of the marriage. This in effect declared Catherine guilty as charge.

Catherine Howard Fact 21: Catherine Howard was transported, by boat, to the Tower of London. The journey caused them to pass directly under London Bridge exactly where the heads of Dereham and Culpeper were on display, the flotilla entering through Traitors’ Gate and she was led to a cell.

Catherine Howard Fact 22: Catherine Howard was executed with one blow of the executions axe on February 13th 1542. Her body laid to rest in an unmarked grave in St Peter AD Vincula’s chapel.

Influence and Legacy of Catherine Howard: The wives of Henry VIII have become notorious over the millennia since their various demises. A simple rhyme was written in order to remember in what order they died, the first being Catherine of Aragon, Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.

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