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 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 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
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
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.
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