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14    <Metadata name="Content">Primary Sources - Letter of Katharine of Aragon to her father, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, 2 December 1505</Metadata>
15    <Metadata name="Title">Primary Sources - Letter of Katharine of Aragon to her father, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, 2 December 1505</Metadata>
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27
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42    &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;b&gt;&lt;FONT size=+1&gt;
43    Letter of Katharine of Aragon to her father, King Ferdinand II of Aragon &lt;br&gt;2 December 1505&lt;/FONT&gt;
44    &lt;/b&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
45    &lt;p&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;&lt;b&gt;Background&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br&gt;The following letter was written in Spanish by
46  Katharine while she was Princess Dowager of Wales.&amp;nbsp; Katharine only wrote
47  in English after her marriage to King Henry VIII.&amp;nbsp; Her mother, the famous
48  Queen Isabella of Castile, had died in the previous year; her father was beset
49  by diplomatic troubles, particularly with the English (he was unable to force
50  Castilian acceptance of a trade agreement with England, which resulted in loss
51  of money for the parsimonious King Henry VII.)&lt;/FONT&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
52    &lt;p&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;In
53  1502, Katharine's husband and Henry VII's heir, Prince Arthur, had died.&amp;nbsp;
54  Katharine was put in an untenable position, and spent seven years of miserable
55  widowhood in England before Arthur's brother married her.&amp;nbsp; Her father was
56  never able to pay the full amount of her dowry to Prince Arthur.&amp;nbsp; This
57  issue became even more pressing when she was then betrothed to Prince
58  Henry.&amp;nbsp; Ferdinand and Henry VII were equally wily monarchs, each
59  unwilling to compromise in order to make Katharine's life in England
60  bearable.&lt;/FONT&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
61    &lt;p&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;The marriage to Prince Henry, though
62  formally recognized in 1504, was not to be celebrated until two years later
63  when the prince came of age.&amp;nbsp; The Spanish ambassador Dr De Puebla had
64  negotiated the contract, and assumed Henry VII would gladly support Katharine
65  for those two years.&amp;nbsp; But Henry gave her barely enough money for food;
66  she had no money to pay servants' wages or buy clothing, among other
67  things.&amp;nbsp; She lived in extreme poverty and with a frightening lack of
68  attention or respect.&amp;nbsp; Henry VII made it clear that if her dowry was not
69  paid, he would renege on the marriage to Prince Henry.&amp;nbsp; And Ferdinand
70  made it clear that he lacked the funds to pay the dowry; indeed, it was not
71  even a priority in his tumultuous life.&lt;/FONT&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
72    &lt;p&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;In this
73  letter, Katharine mentions an 'Infanta Isabel'; this was her older sister
74  Isabella.&amp;nbsp; She also unfairly maligns the amiable Dr De Puebla.&amp;nbsp;
75  Katharine's duenna Dona Elvira despised De Puebla for political reasons and
76  poisoned the young woman's mind against him.&lt;/FONT&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
77  &lt;P&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;This letter, a litany of complaints - all politely phrased -
78  is fascinating, and offers invaluable insight into Katharine's life as
79  Princess of Wales.&amp;nbsp; She was poor, hungry, and desperately ill; 'I shall
80  soon die,' she wrote to her father in despair.&amp;nbsp; She survived, of course,
81  but these conditions explain why she considered her marriage to King Henry
82  VIII to be so miraculous.&lt;/FONT&gt;&amp;nbsp; &lt;FONT size=-1&gt;This letter also offers a
83  funny glimpse into Henry VII's miserly nature.&lt;/FONT&gt;
84  &lt;P&gt;
85  &lt;HR width=&quot;100%&quot;&gt;
86
87    &lt;p&gt;&lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman&quot;&gt;Most high and most puissant lord, &lt;BR&gt;Hitherto I have not wished
88    to let your highness know the affairs here, that I might not give you
89    annoyance, and also thinking that they would improve; but it appears that
90    the contrary is the case, and that each day my troubles increase; and all
91    this on account of the doctor de Puebla, to whom it has not sufficed that
92    from the beginning he transacted a thousand falsities against the service of
93    your highness, but now he has given me new trouble; and because I believe
94    your highness will think I complain without reason, I desire to tell you all
95    that has passed. &lt;BR&gt;Your highness shall know, as I have often written to
96    you, that since I came into England, I have not had a single maravedi,
97    except a certain sum which was given me for food, and this such a sum that
98    it did not suffice without my having many debts in London; and that which
99    troubles me more is to see my servants and maidens so at a loss, and that
100    they have not the wherewith to get clothes; and this I believe is all done
101    by hand of the doctor, who, notwithstanding your highness has written,
102    sending him word that he should have money from the king of England, my lord
103    that their costs should be given them, yet, in order not to trouble him,
104    will rather entrench upon and neglect the service of your highness.&amp;nbsp;
105    Now, my lord, a few days ago, donna Elvira de Manuel asked my leave to go to
106    Flanders to be cured of a complaint which has come into her eyes, so that
107    she lost the sight of one of them; and there is a physician in Flanders who
108    cured the infanta donna Isabel of the same disease which which she is
109    affected.&amp;nbsp; She labored to bring him here so as not to leave me, but
110    could never succeed with him; and I, since if she were blind she could not
111    serve me, durst not hinder her journey.&amp;nbsp; I begged the king of England,
112    my lord, that until our donna Elvira should return his highness would
113    command that I should have, as a companion, an old English lady, or that he
114    would take me to his court; and I imparted all this to the doctor, thinking
115    to make of the rogue a true man; but it did not suffice me - because he not
116    only drew me to court, in which I have some pleasure, because I had
117    supplicated the king for an asylum, but he negotiated that the king should
118    dismiss all my household, and take away my chamber-equipage, and send to
119    place it in a house of his own, so that I should not in any way be mistress
120    of it. &lt;BR&gt;And all this does not weigh upon me, except that it concerns the
121    service of your highness, doing the contrary of that which ought to be
122    done.&amp;nbsp; I entreat your highness that you will consider that I am your
123    daughter, and that consent not that on account of the doctor I should have
124    such trouble, but that you will command some ambassador to come here, who
125    may be a true servant of your highness, and for no interest will cease to do
126    that which pertains to your service.&amp;nbsp; And if in this your highness
127    trusts me not, do you command some person to come here, who may inform you
128    of the truth, and then you will have one who will better serve you.&amp;nbsp; As
129    for me, I have had so much pain and annoyance that I have lost my health in
130    a great measure; so that for two months I have had severe tertian fevers,
131    and this will be the cause that I shall soon die.&amp;nbsp; I supplicate your
132    highness to pardon me that I presume to entreat you to do me so great favor
133    as to command that this doctor may not remain; because he certainly does not
134    fulfill the service of your highness, which he postpones to the service of
135    the worst interest which can be.&amp;nbsp; Our Lord guard the life and most
136    royal estate of your highness, and ever increase it as I desire.&amp;nbsp; From
137    Richmond, the second of December. &lt;BR&gt;My lord, I had forgotten to remind
138    your highness how you know that it was agreed that you were to give, as a
139    certain part of my dowry, the plate and jewels that I brought; and yet I am
140    certain that the king of England, my lord, will not receive anything of
141    plate nor of jewels which I have used; because he told me himself that he
142    was indignant that they should say in his kingdom that he took away from me
143    my ornaments.&amp;nbsp; And as little may your highness expect that he will take
144    them in account and will return them to me; because I am certain he will not
145    do so, nor is any such thing customary here.&amp;nbsp; In like wise the jewels
146    which I brought from thence [Spain] valued at a&amp;nbsp; great sum.&amp;nbsp; The
147    king would not take them in the half of the value, because here all these
148    things are esteemed much cheaper, and the king has so many jewels that he
149    rather desires money than them.&amp;nbsp; I write thus to your highness because
150    I know that there will be great embarrassment if he will not receive them,
151    except at less price.&amp;nbsp; It appears to me that it would be better if your
152    highness should take them for yourself, and should give to the king of
153    England, my lord, his money.&amp;nbsp; Your highness will see what would serve
154    you best, and with this I shall be most content. &lt;BR&gt;The humble servant of
155    your highness, who kisses your hands.&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
156    &lt;p&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;
157
158  &lt;BLOCKQUOTE&gt;
159    &lt;P&gt;
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161  &lt;/BLOCKQUOTE&gt;
162    &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;&lt;A
163href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;href=http:%2f%2fenglishhistory.net%2ftudor%2fletters.html&quot;&gt;to Letters of the Six Wives
164of Henry VIII&lt;/A&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
165&lt;P align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;&lt;A href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;href=http:%2f%2fenglishhistory.net%2ftudor%2fprimary.html&quot;&gt;to
166Primary Sources&lt;/A&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;BR&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;&lt;A
167href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;href=http:%2f%2fenglishhistory.net%2ftudor.html&quot;&gt;to Tudor England&lt;/A&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;BR&gt;&lt;FONT size=-1&gt;&lt;A
168href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;href=http:%2f%2fenglishhistory.net%2ftudor%2fmonarchs%2faragon.html&quot;&gt;to Katharine of
169Aragon website&lt;/A&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;/P&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
170    &lt;td width=&quot;15%&quot; height=&quot;610&quot;&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
171  &lt;/tr&gt;
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