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14    <Metadata name="Content">Catherine Howard, fifth queen of Henry VIII</Metadata>
15    <Metadata name="Page_topic">Catherine Howard, fifth queen of Henry VIII</Metadata>
16    <Metadata name="Author">Marilee Mongello</Metadata>
17    <Metadata name="Title">Catherine Howard: Biography, Portraits, Primary Sources</Metadata>
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31&lt;table border=&quot;0&quot; cellpadding=&quot;3&quot; width=&quot;100%&quot; height=&quot;631&quot;&gt;
32  &lt;tbody&gt;
33    &lt;tr&gt;
34      &lt;td width=&quot;25%&quot; height=&quot;1&quot;&gt;&lt;br&gt;
35      &lt;/td&gt;
36      &lt;td valign=&quot;top&quot; width=&quot;50%&quot; height=&quot;1&quot;&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/td&gt;
37      &lt;td width=&quot;25%&quot; height=&quot;1&quot;&gt;&lt;br&gt;
38      &lt;/td&gt;
39    &lt;/tr&gt;
40    &lt;tr&gt;
41      &lt;td width=&quot;25%&quot; height=&quot;3&quot;&gt;&lt;br&gt;
42      &lt;/td&gt;
43      &lt;td width=&quot;50%&quot; height=&quot;3&quot;&gt;
44      &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;4&quot;&gt;'The King's affection was so
45marvelously set upon that gentlewoman [Catherine], as it was never
46known that he had the like to any woman.'&lt;/font&gt;&lt;br&gt;
47      &lt;i&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Thomas Cranmer's secretary, Ralph Morice, in a
48letter to his master, 1540&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
49      &lt;/td&gt;
50      &lt;td width=&quot;25%&quot; height=&quot;3&quot;&gt;&lt;br&gt;
51      &lt;/td&gt;
52    &lt;/tr&gt;
53    &lt;tr&gt;
54      &lt;td width=&quot;25%&quot; height=&quot;610&quot;&gt;&lt;br&gt;
55      &lt;/td&gt;
56      &lt;td valign=&quot;top&quot; width=&quot;50%&quot; height=&quot;610&quot;&gt;
57      &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;
58      &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;&lt;img height=&quot;95&quot; alt=&quot;Catherine Howard&quot;
59 src=&quot;_httpdocimg_/howardcardinal.gif&quot; width=&quot;389&quot;&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
60      &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt;
61      &lt;img height=&quot;252&quot;
62 alt=&quot;portrait of Catherine Howard by Holbein, on the back of a playing-card&quot;
63 src=&quot;_httpdocimg_/howard-crop.jpg&quot;
64 width=&quot;250&quot;&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
65      &lt;p align=&quot;center&quot;&gt; &lt;i&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;miniature portrait of Catherine
66      Howard by Hans Holbein the Younger&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
67      &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt; &lt;b&gt;&lt;br&gt;Catherine Howard was a cousin of Henry
68VIII's ill-fated second queen, Anne Boleyn; and like Anne, Catherine
69would die on the scaffold at Tower Green.&amp;nbsp; Her birthdate is
70unknown, but her father was the younger brother of the duke of
71Norfolk.&amp;nbsp; Though personally impoverished, Catherine had a powerful
72family name and thus secured an appointment as lady-in-waiting to
73Henry's fourth queen, Anne of Cleves.&amp;nbsp; While at court, she caught
74the eye of the middle-aged king and became a political pawn of her
75family and its Catholic allies.&amp;nbsp; Catherine's greatest crime was
76her silliness.&amp;nbsp; Raised in the far too permissive household of her
77grandmother, she was a flirtatious and emotional girl who rarely
78understood the consequences of her actions.&amp;nbsp; She made the mistake
79of continuing her girlish indiscretions as queen.&amp;nbsp; Henry was
80besotted with her, calling her his 'Rose without a Thorn' and showering
81her with gifts and public affection.&amp;nbsp; Catherine was understandably
82more attracted to men her own age and, after just seventeen months of
83marriage to the king, she was arrested for adultery.&amp;nbsp; The
84distraught king at first refused to believe the evidence but it was
85persuasive.&amp;nbsp; Unlike Anne Boleyn, Catherine had betrayed the
86king.&amp;nbsp; She was beheaded on 13 February 1542, only nineteen or
87twenty years old.&amp;nbsp; &lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot;
88 color=&quot;#000000&quot;&gt;The drama of her execution lends gravity to a brief
89life which would otherwise pass unnoticed.&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/b&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
90      &lt;blockquote&gt;
91        &lt;p&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;
92        &lt;p&gt;&lt;a
93 href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;
94        &lt;font size=&quot;4&quot;&gt;&lt;br&gt;
95Read the biography of Catherine Howard.&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
96        &lt;p&gt;&lt;br&gt;
97        &lt;b&gt;Primary Sources&lt;/b&gt; &lt;br&gt;
98Read &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;Catherine's
99letter to Thomas Culpeper&lt;/a&gt;. &lt;br&gt;
100        &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;The fall
101of Catherine Howard&lt;/a&gt;, 1540&lt;/p&gt;
102        &lt;p&gt;Visit &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=0&amp;amp;;&gt;Tudor
103England: Images&lt;/a&gt; to view the only known portrait of Catherine. &lt;/p&gt;
104        &lt;p&gt;Test your knowledge of Catherine's life at &lt;a
105 href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;Tudor Quizzes&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;/p&gt;
106        &lt;p&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;&lt;b&gt;&lt;br&gt;
107        Interact&lt;br&gt;
108        &lt;/b&gt; Meet other Six Wives enthusiasts at &lt;a
109 href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=0&amp;amp;;&gt;Ladies All: A Fanlisting for
110the Six Wives of Henry VIII&lt;/a&gt;.&lt;br&gt;
111        &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=0&amp;amp;;&gt; Tudor Talk &lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp;This
112email discussion list is sponsored by;br&gt;
113        &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=0&amp;amp;;&gt;Reign
114of the Tudors&lt;/a&gt;&amp;nbsp; This is a role-playing game set in 16th century
115England.&amp;nbsp; If you would like to 'play' Jane Grey or Anne Boleyn or
116other Tudors, click the link to join.&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
117        &lt;p align=&quot;left&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;
118      &lt;/blockquote&gt;
119      &lt;/td&gt;
120      &lt;td width=&quot;25%&quot; height=&quot;610&quot;&gt;&lt;br&gt;
121      &lt;/td&gt;
122    &lt;/tr&gt;
123  &lt;/tbody&gt;
126  &lt;blockquote&gt;
127    &lt;blockquote&gt;
128      &lt;p&gt;&lt;b&gt;&lt;a name=&quot;Biography&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/b&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;4&quot;&gt;'I found her in
129such lamentation and heaviness, as I never saw no creature, so that it
130would have pitied any man's heart in the world, to have looked upon
131her.'&lt;/font&gt;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; &lt;i&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;Thomas Cranmer describes
132visiting Catherine after her arrest, 1542&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/i&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
133    &lt;/blockquote&gt;
134  &lt;/blockquote&gt;
135  &lt;p&gt;&amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;
136  &lt;p&gt;&lt;b&gt;Biography&lt;/b&gt; &lt;br&gt;
137Catherine Howard's short life is one of the great cautionary tales of
138Henry VIII's reign; there is about it something strangely pathetic and
139small, but also powerful and moving.&amp;nbsp; Catherine was neither
140particularly beautiful or intelligent, but she was a charming,
141flirtatious girl who rose, virtually overnight, from obscurity to
142become queen of England. &lt;/p&gt;
143  &lt;p&gt;She was the daughter of the 2d duke of Norfolk's youngest son,
144Edmund, and his wife, Jocasta (Joyce) Culpeper.&amp;nbsp; She was one of
145too many children for her impoverished parents and the date of her
146birth was not recorded; most historians believe it was 1521.&amp;nbsp;
147Edmund was not an auspicious individual and, like most younger sons,
148spent most of his life in constant need of money.&amp;nbsp; He complained
149to the king's chief minister &lt;a
150 href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;Thomas
151Cromwell&lt;/a&gt; that he wished to be a poor man's son for at least then he
152could work without shame.&amp;nbsp; But he was an aristocrat, a member of
153one of the greatest noble families of England, and he could do little
154but beg for help from one relation to another.&amp;nbsp; He sent his
155daughter to live with her grandmother, the dowager duchess of Norfolk,
156and thus avoided responsibility for Catherine's upbringing.&amp;nbsp; This
157should not reflect badly upon him since it was typical of the times;
158and though Catherine's grandmother complained ceaselessly about the
159expense of supporting numerous grandchildren, she did provide a
160comfortable home.&amp;nbsp; She did not, however, provide strict
161supervision - a fact which would have dire consequences for the entire
162Norfolk family after Catherine became queen. &lt;/p&gt;
163  &lt;p&gt;Catherine was raised in a type of dormitory at Lambeth Palace,
164crowded in with other young girls (some were servants to her
165grandmother) and her education was not intellectual.&amp;nbsp; Rather, her
166days were spent passing the time in the most pleasant manner
167possible.&amp;nbsp; The duchess's household was not wealthy and Catherine
168understandably chafed at her constricted lifestyle.&amp;nbsp; There was
169within her a strong love of luxury and inability to control her
170desires; this was a lack of self-control, a realization that certain
171things should not be done, must not be risked, no matter how much she
172wanted something.&amp;nbsp; While she was simply one of many daughters of
173an impoverished lord, this immaturity did not matter.&amp;nbsp; But when
174she became queen, it remained and past indiscretions also returned to
175haunt her.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
176  &lt;p&gt;Catherine grew into a merry and vivacious girl, not conventionally
177beautiful but graceful and charming.&amp;nbsp; She possessed all the
178vitality of youth, something which proved irresistible to her aged
179king.&amp;nbsp; The only part of her sporadic education which she seemed to
180enjoy were her music lessons; in particular, she enjoyed the attentions
181of her music teacher, a man named Henry Mannox.&amp;nbsp; They first met in
1821536, when Catherine was just fifteen years old.&amp;nbsp; Hired to teach
183her the virginal and lute, Mannox soon began a practiced seduction of
184his young pupil.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
185  &lt;p&gt;Catherine later swore the relationship was not consummated.&amp;nbsp;
186'At the flattering and fair persuasions of Mannox being but a young
187girl I suffered him at sundry times to handle and touch the secret
188parts of my body which neither became me with honesty to permit nor him
189to require,' she later told interrogators.&amp;nbsp; Mannox admitted the
190same.&amp;nbsp; Since Catherine later confessed to more serious
191transgressions, there was no reason for her to lie in this
192instance.&amp;nbsp; And one can certainly condemn Mannox for taking
193advantage of his young student. &lt;/p&gt;
194  &lt;p&gt;As a mere music teacher, Mannox was too far below her in social
195status for a serious relationship to develop.&amp;nbsp; Though he followed
196the duchess's household to London in 1538, Catherine's attentions soon
197turned elsewhere.&amp;nbsp; She fell in love with a gentleman-pensioner in
198her grandmother's household named Francis Dereham.&amp;nbsp; This
199relationship was far more serious and undoubtedly consummated.&amp;nbsp;
200There is much evidence on this point, including Catherine's own
201confession: 'Francis Dereham by many persuasions procured me to his
202vicious purpose and obtained first to lie upon my bed with his doublet
203and hose and after within the bed and finally he lay with me naked and
204used me in such sort as a man doth his wife many and sundry times but
205how often I know not.' &lt;/p&gt;
206  &lt;p&gt;Their affair continued throughout 1538.&amp;nbsp; They addressed one
207another as 'husband' and 'wife' and when Dereham was sent to Ireland on
208business, he left 100 pds in Catherine's keeping.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
209  &lt;p&gt;But Mannox, still with the household, was infuriated; his
210attraction to Catherine continued while she spurned his company for
211Dereham's.&amp;nbsp; In revenge, he sent an anonymous note to the dowager
212duchess.&amp;nbsp; She then discovered Catherine and Dereham together and
213there was a frightful scene.&amp;nbsp; But a physical relationship between
214a betrothed couple was not uncommon by sixteenth-century standards and
215Catherine and Dereham parted with some understanding of marriage when
216he returned from Ireland. &lt;/p&gt;
217  &lt;p&gt;But, unluckily for Dereham, Catherine's heart cooled towards him
218while he was away.&amp;nbsp; And in 1539, having moved closer to court and
219staying at her uncle's house, she met Thomas Culpeper.&amp;nbsp; A
220gentleman of the king's Privy Chamber and cousin of Catherine's mother
221Joyce Culpeper, he was a handsome and charming young man; his position
222in court was considered important since it allowed personal access to
223the king.&amp;nbsp; Catherine fell in love with him, though Culpeper's own
224feelings are not known.&amp;nbsp; Catherine's family was powerful and she
225was an attractive girl.&amp;nbsp; It is likely that he was at least
226interested in her, if not immediately infatuated.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
227  &lt;p&gt;But then the great event occurred which was to change Catherine's
228life forever.&amp;nbsp; She arrived at court in late 1539 or early 1540 as
229a lady-in-waiting to &lt;a
230 href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;Anne of
231Cleves&lt;/a&gt; and Henry VIII fell in love with her. &lt;/p&gt;
232  &lt;p&gt;It is clear from Catherine's life before meeting the king that she
233was a flirtatious and emotional girl.&amp;nbsp; It is also clear that she
234possessed the charm and sexual allure to attract men.&amp;nbsp; These were
235to be her greatest strengths and weaknesses, for while they attracted
236the king, they also led her into increasingly reckless behavior.&amp;nbsp;
237If she had married Dereham or Culpeper, or any other social-climber,
238she would have remained a gossip and flirt, perhaps she would have
239succumbed to adultery.&amp;nbsp; But behavior that could be tolerated in a
240poor niece of a duke was treason in a queen of England. &lt;/p&gt;
241  &lt;p&gt;Catherine's family was torn between elation and trepidation with
242regard to Henry's infatuation.&amp;nbsp; T&lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot;
243 color=&quot;#000000&quot;&gt;he Norfolk name was one of the oldest in
244England.&amp;nbsp; They had supported Richard III against the first Tudor
245king, Henry VII, but managed to win favor with their military prowess
246and servile devotion to the new dynasty.&amp;nbsp; But Henry VIII never
247fully trusted Thomas Howard, the 3d duke of Norfolk, though he wed two
248of Norfolk's nieces.&amp;nbsp; Their grand name, then, was both blessing
249and curse.&amp;nbsp; As an old family in a court of upstarts and fond of
250feudal prerogative, Catherine's relatives had made wary friends and
251bitter enemies at court.&amp;nbsp; And the divisive reign of Anne Boleyn,
252herself no friend of her Norfolk relations (the duke presided over her
253trial), had taught them all to tread carefully about the king.&amp;nbsp;
254And Catherine's personality worried them.&amp;nbsp; Could she sustain the
255king's attraction?&amp;nbsp; And, if so, could she become a mature and
256successful queen?&lt;/font&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
257  &lt;p&gt;&lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot; color=&quot;#000000&quot;&gt;It is important
258to remember that Henry's previous English queens, &lt;a
259 href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;Anne Boleyn&lt;/a&gt;
260and &lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;Jane
261Seymour&lt;/a&gt;, had spent years in royal service before marrying their
262king.&amp;nbsp; They were veterans of the English court and knew the
263intricacies and dangers of their position.&amp;nbsp; Catherine was a mere
264child by contrast, barely literate, and born in a later
265generation.&amp;nbsp; But for the conservative faction at Henry's court,
266those dedicated to the restoration of the Catholic faith as practiced
267before the Reformation, she was their last, best hope.&amp;nbsp; Unlike
268Anne Boleyn, Catherine's personal and political success was not tied to
269the Protestant faith.&amp;nbsp; She had been raised Catholic by her Norfolk
270grandmother and, despite her personal lapses, she represented the
271conservative faith to others.&lt;/font&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
272  &lt;p&gt;&lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot; color=&quot;#000000&quot;&gt;Catherine's
273relatives questioned her maturity, but they were not willing to risk
274the king's wrath by pointing it out.&amp;nbsp; Henry VIII was mercurial and
275dangerous, and his latest marriage was a bitter disappointment.&amp;nbsp;
276Woe to the courtier who spoke ill of his latest attraction!&amp;nbsp; It
277was left to the Norfolk clan to coach Catherine as best they could and
278hope their triumph would last.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/font&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
279  &lt;p&gt;&lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot; color=&quot;#000000&quot;&gt;The king soon
280publicly favored young Mistress Howard.&amp;nbsp; On 24 April she was given
281lands seized from a felon; a few weeks later, she received an expensive
282gift of quilted sarcanet.&amp;nbsp; It is possible their relationship was
283consummated around this time for there was a sudden urgency to annul
284the ill-fated marriage to Anne of Cleves.&amp;nbsp; The king's advisors
285soon found a valid impediment to the fourth marriage and, on 13 July
2861540, it was officially ended by Parliament.&amp;nbsp; Meanwhile, the
287French ambassador reported rumors that Catherine was pregnant.&amp;nbsp;
288The king had one son and heir but the vagaries of life in the 16th
289century made another heir necessary.&amp;nbsp; Henry had just turned
290forty-nine years old and half his subjects were eighteen or
291younger.&amp;nbsp; The security of his realm was his greatest concern and
292it could only be guaranteed by legitimate heirs; as a second son
293himself, he knew the life of young &lt;a
294 href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;Prince
295Edward&lt;/a&gt; was a slender thread upon which to balance a dynasty.&lt;/font&gt;
296  &lt;/p&gt;
297  &lt;p&gt;&lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot; color=&quot;#000000&quot;&gt;Henry married
298Catherine on 28 July 1540 at Oatlands Palace in Surrey.&amp;nbsp; The
299ceremony was a success, albeit lacking in the usual pomp and display of
300royal unions.&amp;nbsp; Catherine was never crowned queen of England.&amp;nbsp;
301Henry VIII simply couldn't afford the ceremony; perhaps, too, he wished
302to wait until the marriage proved successful in the most important way
303and Catherine bore him a son.&amp;nbsp; The king consulted his council on
304creating a new succession should the blessed event occur, pushing his
305daughters Mary and Elizabeth even further from the throne.&lt;/font&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
306  &lt;p&gt;&lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot; color=&quot;#000000&quot;&gt;The next year
307was an Indian summer in the king's life.&amp;nbsp; Catherine chose as her
308motto 'Non autre volonte que la sienne' ('No other wish but his' or 'No
309other will than his') and did her best to amuse and distract him.&amp;nbsp;
310The waste of lives and exorbitant money fighting France had depressed
311the English treasury and the king's spirits.&amp;nbsp; And the Reformation
312had cost him the love of the common people.&amp;nbsp; Henry also
313increasingly suffered from the ailments which would kill him a few
314years later.&amp;nbsp; He had severe headaches and pains throughout his
315body; he found it difficult to sleep and was often impotent.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/font&gt;
316  &lt;/p&gt;
317  &lt;p&gt;&lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot; color=&quot;#000000&quot;&gt;English
318politics had become another headache for the king.&amp;nbsp; His great
319advisor and friend, Thomas Cromwell, had championed the Protestant
320cause and the union with Anne of Cleves.&amp;nbsp; The king's
321disappointment - and the endless conniving of Cromwell's enemies - led
322to his arrest and execution on the very day Henry and Catherine
323married.&amp;nbsp; Within a few months, the king openly lamented the loss
324of his 'most faithful servant'.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/font&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
325  &lt;p&gt;&lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot; color=&quot;#000000&quot;&gt;Chief among
326Cromwell's enemies were Catherine's uncle Norfolk and his close friend,
327Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester.&amp;nbsp; Norfolk had always chafed
328at the power Henry granted the 'commoner' Cromwell; Gardiner was a
329Catholic who despised Cromwell's legislative destruction of the papacy
330in England.&amp;nbsp; They used Catherine and the king's own impatience and
331cupidity to destroy Cromwell.&amp;nbsp; But it was only a brief triumph.&lt;/font&gt;
332  &lt;/p&gt;
333  &lt;p&gt;&lt;font face=&quot;Times New Roman,Times&quot; color=&quot;#000000&quot;&gt;Catherine was
334not pregnant in the summer of 1540, nor did she become so.&amp;nbsp; But
335the king was so physically affectionate with her in public that none
336doubted the happy event would occur.&amp;nbsp; Still, warning signs about
337this hasty marriage had already begun.&amp;nbsp; Catherine's relationship
338with Dereham had never been kept secret, though Henry was perhaps
339unaware of it.&amp;nbsp; His courtiers gossiped and wondered.&amp;nbsp; Joan
340Bulmer, a young woman who had lived with Catherine at Lambeth,
341requested that Catherine bring her to court to share in her 'great
342destiny'; it was a subtle blackmail.&amp;nbsp; In August 1541, Dereham was
343made her secretary, perhaps as a bribe to keep quiet about their former
344relationship.&amp;nbsp; So even as she collected rich gifts of gowns,
345jewels, fur cloaks, and golden clocks, Catherine knew her indecorous
346past lurked in the background.&amp;nbsp; Was she worried?&amp;nbsp; As her
347later behavior showed, she was not.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/font&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
348  &lt;p&gt;She was not merely collecting personal finery, but also lands and
349manors that had once belonged to Jane Seymour and even Thomas
350Cromwell.&amp;nbsp; And she began to explore the traditional role of the
351queen as patroness.&amp;nbsp; She also took great care to ensure her aged
352husband's happiness.&amp;nbsp; Many biographers have speculated on
353Catherine's true feelings for Henry VIII.&amp;nbsp; She probably did not
354love him in the most romantic sense of the word, but she did love him
355for the affection and generosity he showed her.&amp;nbsp; And she also
356approached him with something of an awed reverence, for he was the king
357and thus a quasi-mystical figure, all-knowing and all-powerful.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
358  &lt;p&gt;But he was not immune to illness and in the spring of 1541, the
359king fell low with a serious fever and Catherine was sent away for her
360own safety.&amp;nbsp; It was around this time that she began her affair
361with Culpeper, the handsome young man who had caught her fancy two
362years before; as evidence, we need only &lt;a
363 href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;read her only
364surviving letter&lt;/a&gt;, written to Culpeper in April 1541.&amp;nbsp; When the
365king recovered, he took Catherine on a royal progress through the north
366of England and again the French ambassador reported rumors of her
367pregnancy.&amp;nbsp; It was even suggested that, should the condition be
368confirmed, Catherine would be crowned at York Minster.&amp;nbsp; These
369rumors prove that Henry still made love to his wife on a somewhat
370regular basis.&amp;nbsp; And for her part, Catherine was confident she
371could 'meddle with a man' without pregnancy, which made her
372relationship with Culpeper safe.&amp;nbsp; He and Dereham both traveled in
373the progress as members of the royal household.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
374  &lt;p&gt;In Catherine's rather simple view of marriage, as long as she and
375the king were happy, nothing else mattered.&amp;nbsp; And since the king
376would be happy as long as he was ignorant, all would be well. &lt;/p&gt;
377  &lt;p&gt;And the king was ignorant for a surprisingly long time.&amp;nbsp; For
378his part, Culpeper was using Catherine's infatuation to further his own
379ambitions.&amp;nbsp; He was not a particularly 'gentlemanly'
380gentleman.&amp;nbsp; In fact, he had brutally raped a park-keeper's wife,
381ordering three of his servants to hold her down during the attack; he
382also murdered a villager who tried to save her.&amp;nbsp; He had been
383pardoned by the king, but it is one of the few facts we know about
384Culpeper and not a pleasant one.&amp;nbsp; His ambitions regarding
385Catherine undoubtedly stemmed from Henry VIII's ill health.&amp;nbsp; If
386the king died, then the queen dowager would maintain some influence and
387power at court.&amp;nbsp; Before that inevitable day, she could give him as
388many expensive gifts as he desired.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
389  &lt;p&gt;Did Catherine love Culpeper?&amp;nbsp; She undoubtedly did, at least
390as much as her immature view of love allowed.&amp;nbsp; He was handsome,
391very charming, if only in a superficial manner, and he complemented and
392cajoled her.&amp;nbsp; She became increasingly open in her affection,
393enough to worry Culpeper himself.&amp;nbsp; As a gentleman of the privy
394chamber, he knew the king's moods better than anyone and had no desire
395to risk much for Catherine.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
396  &lt;p&gt;But there were others at court who knew of the relationship, and
397they would not keep quiet.&amp;nbsp; When the northern progress finally
398ended on 1 November, and the royal couple settled at Hampton Court
399Palace, Catherine's past and present indiscretions caught up with
400her.&amp;nbsp; She had been safe enough during the northern progress, for a
401traveling court was not nearly as gossip-ridden as a settled one; there
402were, after all, far more practical matters to attend to as the king
403moved from city to city.&amp;nbsp; But once they were home, other matters
404could take precedence - matters like the queen's infidelity. &lt;/p&gt;
405  &lt;p&gt;Catherine's fall from grace was so rapid that foreign ambassadors
406were at a loss to explain it.&amp;nbsp; The man behind it was John
407Lascelles, the brother of Mary Hall, herself a chambermaid to the
408dowager duchess of Norfolk and thus privy to Catherine's past.&amp;nbsp;
409However, the past was not necessarily a danger to the queen; most young
410women could not withstand scrutiny of their early flirtations.&amp;nbsp;
411They were perhaps not serious enough to warrant her execution.&amp;nbsp;
412Lascelles, who was a 'convinced reformer', was motivated by his
413religious convictions and not personal animosity towards
414Catherine.&amp;nbsp; But she represented the conservative Catholic faction
415and, with her influence, they were growing more powerful and
416reactionary.&amp;nbsp; Lascelles went to Thomas Cranmer, Henry's close
417friend and archbishop of Canterbury.&amp;nbsp; Cranmer recognized the
418dangers to Catherine, namely the precontract with Dereham that would
419invalidate her marriage to Henry VIII.&amp;nbsp; The precontract, of
420course, while ending her marriage, also excused her intimacy with
421Dereham.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
422  &lt;p&gt;On 2 November, while Henry attended a Mass for All Souls' Day,
423Cranmer passed him a letter with the charges.&amp;nbsp; The king was
424immediately 'perplexed' and believed the letter was a forgery.&amp;nbsp;
425This was his first and thoroughly honest reaction; Catherine had
426deceived him well.&amp;nbsp; He ordered Cranmer to keep the matter private
427and began an investigation.&amp;nbsp; It took but a few days for
428Catherine's house of cards to come tumbling down.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
429  &lt;p&gt;An assortment of female servants were arrested and sent to the
430Tower, as was Dereham.&amp;nbsp; He was tortured; he confessed his earlier
431relationship and named Culpeper as the queen's current lover.&amp;nbsp;
432Culpeper was then arrested, tortured, and confessed.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
433  &lt;p&gt;When confronted with the confessions, Henry's confusion gave way
434to great anger and self-pity.&amp;nbsp; He managed to blame everyone but
435himself for this latest marital catastrophe.&amp;nbsp; He wished for a
436sword to slay Catherine himself - a not uncommon reaction for a
437cuckolded husband, particularly one who had been so generous and
438trusting.&amp;nbsp; He left Hampton Court on 5 November, sailing to
439Whitehall Palace.&amp;nbsp; Catherine was arrested on 12 November and her
440tearful pleas to see the king were ignored; she was locked in her
441rooms.&amp;nbsp; Two days later, she was taken to Syon House.&amp;nbsp; She
442would never see Henry again. &lt;/p&gt;
443  &lt;p&gt;Cranmer was given the distasteful task of interrogating the
444terrified girl.&amp;nbsp; She was hysterical, convinced she would be
445executed like her cousin; even the archbishop felt pity for her
446condition.&amp;nbsp; Perhaps he suggested an option to Henry VIII that he
447had first proposed for Anne Boleyn - let Catherine admit her sins,
448annul the marriage, and send her away.&amp;nbsp; The Dereham precontract
449was the perfect excuse.&amp;nbsp; Catherine need only admit its existence
450and her life would be spared.&amp;nbsp; It was the king's 'most gracious
451mercy' and her only possible chance for survival. &lt;/p&gt;
452  &lt;p&gt;But Catherine, frightened and lacking any counsel, did not realize
453that the precontract would save her life.&amp;nbsp; Instead, she was
454convinced it would be used to condemn her.&amp;nbsp; And so, even as she
455admitted to 'carnal copulation' with Dereham, she stressed his
456'importune forcement' and 'violence'.&amp;nbsp; She and Cranmer wanted the
457same end but talked at odds.&amp;nbsp; And it was possible, too, that Henry
458VIII had never intended to spare her life. &lt;/p&gt;
459  &lt;p&gt;Indeed, with each day that passed, the king was less inclined to
460show mercy.&amp;nbsp; The floodgates had opened and ever more scurrilous
461rumors were heard about his 'Rose without a thorn'. &lt;/p&gt;
462  &lt;p&gt;Catherine was demoted from her position as Queen on 22 November
463and formally indicted two days later for leading an 'abominable, base,
464carnal, voluptuous and vicious life'.&amp;nbsp; She remained at Syon House
465for the next two months.&amp;nbsp; On 10 December, Dereham paid a horrific
466penalty for his 'crimes'; he was hung, drawn, and quartered
467(disemboweled and castrated while still conscious) as a traitor.&amp;nbsp;
468Culpeper was also executed that day, though he suffered a more merciful
469beheading; this was ordered by the king, perhaps because of Culpeper's
470higher rank and personal service in his household.&amp;nbsp; Their heads
471were fixed on spears atop London Bridge and remained there as late as
4721546. &lt;/p&gt;
473  &lt;p&gt;Catherine, meanwhile, continued in a state of suspended
474hysteria.&amp;nbsp; Her various relatives were sent to the Tower, including
475the elderly dowager duchess.&amp;nbsp; Only the duke survived, having
476sufficiently humbled himself before Henry. &lt;/p&gt;
477  &lt;p&gt;Perhaps the executions of Dereham and Culpeper had brought a
478newfound maturity to Catherine.&amp;nbsp; She was content to remain quietly
479at Syon House, though it was clear the king could not allow it.&amp;nbsp;
480On 21 January the House of Lords passed an Act of Attainder and it
481received the king's approval on 11 February.&amp;nbsp; It was intended to
482answer the question vexing them all - of what exactly was Catherine
483Howard guilty?&amp;nbsp; If she had been precontracted to Dereham, then she
484was never married to the king - and thus not guilty of adultery.&amp;nbsp;
485But in a speech on 6 February, Henry made it clear that the new Act
486could punish those who &lt;i&gt;intended&lt;/i&gt; to commit treason (or adultery,
487since adultery in a queen was treason.)&amp;nbsp; It was this intent which
488sealed Catherine's fate.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
489  &lt;p&gt;On Friday, 10 February 1542, the duke of Suffolk arrived to take
490Catherine to the Tower of London.&amp;nbsp; The hysterical frenzy returned;
491she struggled and had to be forced aboard the barge.&amp;nbsp; She was
492dressed in black velvet and lodged in the Queen's Apartments, though no
493longer queen.&amp;nbsp; On Sunday night, she was informed that she would be
494executed the next day.&amp;nbsp; Her only request was that the block be
495brought to her for she wished to 'know how to place herself.'&amp;nbsp; It
496was to be her last act on a grand stage; she would die with all the
497dignity and composure possible. &lt;/p&gt;
498  &lt;p&gt;Around seven o'clock on Monday, 13 February, several privy
499councilors arrived as escort.&amp;nbsp; Her uncle Norfolk was not among
500them, having wisely withdrawn to his country estates.&amp;nbsp; Catherine
501was weak and frightened and had to be helped up the steps to the
502scaffold.&amp;nbsp; But once there, she made a small, quiet speech
503regarding her 'worthy and just punishment'; she prayed for the king's
504preservation and for God's forgiveness.&amp;nbsp; The actual execution was
505over quickly. Catherine's body was interred at the nearby chapel of St
506Peter ad Vincula.&amp;nbsp; &lt;/p&gt;
507  &lt;p&gt;Catherine Howard did not have an impact upon English
508history.&amp;nbsp; She is perhaps the most inconsequential of Henry VIII's
509six wives, her reign as queen a very brief eighteen months.&amp;nbsp; She
510bore no children and made no lasting impression upon those who knew
511her.&amp;nbsp; But it should be remembered that she was thirty years
512younger than her husband, a silly young girl who never understood the
513dangers of royal regard.&amp;nbsp; Her life was over before it had truly
514begun; we can only wonder how it might have ended differently.&lt;/p&gt;
515  &lt;p&gt; &lt;br&gt;
517  &lt;blockquote&gt;
518    &lt;center&gt;
519    &lt;p&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;-1&quot;&gt;&lt;a
520 href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;to the Six
521Wives main page&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/font&gt; &lt;br&gt;
522    &lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;_httpextlink_&amp;amp;rl=1&amp;amp;;&gt;to
523Tudor England&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/font&gt;&lt;/p&gt;
524    &lt;p&gt;&lt;font size=&quot;2&quot;&gt;The only biography of Catherine Howard is &lt;i&gt;A
525Tudor Tragedy&lt;/i&gt; by Lacey Baldwin Smith,&lt;br&gt;
526which is sadly out-of-print.&amp;nbsp; Catherine is also the subject of
527Ford Madox Ford's&lt;br&gt;
528    &lt;i&gt;The Fifth Queen&lt;/i&gt;, one of my favorite works of historical
530    &lt;/center&gt;
531  &lt;/blockquote&gt;
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