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  #441  
Old 06-22-2010, 11:30 AM
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But wouldn't people just assume that the marriage had been consummated by virtue of the couple sleeping together after the ceremony? I mean, did the Court conduct some sort of contemporary inspection which led them to conclude, while Arthur was living, that the marriage had been consummated? If not, then the fact that Katherine was moved carefully to another location was probably evidence of the Court just taking necessary precautions to ensure the child's safety if she was indeed pregnant, not that they believed she was pregnant or that they definitely knew the marriage had been consummated.
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  #442  
Old 06-22-2010, 01:00 PM
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I would assume, if I were in the position of the court, that if they slept together the night they married, that would mean the marriage had been consumated.
I remember watching the film Marie Antoinette, and every morning after the couple woke, they were asked, had they consumated the marriage yet.
I am sure Henry's advisers would have asked similar questions.
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  #443  
Old 06-22-2010, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by windsorbrides1 View Post
Also, the Castille women did NOT have a good record of Fertility at all. In fact Katherine's sisters children were mostly all stillborn or died soon after birth. Henry would have known this before marrying Katherine.
True, Isabella only had one, and he died, but Juana had six who lived. Maria had six, who lived, too. They may have had more who died or were stillborns, but they did each have six. Two of Juana's were emperors and four became queen. Or queen consorts, rather.
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  #444  
Old 06-22-2010, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Lumutqueen View Post
I would assume, if I were in the position of the court, that if they slept together the night they married, that would mean the marriage had been consumated.
I remember watching the film Marie Antoinette, and every morning after the couple woke, they were asked, had they consumated the marriage yet.
I am sure Henry's advisers would have asked similar questions.


Exactly! Was there any evidence that such questions were asked of the royal couple? And if so, how could the questioners be assured the royal couple knew what "consummation" meant? Today, any teenager has a good idea of what consummation would entail but I am sure there are some innocents out there who don't know and back in Arthur's time, he and Katherine would be expected to be ignorant of sex. Katherine surely would be expected to be ignorant of sex, being female and her family needing to protect her virginity for dynastic reasons.
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  #445  
Old 06-22-2010, 06:17 PM
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I don't know if questions were asked but the is an often quoted comment from Arthur that the morning after the wedding he supposedly said 'I have spent the night in Spain' which is often taken to mean that he believed that the marriage had been consummated.
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  #446  
Old 06-22-2010, 06:27 PM
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I have heard the supposed statement "I have spent the night in Spain" but often wondered if Arthur really said that (was he that sophisticated or even witty to make such a statement as a teenager?) or if it was made up by a courtier to support Henry's later argument that his brother consummated the marriage with Katherine.
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  #447  
Old 06-23-2010, 02:41 PM
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I would say it was made up. I don't think he was as you said, that sophisticated or witty.
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  #448  
Old 06-23-2010, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
I have heard the supposed statement "I have spent the night in Spain" but often wondered if Arthur really said that (was he that sophisticated or even witty to make such a statement as a teenager?) or if it was made up by a courtier to support Henry's later argument that his brother consummated the marriage with Katherine.

It has always struck me as the sort of comment that others have said about their wedding nights and he said the same thing e.g. a friend marries a girl from say York and says 'I spent the night in York' to his friends the next day, Arthur heard it and then repeated the comment with appropriate changes after his night. Comments like this don't have to be original. The conversations seem to have been more bawdy then than today and thus he may very well have said it without truly meaning that the marriage was consummated but more that he had spent the night with her.

I have always believed that the marriage was consummated mainly because people lived much closer to nature then and therefore even protected girls knew more about what to do from basic observation of the world around them and therefore these two knew what was expected. Yes I do believe that Katherine of Aragon would lie about something like that when it was obvious that she wasn't pregnant in order to maintain the position of future Queen - she would know that if she admitted consumation then no Queen of England for her and that is what she believed was her destiny.
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  #449  
Old 06-23-2010, 10:04 PM
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Your thoughts on Arthur's alleged comments make sense. It appears teenage boys have changed little through the centuries. And I certainly believe that Katherine may have lied but do you really believe Katherine understood what intercourse entailed at that time? While commoners may have lived closer to nature and understood what was going on in the marital bed, would the same be true of a woman raised in a wealthy and royal household? I think that Katherine may have been sheltered and people just expected the two of them to work out how children come to be. Certainly, no one expected Arthur to die so young and some might have expected that one day a child would come from Arthur and Katherine as they matured.
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  #450  
Old 06-23-2010, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
Comments like this don't have to be original. The conversations seem to have been more bawdy then than today and thus he may very well have said it without truly meaning that the marriage was consummated but more that he had spent the night with her.
Agreed Iluvbertie with above comment.

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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
I have always believed that the marriage was consummated mainly because people lived much closer to nature then and therefore even protected girls knew more about what to do from basic observation of the world around them and therefore these two knew what was expected. Yes I do believe that Katherine of Aragon would lie about something like that when it was obvious that she wasn't pregnant in order to maintain the position of future Queen - she would know that if she admitted consumation then no Queen of England for her and that is what she believed was her destiny.
I believe the marriage was consummated because that is what a royal marriage is arranged for-heirs. Queen Katherine not only would have given up a title, but her daughter, Princess Mary would be a bastard. I try to think the best of a person and I think the Queen loved her daughter too much for that to happen. I think if she just had herself to worry about maybe she would have bent to King Henry's wishes for an annulment and a settlement like Ann of Cleves.
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  #451  
Old 06-24-2010, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by georgiea View Post
I believe the marriage was consummated because that is what a royal marriage is arranged for-heirs.
I don't think anyone believes that royal marriages were arranged for other reasons; the question is whether the marriage was consummated before Arthur died. It was hoped that heirs would come from the union and there was a dynastic reason for arranging the marriage but did the two younguns' "get it on" so to speak is the question being debated.
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  #452  
Old 06-30-2010, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
I don't think anyone believes that royal marriages were arranged for other reasons; the question is whether the marriage was consummated before Arthur died. It was hoped that heirs would come from the union and there was a dynastic reason for arranging the marriage but did the two younguns' "get it on" so to speak is the question being debated.
I have to disagree. Royal marriages were contracted and arranged for political reasons, in addition to the getting of heirs.

In the case of Catherine and Arthur, it was considered a good match on both sides for several reasons.

1) The Catholic Kings hoped to gain for their youngest daughter the title of Queen, in a country with which she already had ties of blood and English ancestry through her mother. In fact, Catherine had a stronger legitimacy to the English throne than Arthur, whose house descended from an illegitimate line of John of Gaunt, while Catherine's own line was legitimate.

2) Henry VII desired the match because his sovereignty in England was not readily accepted by all the other kingdoms of Europe. Since the House of Trastamara was then the most prestigious ruling house on the continent, an alliance through marriage lent a great deal of credibility to Henry's right to rule England in the eyes of the rest of Europe. And with Catherine as Princess of Wales and future Queen of England, the House of Tudor's claim to the throne would be further strengthened by her indisputable royal English ancestry.

3) Both England and Spain sought to ally with one another against France, and the best way to do that was through a marriage that would create a blood tie between the two royal houses.

Catherine of Aragon and Arthur, Prince of Wales, were married by proxy when Catherine was fourteen. When Arthur turned fifteen, both sides determined that they were old enough to be formally married.

Do I believe their marriage was consummated? No. I don't believe it was for several reasons.

1) Arthur, Prince of Wales, was not a robust and healthy young man at the time of his marriage. There are several theories as to what caused his death, but whether you believe he died from tuberculosis, diabetes or the sweating sickness, it is clear that he was prone to illness.. enough to concern Henry VII a great deal.

2) Catherine of Aragon was always emphatic that her marriage to Arthur was never consummated. She stated this publicly on several occasions, and even directly challenged Henry VIII on this point. Her religion was as much a part of her as being Queen of England.. and I don't believe she would lie just to hold onto the crown - not even for the sake of her daughter. She was supremely confident that she was Henry's wife, and that could not have been based on a lie.

3) Henry VIII never answered her challenge, and you can be sure that if he did not find her a maid when they married, he would have been the first to say so.. but he didn't.. which I find more telling than any argument otherwise.. because he never called Catherine a liar, and he was the only one (aside from Catherine herself) in a position to know the truth of the matter.
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  #453  
Old 07-01-2010, 12:21 AM
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I admire your point. However, it must be remembered that Katherine and Arthur were essentially children who had been cossetted and sheltered all of their lives. How in the world, at the age of 15, could Katherine possibly understand "consummation" of the marriage? How could Arthur? It must be remembered that Arthur called for wine the next day, saying "Marriage is thirsty work, and I have been deep in Spain." Did he know what he was babbling about? I doubt it. At that age, perhaps kissing and heavy ...ehem...playing around were "consummation" to the young couple.
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  #454  
Old 07-02-2010, 06:29 PM
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I admire your point. However, it must be remembered that Katherine and Arthur were essentially children who had been cossetted and sheltered all of their lives. How in the world, at the age of 15, could Katherine possibly understand "consummation" of the marriage? How could Arthur? It must be remembered that Arthur called for wine the next day, saying "Marriage is thirsty work, and I have been deep in Spain." Did he know what he was babbling about? I doubt it. At that age, perhaps kissing and heavy ...ehem...playing around were "consummation" to the young couple.
The average life expectancy at birth during Tudor times, was 35 years. If a child lived into their mid-teens, they could reasonably be expected to live to their 40s or 50s.. although women usually died younger than men, since they bore the children and their risk of death was much higher.

It is a mistake to view life in medieval Europe through 21st century eyes, because though today we consider a 14 or 15 year old as being still somewhat a child.. in the 15th and 16th centuries that was not the case. Most girls were already mothers by the age of 15, having lived almost half their life expectancy by that time.

Catherine of Aragon would certainly have been aware of the meaning of marital consummation, just as she would have been taught about the court of her future husband and all the other aspects of education for a princess and future queen.

It was considered the duty of a mother to prepare her daughter(s) for marriage, including instruction on the facts of life. I can be virtually certain that Isabella of Castile would not shirk this duty with any of her daughters.

After all, the goal of a political marriage was to unite two houses by blood, with the children or 'fruits' of the marriage cementing the familial relationship and political alliance.

Certainly after all the time and money invested in the negotiations of the betrothal and marriage contract, which could take years in the case of royal children, the sooner the couple performed their duty to beget heirs the better. No one would overlook telling them how that was to be achieved.

It is also the reason that medieval parents carefully timed when a couple would commence sexual relations - usually at the age of 12 for girls and 14 for boys - it was considered safe for them to fully co-habitate, though they could have been legally married for several years by the time they reached those respective ages.

In the case of Arthur of Wales, I have seen no evidence to suggest that he was a virgin when he formally married Catherine at the age of 15. In all likelihood, he was not inexperienced by then. But in any case, he too would have known the meaning of consummation and what was expected of him in fulfilling his marital duty. If he was unable or unwilling to bed his wife, he was still a young man.. who would never admit such a failure to his friends, to his companions or to his courtiers. As a prince he would never admit to a failure of his duty either.

Of the two, Arthur was probably more sheltered than Catherine. If it is true that he was not in good health and/or prone to illness, then he was more likely to have been over-protected by his parents. Catherine, on the other hand, was the daughter of two strong and vigorous parents, who rode into battle together on more than one occasion.. so she probably had more worldly experience than her young husband.

And there is definitely a difference between living a life of privilege, as the son or daughter of a monarch, and being cossetted and sheltered. Most medieval children were never cossetted, in any case; especially the children of the nobility or children of royal rank, who were rarely in the presence of their parents beyond babyhood. They tended to form closer bonds to their nannies, tutors and governesses, than to Mom and Dad.
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  #455  
Old 11-07-2010, 01:25 PM
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Fertility problems throughout her marriage meant that Catherine of Aragon never fulfilled her most important obligation – to produce a male heir. Could this have been a result of her ‘disordered eating’? Historian Giles Tremlett investigates
Was Henry Vlll's first wife anorexic? Catherine of Aragon's secret problem | Mail Online
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  #456  
Old 11-07-2010, 01:40 PM
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well, if katherine was really anorexic that could have effected her fertility. women who are emaciated will sometimes stop having a period...but this is the first time i heard this about katherine...
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  #457  
Old 11-07-2010, 01:44 PM
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I agree....from what I understand with each pregnancy, Katherine gained weight until by the time Anne came about she looked very matronly (of course she was past her child bearing age).

I had also read that Anne would have been unable to have a successful second pregnancy after Elizabeth as a result of some disease that she carried. I think it was in the Allison Weir book. Did anyone hear that as well?
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  #458  
Old 11-07-2010, 06:29 PM
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I agree....from what I understand with each pregnancy, Katherine gained weight until by the time Anne came about she looked very matronly (of course she was past her child bearing age).

I had also read that Anne would have been unable to have a successful second pregnancy after Elizabeth as a result of some disease that she carried. I think it was in the Allison Weir book. Did anyone hear that as well?
Later portraits of Katherine don't show an emaciated woman, in my opinion, and she does look matronly in those portraits.. but to be honest, Bulemia would account for her weight, where Anorexia would not.. and I would venture to guess that the posted article should have said Bulemia rather than Anorexia.

Bulemia can also cause infertility, constant weight fluctuations and enlarged glands in the neck and under the jaw line. Bulimics are much more likely to have an affective disorder, such as depression or general anxiety disorder. The condition still involves binging and purging, but there are quite a few differences between the two disorders. I will not go into the details of their differences, though, since both disorders are well explained on Wikipedia.

The onset of bulimia nervosa is often during adolescence, between 13 and 20 years of age, and many cases have previously suffered obesity. In most cases, the sufferer tends to be of average or slightly above/ below average weight. My best friend in high school had this condition, and she was by no means emaciated by the purging.. she weighed much more than I did.

I haven't heard that about Anne Boleyn. If you find that reference, please let me know.. I'd be very interested to read it.

I do think that whatever problems his wives may have had, that Henry could have had problems of his own.. especially once he reached "middle" age and his weight began to bloom.
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  #459  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:17 AM
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This is interesting. I (and probably many others) always assumed that Catherine's fasting was the result of her religious convictions in hopes of conceiving a son. This article implies that Catherine's erratic eating habits started before her marriage to Henry as a result of her own depression.
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  #460  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:28 AM
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Regarding Anne B, it's entirely possible that she was rhesus negative (as I am) and would've born only one healthy child. The rest would've died before birth.
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