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  #141  
Old 02-14-2009, 02:38 PM
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I consider all 6 as his wives, King Henry VIII did, and no one seemed to object in England, so legal or not, they were his wives and Queens of England. Mind you nobody in England would have objected at the time or the Tower would have beckoned.
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  #142  
Old 02-15-2009, 08:06 AM
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Actually, Henry VIII recognized only Jane Seymour and Katherine Parr as his lawfully wedded wives. He proclaimed his other four marriages null and void - which means that the other four women were never his wives. Furthermore, a person who considered Katherine of Aragon to be Henry VIII's wife was more likely to end up in the Tower than the person who considered her second marriage null and void.
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  #143  
Old 02-15-2009, 08:36 AM
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Henry VIII declared what he wished and the people had to "believe" it or go to the tower. Luckily these days that doesn´t happen and he is dead and gone but if Catherine of Aragon had had a boy she would have been his legitimate wife for sure.
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  #144  
Old 02-15-2009, 08:47 AM
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That's all true. However, it's not possible to consider both Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn to be Henry VIII's lawfully wedded wives. The English law doesn't recognize either one of them as Henry VIII's lawful wife, but you recognize both of them? How come? If Henry VIII's marriage to Katherine of Aragon wasn't null and void, then his marriage to Anne Boleyn was null and void because he married Anne while Katherine was very much alive Or, if one doesn't consider Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn to be null and void, then one has to consider his marriage to Katherine of Aragon to be null and void. Furthermore, if you believe that Henry consumated his marriage with Anne of Cleves and that she was his lawfully wedded wife, then Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr were never his wives because Anne of Cleves outlived both of them.

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  #145  
Old 02-15-2009, 09:03 AM
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That's all true. However, it's not possible to consider both Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn to be Henry VIII's lawfully wedded wives. The English law doesn't recognize either one of them as Henry VIII's lawful wife, but you recognize both of them? How come? If Henry VIII's marriage to Katherine of Aragon wasn't null and void, then his marriage to Anne Boleyn was null and void because he married Anne while Katherine was very much alive Or, if one doesn't consider Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn to be null and void, then one has to consider his marriage to Katherine of Aragon to be null and void. Furthermore, if you believe that Henry consumated his marriage with Anne of Cleves and that she was his lawfully wedded wife, then Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr were never his wives because Anne of Cleves outlived both of them.

Oh Kotroman you make things so complicated. He divorced his first wife, married his second wife, killed her (became an instantaneous widower) his next wife died in childbirth before he could get sick of her, his next wife was not to his liking so he divorced her, he then married a silly little flibbertygibbet who couldn´t behave so he, once again became an instantaneous widower and married his last wife Catherine Parr who was lucky enough to outlive him.
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  #146  
Old 02-15-2009, 01:28 PM
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It's somewhat pointless to be tilting at windmills here.
It is accepted fact that Henry VIII had six wives and any argument to the contrary won't achieve anything productive.
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  #147  
Old 02-15-2009, 01:51 PM
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Oh, I am not claiming that all the historians who say "six wives of Henry VIII" are wrong! I am just intrigued by the fact that Henry VIII's marital life can be seen from so many perspectives: perspective of the English law and the Church of England, perspective of the Roman Catholic Church, etc.

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It is accepted fact that Henry VIII had six wives and any argument to the contrary won't achieve anything productive.
Aren't forums meant to be places for discussion? Anyway, discussions about this matter are certainly more productive than discussions about the new pink dress worn by Princess X.
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  #148  
Old 02-15-2009, 02:50 PM
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Given my limted knowledge ... just a personal view on the situation...

If memory serve me right, Henri VIII married Catherine of Aragon in the Roman Catholic Church and divorced her in the newly minted Anglican Church. This fact cast a shadow over the legality of the marriage between Henri VIII and Anne Bolyen. It is worth noting that King in the question did have other qualms of a political and religious nature that were bothering him as well. From political stand point, Henri VIII had legitimate concerns about having a Heiress Presumptive because the last female ruler of England (i.e., Empress Matilda)proved inefficient. This resulted in a civil war. Henry VIII did not want yet another internal strife undermining England's not-so-strong position in the international arena, where the Vatican pulled strings. Thus, his desire to have a Heir Presumptive is understandable.
In my personal opinion, the marriage legality between Henri VIII and Anne Bolyen boils down to "Is it legally possible to marry in the church of one doctrine and divorce in the church of another doctrine?". Needless to mention, Catherine of Aragon never gave in to her husband's demands to grant a divorce or retire to a convent. Catherine of Aragon wanted her divorce case to be heard in Vatican, which made this union official and was reluctant to let Henri VIII marry a lady of his choice. The most intriguing thing for me is that Henri VIII never tried to get rid of Catherine by forcibly locking her in a convent or physically removing her from the picture (i.e., poison). He got rid of Anne Boleyn without big troubles.
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  #149  
Old 02-15-2009, 03:03 PM
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Henry risked enough by removing Catherine from court. She was a princess in her own right and the aunt of the Holy Roman Emperor who had vast armies at his disposal. She was also quite popular with the people. Anne's connections were not quite so grand, nor so potentially dangerous and many hated her. Thus it was much easier to be rid of her.
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  #150  
Old 02-15-2009, 03:13 PM
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Does it mean that the situation for parties involved was awkward? Catherine of Aragon never considered the divorce issued by the Church of England as legal ... as far as I understand. She wanted her case to be heard in Vatican, which represented the church that blessed and legitimatise her marriage.
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  #151  
Old 02-15-2009, 03:20 PM
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Catherine never accepted the decree by the newly minted Church of England that her marriage to Henry was declared invalid. Henry didn't divorce her, he had the marriage annulled meaning that, in the eyes of the CoE, it never existed in the first place. It was certainly awkward for all parties involved.
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  #152  
Old 02-15-2009, 03:37 PM
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That fact makes it impossible for someone to recognize both Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn as Henry VIII's lawfully wedded wives. Henry VIII was aware of this situation - in which people had no idea who was their lawful queen - so he decided to make it easier for them by having Anne Boleyn executed shortly after the annulment of their marriage. Catherine of Aragon was already dead by then, so his new wife would meet no opposition whatsoever.
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  #153  
Old 02-15-2009, 03:53 PM
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You do have a point there.
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  #154  
Old 02-15-2009, 05:24 PM
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There was a historical novel by Jean Plaidy about Henry VIII and his wives that had a very apt title "Murder Most Royal".
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  #155  
Old 02-15-2009, 10:03 PM
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That fact makes it impossible for someone to recognize both Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn as Henry VIII's lawfully wedded wives. Henry VIII was aware of this situation - in which people had no idea who was their lawful queen - so he decided to make it easier for them by having Anne Boleyn executed shortly after the annulment of their marriage. Catherine of Aragon was already dead by then, so his new wife would meet no opposition whatsoever.
If you wanted to argue semantics, you could say that all six marriages count because he was lawfully wedded by one church or another all six times. Also, all six women were considered the Queen of England, which they never would have been if they had not been married to the King.
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  #156  
Old 02-15-2009, 10:58 PM
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Right you are, kimebear, noting that all ladies in question were viewed as Queens of England. The course of history smoothed over sharp angles. However, post-Aragon/Bolyen marriages existed in a clear legal situation. This means that King Henri VIII was legally single, when taking Jane Seymour (Anne of Cleves, who consented to divorce without any problems; Kathryn Howard; and Katherine Parr) in marriage. I believe that is all.
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  #157  
Old 02-16-2009, 03:58 AM
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Then of course later on we have the tricky situation of Mrs Fitzherbert.
King Henry VIII had no problems at all, he just did what he wanted and got away with it and while getting his own way assured himself he was doing the right thing and eliminated all reasons for feeling guilty or having a bad conscience.
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  #158  
Old 02-16-2009, 02:49 PM
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If you wanted to argue semantics, you could say that all six marriages count because he was lawfully wedded by one church or another all six times. Also, all six women were considered the Queen of England, which they never would have been if they had not been married to the King.
Actually, one church or another later proclaimed four of the six marriages null and void (non-existing). So, he "lawfully" wedded Anne Boleyn in the Church of England, but the Church of England later proclaimed that they were never lawfully wedded and that the marriage didn't exist - and therefore, that Anne Boleyn was never queen. As we all know, Katherine of Aragon was not stripped of her title of queen because her marriage to Henry ended - she was stripped of her title because her marriage to Henry never actually existed in the eyes of the English law. All six women were considered the Queen of England while they were considered the King's lawfully wedded wife. When their marriages were annulled, the Church proclaimed that they never queens.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:12 PM
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Does it leave us with Jane Seymour and Katherine Parr as lawful Queens of England?
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:08 PM
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That's what the Church of England and Henry VIII himself believed - that only Jane Seymour and Katherine Parr were Henry VIII's lawful queens consort. The Roman Catholic Church, however, believes that Katherine of Aragon was Henry VIII's lawful queen consort too, along with Jane Seymour and Katherine Parr.

I am aware that all historians refer to Anne Boleyn as Queen of England from 1533 until 1536, but one must remember that all historians acknowledge Elizabeth I's illegitimacy (she herself did and, unlike her sister Mary I, she never retroactively proclaimed her parents' marriage valid). So, the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England (along with Henry VIII and Elizabeth I) agree that Anne Boleyn was never Henry's lawfully wedded wife.

Oh, I've just came across Alison Weir's reference to Henry VIII's funeral procession. She says that banners were carried in the procession, but that only Jane Seymour and Katherine Parr were represented. Francis Lancelott, who wrote in 1859, says that Henry VIII chose to acknowledge only Jane Seymour and Katherine Parr as his wives. So, although Henry VIII said "I do" six times, he was lawfully married only twice
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