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Old 09-13-2006, 07:52 AM
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Henry VIII and Wives (1491-1547)

IIRC Henry VIII. wanted a annullation of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon because of reasons which were valid in itself: she had been married before to his elder brother Arthur and was the widowed Princess of Wales when he married her out of political reasons. Normally you need a dispensation from the pope in a case like this but as Catherine was the daughter of the Christian kings of Spain (Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon) they probably thought it would be alright.

When Henry conveniently remembered that there was something legally amiss with his marriage, he asked the pope for an annulation which legally was correct. Alas, the Spanish and the French took care that the pope did not annull this marriage.

So Henry severed the links of the Church in England to the Vatican and replaced the pope as the head of the English Church while retaining most of the old system. Surely he was encouraged by the way other rulers had decided to support the idea of protestantism but still the Church of England kept their close relationship to the Roman-Catholic Church while the Reformed Church of Scotland eg has been much more protestantisms in its structure. The bishops who followed his lead had been Catholic bishops before but now under the new law it was the king who decided about the anullation of the marriage.

But the reasons were valid even under catholic law - it was not a divorce, Henry had reasons to seek an anullation. The next queen, Anne Boleyn, was killed before the king married Jane Seymour. She died, too, before the king married Anne of Cleve. This marriage was anulled, again on valid grounds even according to Catholic law. Catherine Howard was killed, too and the last wife survived the king and was recognized by queen Mary as the king's widow. So the idea that the Church of England started with a divorce is not historically correct, I believe.

Just another sentence to explain the difficulties between Henry and Catherine of Aragon. According to the Medieval/Renaissance-view on marriages, Catherine became Henry's sister when she married his brother. Not sister-in-law, but real sister legally. As it is not allowed for brothers and sisters to marry, you needed a dispensation which severes this former "sibling"- bond to the widow of your brother. This did not happen or in a way that allowed Henry to ask for an anullation because the marriage was invalid: brothers and sisters cannot marry. I hope it's clearer now.
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Old 09-13-2006, 11:58 AM
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Just a little note on King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon's marrige: the Pope did give his agreement to the marriage and proclaimed it would be valid.
That's one of the reasons his successor wasn't all keen (he refused to answer for 7 years!) to grant Henry the annulment, since it would mean the previous Pope and thus Vatican, had been wrong.
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:47 PM
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Avalon, sorry to insist again and but I read in a quite reliable book about the history of Church law that pope Julius II. did not send a proper dispensation because the French had bribed him in order to make sure the marriage between Henry (later Henry VIII.) and Catherine of Aragon would not be valid. When king Henry VII., Catherine's father in law, realized that, he did not allow his son Henry (later Henry VIII.) to marry Catherine out of the fear that God might be against the marriage.

When Henry VIII. became king aged 18, he married Catherine. After numerous stillborn children with only a girl, Mary Tudor, as surviving child, Henry VIII. became superstitious and asked for an annulment. Normally this would have been granted without any problems. But there was the problem with German emperor Charles V., Catherine's nephew through his mother, Joana of Aragon and Castile the heir of Spain and through his father Philipp of Habsburg's inheritance the most powerful lord in Germany and thus elected Holy Roman emperor . Charles V. had marched into Rome and taken the successor of Julius II, pope Clemens VII. prisoner and forced him to reject Henry's request.

So according to this rather scientific book about Church law, Henry VIII. was right to feel that spiritually his marriage was invalid (according to Catholic law) and that Julius II. had tricked them. The emperor insisted on the other hand that there had been no reason for a dispensation in the first place as the marriage between Catherine and prince Arthur had not been consumated according to Catherine. Thus it hadn't been valid and there had been no need for a dispensation for the new marriage. Henry at first had believed that, too (thus he was very slow in enforcing the issue) but when he realized that there wouldn't be an heir he spiritually started believing in the invalidity of his marriage- he saw their childlessness as sign of God according to the words in the bible, that a marriage between a man and his brother's wife should remain childless. Catherine argued that they had a child - Mary - but she could not shake Henry's belief that God had sent a sign to him. So he proceeded.

When he could not get justice from the Vatican due to the emperor's insistence on the marriage, he split from Rome but did not change the system of the church. That was done during the minority of his son Edward as king by Edward's guardians who favoured the reformation.

Sorry to go into details but I think it's interesting in view of the discussion about divorces and the Church of England that Henry VIII. never wanted a divorce as he was a spiritual man and believed in God. If he had accepted divorce, maybe Anna Boleyn and her cousine Catherine Howard had lived a little bit longer....
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:45 PM
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The actions of these popes were very political considering they were supposed to be more concerned about spiritual matters. Not only was there the issue of whether Hnery could marry Catherine in the first place, but then when he wanted an annulment the Pope was more concerned not to upset the Holy Roman Emperor, who was Catherine's nephew.
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth
The actions of these popes were very political considering they were supposed to be more concerned about spiritual matters. Not only was there the issue of whether Hnery could marry Catherine in the first place, but then when he wanted an annulment the Pope was more concerned not to upset the Holy Roman Emperor, who was Catherine's nephew.
You're right, of course when it comes to the political motives. But one should not forget that Henry VIII. lived in a time when belief had a much higher ranking in one's personal actions than it has today. Kings, in their belief that they were made "by the Grace of God" the most powerful people within their realm, tended to behave accordingly when dealing with their subjects. While interaction within their own rank often was often determined by the view that it was God's wish if they won and if they lost.

Just remember how long Elizabeth I. hesitated before ordering Mary Stuart's death. Mary, like her, was a consacrated queen and Elizabath was afraid that she would set a precedence. Which she did! At least I don't buy the idea of a coincidence when it comes to the killing of king Charles I., Mary's grandson, during the Glorious Revolution.

So I guess Henry really believed that it was a sign of God that he couldn't have a son with Catherine of Aragon. And that he took it as a sign from heaven that Anna became pregnant so quickly in the interval between his annulment and their marriage that she was already pregnant when they married. And he only signed her death warrant after she had born a stillborn son...

Just my opinion, of course but I simply cannot imagine a man from the Renaissance to be so cool when it came to creating a new church.
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine
Avalon, sorry to insist again and but I read in a quite reliable book about the history of Church law that pope Julius II. did not send a proper dispensation because the French had bribed him in order to make sure the marriage between Henry (later Henry VIII.) and Catherine of Aragon would not be valid. When king Henry VII., Catherine's father in law, realized that, he did not allow his son Henry (later Henry VIII.) to marry Catherine out of the fear that God might be against the marriage.
Though I have read in several books about Henry VIII that Pope did allow Henry to marry Catherine, I wasn't entirely sure, as they were more of a novel type books, so I tried to check.

First of all, it is important to remember that Catherine always insisted that her marriage with Arthur was not cosumated, which alone was enough to consider (in those times) the marriage between Henry and Catherine legal, since the marriage between Catherine and Arthur was not, in a way, legal (consumated). Henry humslef acknowledged that Catherine was 'pure', when she married him (during the divorce proccess).

As for the 'licence of marriage', granted by Pope Julius, here are a few quutes from different sources on the matter:

from the Official Website of the British Royal Family
Quote:
Royal divorces had happened before: Louis XII had been granted a divorce in 1499, and in 1527 James IV's widow Margaret (Henry's sister) had also been granted one. However, a previous Pope had specifically granted Henry a licence to marry his brother's widow in 1509.
From Tudor History Organization
Quote:
It was deemed necessary for a papal dispensation to be issued allowing Henry to marry Catherine, as she was his dead brother's wife, and this marriage was prohibited in Leviticus. At the time, and throughout her life, Catherine denied that her marriage to Arthur had even been consummated (and given the boy's health, that is most likely the case) so no dispensation was needed. However, both the parties in Spain and England wanted to be sure of the legitimacy of the marriage, so permission from the pope was sought and received. This issue would be very important during the Divorce and the Break with Rome.
And from Wikipedia
Quote:
Henry VII was in a marital alliance between England and Spain through a marriage between Henry, Prince of Wales, and Catherine. Since the Prince of Wales sought to marry his brother's widow, he first had to obtain a dispensation from the Pope from the impediment of affinity. Catherine maintained that her first marriage was never consummated; if she were correct, no papal dispensation would have been necessary, but merely a dissolution of ratified marriage. Nonetheless, both the English and Spanish parties agreed on the necessity of a papal dispensation for the removal of all doubts regarding the legitimacy of the marriage. Due to the impatience of Catherine's mother, Queen Isabella, the Pope hastily granted his dispensation in a Papal Bull. Thus, fourteen months after her husband's death, Catherine found herself engaged to his brother, the Prince of Wales.
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:21 AM
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Actually the marriage between Arthur and Catherine was consumated. Though Catherine claimed it was not, there were plenty of witnesses brought at the legitine trial to take the consumation as having happened - a fact.

Yes, there was a dispensation given for Catherine's marriage to Henry because she had been married to his brother and could not, in the Catholic Church, be married by any priest within the church without a dispensation from the Pope.

The real reason Henry wanted the annullment had nothing to do with politics or religion, but good old fashioned lust, as well as the fact that he had no living male heir.

He wanted Anne Bolelyn. She wouldn't sleep with him until he married her. Catherine had given him no male heir. Anne was young and he believed she could. So he had to have the marriage annulled.

It was Anne who first introduced Henry to the arguments concerning the annullment. She was a Reformer and wanted to change England to Reform. As Anne told Henry it was simple:

He had married his brother's wife, and God's Law said it was a sin:

Quote:
Leviticus 20:21
"If a man shall take his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless."
Catherine obviously HAD consumated the marriage to Arthur as she and Henry were childless. At least they were unable to have a son, which in Henry's eyes amounted to the same thing.

Therefore, the Pope had erred in giving the dispensation for the marriage and it was his duty to rescind it.

When the Pope refused to grant Henry's request, he simply took the custom and priviledge of England and became head of the Anglican church himself. He got most of the European theological colleges on his side. He chose his own Archbishop of Cantebury, (Cranmer) and the new Archbishop made sure the annullment went through and that Anne and Henry were legally married.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:20 AM
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I think that there is still a great controversy about whether Katherine of Aragon's marriage to Arthur was consummated or not. Historians disagree on this subject.

Henry did marry Anne because of old-fashioned lust and his desire to have an heir but I agree that he was a deeply spiritual man who really didn't want to break away from the Church. In his case I suppose that his selfishness and lust collided with his spirituality!

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Old 10-09-2007, 12:47 AM
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Henry was probably frustrated that as king, he had to bow down to the laws of the Church in order to get a divorce. This was during the rise of the nation state, when the Church was losing the political influence it had during the Middle Ages. Henry, like other rulers, wanted to be king of their country without Rome meddling in his affairs, personal or political.
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:59 AM
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He had the excuse for his selfishness and lust that he needed the heir so his actions were really for the highest and most noble motives. That might have given him at least the veneer of a good reason for pressing ahead with the split with Rome, since securing the nation sounds a lot better on the surface than wanting to dump a barren older wife for a sexy younger one who wasn't prepared to sleep with him before marrying him.

Also, Henry wasn't stupid, and he must have known that the Pope was politically involved as well as spiritually involved since the Holy Roman Emperor was Catherine's nephew, so Henry had all sorts of good excuses if he needed them. We can see today how "holy" men manage to excuse all sorts of bizarre behaviour, and human nature is basically the same now as it was back then.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:06 AM
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After Henry married Anne Bolelyn, once again the pattern of living daughters and stillborn sons re-emerged. In the meantime Henry had fallen in love with Jane Seymour.

Anne gave birth to 3 babies in her years as queen - Two sons were stillborn and she had one living daughter.

Knowing that England would not tolerate another situation like Catherine's, Henry's people brought false charges against Anne, her brother, and several men of the court, that they had been involved in adulterous affairs.

Anne was eventually falsely found guilty and beheaded.

Elizabeth I was the only living offspring of Anne Bolelyn and Henry VIII.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:24 AM
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I read an interesting article about Anne, Henry and Jane Seymour in a reknown German Biographical dictionary of the Church. There they claimed that Henry was in his last stages of marriage to Anne trying to heal the break with the Catholics and while Anne opposed it, Jane came from a powerful Catholic family and was used by her family who tried to bring Henry back to their religious side through his affection for her.

When Anne's lastborn son was not only stillborn but deformed, the Seymours used the king's superstitiousness and his fear that the people might see this occurance as proof that he was not by the grace of God king of England to make him search for proof that this deformed child was not his.

Don't know if this is reliable information, though.
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:07 PM
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Didnt he have a son outside of Wedlock Whats the story behind all that
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:13 AM
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Yes, Henry VIII did have a son - well one that was recognized as such, with his Mistress Elizabeth Blount. He was called Henry Fitzroy, and was made Duke Of Richmond and there were plans in the works for him to be named King Of Ireland. If you watched the Tudors, he died as a little boy. In actuality he was about 20 when he died.

There was another child, Henry Carey, son of Anne Bolelyn's sister, Mary, that was born shortly after Henry switched from Mary to Anne. Henry Carey was suspected to have been Henry's son. The problem is that Mary was married right around the time of the pregnancy and without DNA, we can't tell whether he was Henry's or Mary's husband's. They say he bore a STRONG resemblance to the King.
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:45 AM
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Jane Seymour's relationship with Henry is a blur in that we don't know how it started. She just kind of shows up as "the woman the King has cast a fancy on." Henry pledged to Jane he would marry her before he slept with her, and therefore quickly set out to get rid of the sonless Anne.

On the day of Anne's death, Henry went directly to Jane and they were married that same day.

Jane Seymour was everything that Anne Bolelyn was not. She was subserviant, a little mousy, very pale and plain in face, humble and submissive. Her family were Catholic and set out to turn England away from Reform.

During Jane's reign, Catherine of Aragon's daughter Mary (later known as Mary I: The Bloody Queen), was invited into the court on 2 conditions. She must recognize Henry as head of the Church in England, and must sign a paper that her mother's marriage was sinful and not a marriage at all. She did both because her people were threatened with death as she was with banishment to The Tower. From then on Mary could do no wrong and was invited to court with her father and step-mother.

Jane's only child was Edward VI, his birth announcement made it plain that he was "Born in most lawful matrimony between the King and us (Jane)."

A few days after the baby's birth, Jane died from Puerperal fever also called childbed fever, (which can develop into puerperal sepsis, which is a serious form of septicaemia contracted by a woman during or shortly after childbirth or abortion - symptoms include: Fever, Flu Like Symptoms, Abdominal pain, Foul smelling feminine discharge, Abmormal feminine bleeding ), probably from the unsanitary instruments used during the delivery.

Henry mourned for her and did not as quickly remarry.
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windsorbrides1 View Post
Jane Seymour's relationship with Henry is a blur in that we don't know how it started. She just kind of shows up as "the woman the King has cast a fancy on." Henry pledged to Jane he would marry her before he slept with her, and therefore quickly set out to get rid of the sonless Anne.

On the day of Anne's death, Henry went directly to Jane and they were married that same day.


Henry and Jane were engaged the day after Anne's execution and were married ten days later.

Quote:
During Jane's reign, Catherine of Aragon's daughter Mary (later known as Mary I: The Bloody Queen), was invited into the court on 2 conditions. She must recognize Henry as head of the Church in England, and must sign a paper that her mother's marriage was sinful and not a marriage at all. She did both because her people were threatened with death as she was with banishment to The Tower. From then on Mary could do no wrong and was invited to court with her father and step-mother.


Mary recognized her father's second marriage, because in her eyes, her father was a widower and could remarry (her mother, Catherine of Aragon, died shortly before Anne was charged). Apart from that, Jane had always been loyal to her Queen Catherine, both Mary and Jane were devoted Catholics and used to share friendship when Jane was still lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine.


Quote:
Henry mourned for her and did not as quickly remarry.

Indeed, Henry saw Jane as his only 'true' wife, the one who gave brith to the long-awaited heir. On his deathbed, he requested to be buried with Jane.
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:49 AM
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Avalon, am reading the 6 wives of henry VIII by antonia frasier, Anne Boleyn had been Queen for nearly three and a half years when she was excecuted but it was a mere four months since the death of the King's first wife
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:18 AM
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You are perfectly right susan alicia.

Henry and Catherine were married on June 11, 1509.
Henry and Catherine's marriage was annuled on May 23, 1533.
Henry and Anne were married on May 28, 1533.
Anne's coronation took place on June 1, 1533.
Catherine died on January 7, 1536.
Anne's musician, Mark Smeaton, was arrested on April 28, 1536.
Anne was arrested on May 2, 1536.
Anne was executed on May 19, 1536.
Henry and Jane were engaged on May 20, 1536.
Henry and Jane were married on May 30, 1536.
Jane died on October 24, 1537.

Anne was Queen Consort for 2 years, 9 months and 18 days. And 4 months and 12 days after the death of Queen Catherine.
Jane was Queen Consort for 1 year, 4 months and 26 days.
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:39 AM
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well, lets say Antonia is right, she is a good reseacher I believe
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Old 10-12-2007, 10:39 AM
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I recently read that Henry VIII had syphyllis (very common in those days, called the Pox) which accounts for the number of still born or miscarried children born to his wives. The Healthy illegitimate son was born early in Henry's life (IIRC the same day as Princess Mary), perhaps before he contracted it. It would also account for the weeping intractable ulcer high on his thigh, and his paranoia and rages at the end as the dementia from the disease sets it. We'll cetainly never know, but it fits the facts we have at hand.
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