On this day, 7th January 1536, Catherine of Aragon dies at Kimbolton Castle, Cambridgeshire.
Catherine, daughter of the Catholic Kings of Spain, as her parents were jointly known, came to England as a 16 year old princess and would never leave.Catherine had been married to two Tudor princes, Prince Arthur and his younger brother, Henry who had just become King Henry VIII.
One of Henry's first decisions as king was to marry Catherine. The marriage had papal dispensation because Henry was marrying his dead brother's widow, but no one had an issue with the union until some years later when Henry questioned God's will in not granting him a son and heir. He increasingly believed that this marriage had offended God and wanted a way out. This led to a very long drawn out process with many victims along the way including Catherine herself and their daughter Mary.
Catherine and Mary were very close. Catherine had been a hands on mother, as her mother Isabella of Castile had been to her, but as the divorce proceedings led into the beginnings of religious reform Henry became paranoid that Catherine could be a figurehead for rebellion. He banned Catherine and Mary from seeing each other, even on Catherine's deathbed. As a mother, my heart breaks at this fact and we can little wonder why Mary held on to the memory of her mother so tightly!
Catherine was buried at Peterborough Abbey, now Peterborough Cathedral, where you can visit her tomb. On the say of her funeral Henry VIII's new wife, Anne Boleyn, miscarried a baby boy.