Katherine of Aragon’s First Miscarriage

On the 31st of January, 1510, Katherine suffered her first miscarriage, giving birth to a still-born daughter.
Henry and Katherine were married on the eleventh of June 1509 and crowned thirteen days later. Henry wrote enthusiastically to Ferdinand of his joy of being married and on November the first informed him that “the Queen is pregnant, and the child in her womb is alive.” At the end of January Katherine went into confinement. When they learned of the tragedy, they did their best to cope with their disappointment but soon their grief was abated when her physician informed them that she had been carrying twins and one of them was still alive. Ecstatic, Katherine and Henry’s hopes were renewed and Henry ordered the nursery to be refurbished but on March when she went into confinement once more, her swelling began to decrease and it became clear to everyone that she had never been carrying twins.  
To make matters worse for her, people began to talk that she could not bear anymore children and she caught wind of her husband’s first affair with Lady Hastings, the Duke of Buckingham’s sister. Caroz, the Spanish Ambassador at the time tried to placate Katherine who (unlike the passive woman she is often believed to be) was livid and made her “ill will” very plain to William Compton (who had been the first to receive the blame for Henry’s attentions to Lady Hastings) and her husband and very soon the whole court knew. Very soon she put the whole episode behind her when she learned she was pregnant again by the end of May. She wrote to her father (who had been left completely in the dark regarding the status of her first pregnancy) informing him that she had miscarried “some days before” but she was pregnant again and that she and the King could not be happier.
  • Katherine of Aragon by Patrick Williams
  • Sister Queens: The Noble and Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana I of Castile by Julia Fox
  • On this Day in Tudor History by Claire Ridgway.

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