A day of bliss and death: Henry VIII marries Katherine Howard

Katherine Howard and Henry VIII signatures

On the same day of Thomas Cromwell’s execution, Henry VIII married the teenager, Katherine Howard at Oatlands Palace located in Surrey. Presiding over the ceremony was the Bishop of London, Edmund Bonner. The ceremony was a low-key affair since Henry had just annulled his marriage with Anne of Cleves. The couple were married at Oatlands Palace. The couple spent the night in an ornate “pearl bed” which had been brought from Greenwich Palace specifically for this occasion. They did not announce their marriage until August 8th at Hampton Court Palace. The French Ambassador, Charles de Marillac, reported that ‘The King is so amorous of her that he cannot treat her well enough and caress her more than he did the others.’

Other envoys also reported favorably on Katherine, stating what had attracted her to Henry:
‘It was upon a notable appearance of honor, cleanness and maidenly behavior and that High Highness was finally contented to honor that lady with his marriage, thinking in his old days -after sundry troubles of mind which had happened to him by marriage- to have obtained such a perfect jewel of womanhood and very perfect love towards him as should have been not only to his quietness but also to have brought forth the desired fruits of marriage.’

Sources:

  • Six Wives and the Many Mistresses of Henry VIII by Amy Licences
  • Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
  • Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Frasesr
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