Catherine Howard

Catherine Howard the Fifth wife of King Henry VIII

Picture of Catherine Howard

 

Catherine Howard

  • Interesting Facts and information about Catherine Howard famous as the Fifth wife of Henry VIII
  • Short Biography, Facts and Information about the Life of Catherine Howard
  • Description of Catherine Howard
  • The Early Life of Catherine Howard
  • The Adultery of Catherine Howard
  • The Beheading and death of Catherine Howard
  • The Ghost of Catherine Howard

Catherine Howard

Fifth wife of King Henry VIII

Timeline of Catherine Howard

Catherine Howard - Fifth wife of King Henry VIII
Catherine Howard was the fifth wife of King Henry VIII of England. The life story of this fascinating and tragic Tudor woman, the cousin of Anne Boleyn, is one of the most famous of the Tudor period. The motto of Catherine Howard was '"No other will but his". 

Short Biography, Facts and Information about the Life of Catherine Howard
This short biography and information about Catherine Howard provides basic facts about her life:

  • Nationality: English
  • Role and Position: Fifth wife King Henry VIII
  • Lifespan: 1521 - 1542
  • Motto: The motto chosen by Catherine Howard was 'No other will but his' 
  • Family connections: A member of the powerful Howard dynasty. Her mother was called Sir John Seymour and her mother was Margery Wentworth
  • Married: 28 July 1540
  • Executed: 13 February 1542
  • Family connections: The powerful Howard family. Catherine Howard was the cousin of Anne Boleyn and the niece of the Duke of Norfolk
  • Religion: Catholic
  • Character of Catherine Howard : Kind, flirtatious, impetuous, promiscuous and foolish
  • Appearance of Catherine Howard: Young, pretty and curvaceous

Marriage Overview: King Henry VIII met his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, at the English court where she was a lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves. She did not love the king but she did love the fine clothes and jewels he showered on her. The marriage was manipulated once again by the Howard family. Catherine Howard was the cousin of Anne Boleyn and by a terrible twist of fate both married the same man, King Henry VIII, and both were executed by beheading.

Description of Catherine Howard
The description of Catherine Howard: Catherine Howard was young, pretty and curvaceous. Catherine Howard was thirty years younger than King Henry VIII. The character of Catherine Howard was kind, flirtatious, promiscuous, impetuous and foolish.

The Early Life of Catherine Howard
Catharine Howard was a member of the powerful Howard family but sadly neglected in her early life. She was the first cousin of the ill-fated and tragic Anne Boleyn and her marriage to King Henry VIII followed a similar path. Her mother died when Catherine was nine years old and Catherine Howard was brought up in the house of the Agnes, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. The Dowager Duchess of Norfolk neglected Catherine Howard and paid little attention to her education. Catherine Howard could barely read and write and had been allowed an amount of freedom which should never have been given to a young girl of noble birth and family. As a result of this neglect an the freedom she was allowed the young Catharine Howard had enjoyed illicit relationships with young men.

The Early Affairs of Catherine Howard
The men that Catherine Howard was associated with in her early life were Henry Mannox, a music teacher to the 15 year old Catherine and Francis Dereham, a gentleman usher to the Dowager Duchess. The relationship between Catherine Howard and Francis Dereham was a sexual one and they referred to themselves as "husband and wife". Members of the Dowager Duchess household knew of these relationships. And the Dowager Duchess was informed. The Dowager Duchess was horrified - she was responsible for Catherine's upbringing. Catherine was severely punished - she was whipped

Catherine Howard is sent to the Court of King Henry VIII
The Dowager Duchess had been frightened by the incidents - the head of the Howard family the Duke of Norfolk had singled out his niece Catherine Howard as a pretty girl who could be useful to the fortunes of the Howard dynasty. Catherine was sent to the court of King Henry VIII as a lady-in waiting and just as the Duke of Norfolk had planned and manipulated the young Catherine caught the eye of the ageing King Henry VIII.

The Marriage of Catherine Howard and King Henry VIII
King Henry VIII became obsessed with Catherine Howard. This obsession was described as a "pathetic infatuation". Henry thought of her as a young, innocent and virginal young woman - his "Rose without a thorn". Catherine Howard was a kind and sweet natured girl. She was not frightened of the old, bloated king - he spoiled her and she loved the fine clothes and jewels that were showered upon her. She was barely nineteen years old - King Henry VIII was thirty years older. King Henry VIII married his "Rose without a thorn" but was hardly a suitable partner for the young and impetuous Catherine Howard who was only 19 years of age. Barely married the colored past of Catherine Howard started to catch up with her. She was approached by previous members of the household of the Dowager Duchess and felt obliged to give then positions at court in return for their silence.

The Adultery of Catherine Howard
The Adultery of Catherine Howard: Foolish Catherine Howard then fell in love with a young courtier called Thomas Culpepper. Thomas Culpepper was a gentleman of the bedchamber, an honoured position at court, he tended to every intimate requirement of King Henry VIII. Catherine Howard started a sexual relationship with Thomas Culpepper which was encouraged by a lady-in-waiting called Jane Rochford. Jane Rochford had been the wife of George Boleyn and had played a significant role in the downfall of both her husband and his sister Queen Anne Boleyn. The affair between Catherine Howard and Thomas Culpepper soon became known at the court. But King Henry would not hear a word against his Queen Consort, or her secrets. The Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cramner built a case against the young Catholic Queen based on  the previous sexual involvements of Catherine Howard and her current relationship with Thomas Culpepper ( this included evidence in the form of love letters signed by Catherine Howard  to Thomas Culpepper).

The Death & Execution of Catherine Howard by Beheading
King Henry VIII was truly devastated by the wanton behaviour of his "Rose without a thorn". He banned Catherine Howard from his presence and ordered her arrest. Catherine Howard was arrested at Hampton Court for adultery and tried in vain to reach the King. She was dragged screaming back to her apartments. The lovers of Catherine Howard were executed and she passed their gruesome, impaled heads on London Bridge on her way to Traitor's gate, the entry to the Tower of London. Catherine asked William Kingston for a block so that she could practise her execution. Catherine Howard eventually admitted the affair with Thomas Culpepper and was found guilty of adultery and treason. Henry Mannox, Francis Dereham and Thomas Culpepper were all tortured and then executed. The young Queen asked for a block so she could practise laying her head on it. The Beheading of Catherine Howard took place on February 13th, 1542 . Poor , sweet foolish Catherine Howard, the Queen of England, was going to be deliberately killed by execution. Death by the axe was a terrifying prospect. The executioners often took several blows of the axe before the head was finally severed.  The execution of Queen Catherine Howard was conducted at the Tower of London and witnessed by members of the court. Legend has it that Catherine's last words were: "I die a queen, but would rather die the wife of Culpepper." 

The Gruesome Death of Catherine Howard
Tragic Catherine Howard was executed by beheading at the Tower of London - she was just 21 years old. Following the execution of Catherine Howard her severed head was held up by the hair by the executioner, not as many people think to show the crowd the head, but in fact to show the head the crowd and it's own body! After beheading Catherine Howard would have been conscious for at least eight seconds until the lack of oxygen caused her unconsciousness and eventual death.

The Ghost of Catherine Howard
The ghost of Catherine Howard is said to haunt the Tower of London. Her ghost is said to appear in the bodily likeness to her living person. The ghost of Catherine Howard is believed to haunt her former habitat in the Tower of London. Ghosts are believed to have a surviving emotional memory typical of someone who has died violently, traumatically and tragically - which fits the description of the execution and death of Catherine Howard. It is said that the soul of a ghost is not able to rest in peace and they remain in old and familiar places, repeating the same acts indefinitely until they are released from their endless haunting.  

Catherine Howard
Each section of this Tudors website addresses all topics and provides interesting facts and information about Catherine Howard. The Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of the Tudors!

Catherine Howard

  • The Tudors era, period, life, age and times
  • Catherine Howard, Fifth wife of King Henry VIII
  • Short Biography, Facts and Information about the Life of Catherine Howard
  • Description of Catherine Howard
  • The Early Life of Catherine Howard
  • The Adultery of Catherine Howard
  • The Beheading and death of Catherine Howard
  • The Ghost of Catherine Howard

Catherine Howard

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