Isabella, Queen Without a Conscience

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Isabella: Queen Without a Conscience by Bard, Rachel

However, Arthur died in Following the death of her husband, she was assigned a house in London, the Durham House, where she was surrounded by Spanish servants: here, she could live as dowager princess of Wales Davies and Edwards A papal dispensation was obtained for the marriage, which was solemnised on June 11, Catherine bore five children, all of whom except the youngest, Mary, born in , died in infancy. Catherine of Aragon demonstrated a keen interest in education: in fact, after having reached a proficient level in English, she undertook a more serious study of Latin.

Her favourite religious order was that of the Franciscans, who were popular in Spain. By the early s, when the alliance with Spain had cooled and it had become clear that Catherine would never provide a male heir, Henry began to look for another solution. He asked for a declaration of nullity from the Pope Clement VII, on the ground that the dispensation had been illegal.

Isabella of Valois, The Child Bride of Richard II

Catherine fought the suit bitterly, finally appealing the case from the legislative court in London to Rome Meanwhile, in , Henry had left Catherine at Windsor and set up a separate establishment. In her marriage was declared null and void by Archbishop Cranmer, and she was removed in semi-custody to Buckden in Huntingdonshire.

In , she was transferred to more comfortable quarters at Kimbolton, where she died on January 7, By , Catherine was already forty, and after five pregnancies and one only surviving child, the future Queen of England Mary I, prospects of another pregnancy seemed highly unlikely Burke Since at that time there were no translations of the Ancient Greek and Latin versions of the Old Testament, Burke offers his readers the possible quotes that Henry was referring to:.

In fact, her sorrow is evident in the speech she gave at her trial at Blackfriars on June , in which she recalls their relationship and pleads Henry for a reconsideration of his choice:. Sir, wherein have I offended you, or what occasion of displeasure have I designed against your will and pleasure? Intending as I perceive to put me from you, I take God and all the world to witness, that I have been to you a true and humble wife, ever conformable to your will and pleasure, that never said or did anything to the contrary thereof, being always well pleased and contented with all things wherein ye had any delight or dalliance, whether it were in little or much, I never grudged in word or countenance, or showed a visage or spark of discontentation.

I loved all those whom ye loved only for your sake, whether I had cause or no; and whether they were my friends or my enemies. This twenty years I have been your true wife or more, and by me ye have had divers children, although it hath pleased God to call them out of this world, which hath been no default in me.


A codicil added on November 23rd asked for the Indians in the New World to be kindly treated. She did not want to die with them on her conscience.

At the end the Queen said that prayer and the reading of biblical texts, especially from Job, had given her a clearer understanding of God than she had ever felt before. She died on a Tuesday morning, between eleven and twelve o'clock, after receiving the last rites.

Isabella was fifty-three. She had been queen of Castile for thirty years since and joint ruler of Castile and Aragon with her husband Ferdinand for twenty-five.

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Her body was put in a plain coffin covered with leather and tied with cords, and carried behind a cross draped in black cloth across country through torrents of rain and over rivers in flood to reach Granada at last on December 18th. An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page.