Tudor Minute June 21: Catherine of Aragon at the Legatine Court

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for June 21.

Today is the day when Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon both appeared before the Legatine Court and Cardinal Campeggio, which was ruling on the validity of their marriage. Henry spoke first of his love of Catherine, but his troubled conscience that their marriage wasn’t valid. Then Catherine gave the speech of her lifetime. Part of it reads…

“Sir, I beseech you for all the loves that hath been between us, and for the love of God, let me have justice and right, take of me some pity and compassion, for I am a poor woman and a stranger born out of your dominion, I have here no assured friend, and much less indifferent counsel: I flee to you as to the head of justice within this realm. Alas! 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.

Katherine then left the court, saying that it would not give her a fair trial.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.