The Tudor Society

13 February – The Executions of Catherine Howard and Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford

On this day in Tudor history, 13th February 1542, Catherine Howard, the former queen and fifth wife of King Henry VIII, and her lady-in-waiting, Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, were executed at the Tower of London.

In today's "on this day" video,I look at the accounts of their executions, including the one where Catherine Howard says "I die a Queen, but I would rather die the wife of Culpeper." Did Catherine say that and did Jane Boleyn use her scaffold speech to repent of bringing down Anne Boleyn and George Boleyn in 1536? I relate what happened on 13 February 1542 and what these women said on the scaffold.

See also February 9 - Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, is taken to the Tower.

Book recommendations: Jane Boleyn: The Infamous Lady Rochford by Julia Fox, Young and Damned and Fair by Gareth Russell.

See also:

There are 2 comments Go To Comment

  1. M

    I read both of those books, twice each. I found them fascinating and so well written. I appreciated Julia Fox’s work, especially since lots is lost regarding Jane. (I also really liked Adrienne Dillard’s fictional take on Jane, The Raven’s Widow. Wow, that was great.)
    Ok, I have a question, but this goes back to earlier in the week… The Dudleys, the dukedom of Northumberland. How I know Harry Percy died shortly after Anne did. Did he not have an heir? Or a younger brother that inherited? Northumberland was in the Percy family for centuries, wasn’t it? Anyway, how did it come to the Dudleys?

  2. R

    I think your cat summed up purrfectly how seriously we should take the Spanish Chronicle by walking out of the room as you read from it. Ha!

    Romantic as it might be that Kathryn wanted to die the wife of Thomas Culpeper, it’s a complete myth, of course and Kathryn and Lady Jane Boleyn made final words which were conventional and showed them as prepared for death. Everyone made similar speeches on the scaffold, repentance of sins, accepting their fate and the King’s justice, praying for the King and taking leave of the world. They went with as much dignity as possible.

    Here we have an independent eye witness, not the official person and he says the true version. Kathryn and Jane may have acted foolishly but they deserve some respect at the end, not being maligned by men 100 years later or by films in our modern age.

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13 February – The Executions of Catherine Howard and Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford