On this day in Tudor history, 6th November 1501, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, met her betrothed, Arthur, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King Henry VII, at Dogmersfield in Hampshire.
The couple were actually already married by proxy, but had never met, and Catherine had only just arrived in England.
Find out more about the lead-up to Catherine of Aragon and Arthur Tudor's meeting on 6th November 1501, including Catherine's journey from Spain to England, how their meeting went and what happened next, in today's talk.
Also on this day in Tudor history, Sunday 6th November 1541, Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife, was abandoned by her husband the king at Hampton Court Palace. She would never see him again. On the same day, Queen Catherine was visited by a delegation of king's council members and informed of allegations made against her. What exactly happened on this day in 1541 and what has this to do with Hampton Court Palace's 'Haunted Gallery'? Find out in last year’s video:
Also on this day in history:
- 1514 - Mary Tudor, Queen of France, processed into Paris following her coronation the day before at St Denis.
- 1558 – Baptism of Thomas Kyd, translator and playwright, at St Mary Woolnoth in London. Kyd is known for his play “The Spanish Tragedy”.
- 1612 – Death of Nicholas Fitzherbert, author and former secretary of Cardinal William Allen, near Florence in Italy. Fitzherbert drowned while trying to ford a stream en route to Rome. Fitzherbert left England in the 1570s because of his Catholic faith and to study law at Bologna. In 1580, while he was in Italy, he was attainted of treason back in England due to his Catholic faith. He was buried at Florence, in the Benedictine abbey.
- 1617 – Death of William Harborne, merchant and diplomat, at Mundham in Norfolk, Harborne served Elizabeth I as the English ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople. He was buried at Mundham.
On this day in Tudor history, 6th November 1501, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, met her betrothed, Arthur, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King Henry VII, at Dogmersfield in Hampshire, a palace that belonged to the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
The couple’s marriage had been agreed by the Treaty of Medina del Campo, between England and Spain, in March 1489, and they were betrothed by proxy at Woodstock in August 1497, and then married by proxy at Tickenhall Manor, Bewdley, in 1499.
On 21st May 1501, fifteen year-old Catherine left her home, the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Andalucia, in southern Spain, to make the gruelling 500+ mile journey to A Coruña, a port in Galicia, on the north-western coast of Spain. Catherine’s party set sail for England on 17th August, but strong storms in the Bay of Biscay forced her fleet to land at Laredo, near Bilbao. After hearing of her first failed attempt to reach England, Catherine’s future father-in-law sent one of his best captains, Stephen Butt, to steer her ship through the treacherous Bay of Biscay. At 5 o’clock in the afternoon of the 27th September 1501 Catherine’s party set sail once more. Although violent storms affected their journey again, this time just off the coast of Brittany, the party landed safely at the port of Plymouth, Devon, on 2nd October 1501. They had been due to arrive at Southampton, but at least they were now on English soil.
Catherine’s journey was not over yet. She then had to make her way through England’s West Country to London, and she must have been exhausted by the time she reached Dogmersfield, in Hampshire, having encountered the seasonal November rains on her journey. King Henry VII was impatient to see his son’s bride and so abandoned plans to meet her at Lambeth, and set off from Richmond on 4th November, meeting up with his fifteen year-old son Arthur at Easthampstead on 5th November.
Their plans to see Catherine were nearly scuppered by Don Pedro de Ayala, Isabella and Ferdinand’s diplomat, who insisted that tradition dictated that they could not see the princess before the wedding. As her biographer Julia Fox points out, Catherine “graciously bowed to the inevitable” and agreed to meet with her father-in-law. Henry was happy with what he saw and so called Arthur in to see his bride. Catherine then entertained the royal party with minstrels and dancing. Catherine danced with her ladies and Arthur danced with Lady Guildford.
The next day, Catherine set off from Dogmersfield continuing her journey to London. Catherine and Arthur married in person in a ceremony at St Paul’s in London on 14th November 1501. Sadly, Arthur died on 2nd April 1502 and in 1509 Catherine married his younger brother, King Henry VIII.