The Tudor Society

#OTD in Tudor History – 31 January

On this day in Tudor history, Queen Catherine of Aragon suffered a stillbirth, Henry VIII's death was announced and Edward VI proclaimed king, and some more Gunpowder Plotters were executed...

  • 1510 - Queen Catherine of Aragon gave birth to a still-born daughter. Her confessor, Fray Diego, reported that the miscarriage/stillbirth occurred “without any other pain except that one knee pained her the night before.” See video below.
  • 1547 – Thomas Wriothesley announced the death of Henry VIII to Parliament and Edward VI was proclaimed King. Click here to read more.
  • 1597 – Burial of Sir Hugh Cholmondeley, soldier, member of Parliament and Vice-President of the Council in the Marches of Wales, at Malpas Parish Church.
  • 1606 – Executions of Gunpowder Plot conspirators Thomas Winter, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes, and Guy Fawkes at the Old Palace Yard, Westminster. All eight plotters had been found guilty of high treason in a trial at Westminster Hall on 27th January, and four of them had been executed on 30th January at St Paul's. See video below.

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  1. C

    Katherine’s rounded abdomen could have been due to fluid retention and how very sad, to lose a child then to have one’s hopes increased that she could be carrying a twin, or maybe it could have been a phantom pregnancy, the mind can trick the body into believing it’s pregnant when the mother wishes it so much, fast forward many years when her daughter Queen Mary also believed she was carrying a child, her belly swelled and she felt nauseous but after several months had elapsed no child was forthcoming, but in due course she did become pregnant imagine the elation Katherine and the king felt,, and she in due course gave birth to a lovely Bonny prince, named Henry after his father, he was healthy but sadly died after just seven weeks, what on earth did he die from? It has always been a mystery why babies presumably healthy pass away yet is has continued down the centuries, and doctors today are no wiser than their predecessors, called sudden infant death syndrome it was something in the early years of the 20th c doctors had hoped a medical breakthrough would be found, but it has not happened, theories such as smoking and drinking whilst pregnant and after the baby is born have been put forward, and laying the baby on its back or front and other such theories have found no possible answers, royal babies since ancient times were fussed over they had luxurious warm chambers a wet nurse carefully chosen, no drunk bawd for them to suckle from, warm blankets and they were bathed and swaddled soon after birth, this process called swaddling meant the infant was bound in linen from neck to foot which I feel maybe impaired their breathing, but it is a mystery and there is another factor, boys were said then and now to be more at risk of cot death, although Katherine lost daughters as well as sons until finally she gave birth to Princess Mary, and she herself was not healthy, and died in her fortieth year from possibly cancer, we can feel for this sad queen who suffered the loss of so many infants five in total, who was much loved by her people, a much admired queen known for her piety her caring nature and her integrity and who was later rejected by her husband because she could not give him a son.

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#OTD in Tudor History – 31 January