Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon

biographical name


Catherine of Aragon.—Ann Ronan Picture Library/Heritage-Images

(born Dec. 16, 1485, Alcalá de Henares, Spain—died Jan. 7, 1536, Kimbolton, Huntingdon, Eng.) First wife of Henry VIII. The daughter of Ferdinand II and Isabella I, she married Henry in 1509. She gave birth to six children, but only one daughter (later Mary I) survived infancy. Henry's desire for a legitimate male heir prompted him in 1527 to appeal to Rome for an annulment, but Pope Clement VII refused, triggering the break between Henry and Rome and leading to the English Reformation. In 1533 Henry had his own archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, annul the marriage, and Catherine spent her last years isolated from public life.

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