28th July,1540: Henry Takes a Child Bride


The very beautiful Katherine Howard.

On 28th July, 1540, Henry VIII married his fifth wife, the child bride Katherine Howard, (OK, OK, she wasn’t *technically* a child bride, but he was nearly 50 and she was around 17 years old, so its pretty fucking grim, even by Tudor standards).

Katherine’s life is a sad tale; riddled with abandonment, a lack of affection and constant occurrences of sexual abuse. It’s fucking heartbreaking reading it as a woman in the 21st Century. It really all started when her Mum, Jocasta Culpepper, died in 1531. Jocasta, or Joyce as she was known (because lets face it, Jocasta is a fucking stupid name*), had around fifteen children: ten from her marriage with Edmund Howard, Katherine’s Dad, and five from a previous marriage. Joyce was a strong and empowered woman; however Katherine’s Dad was the opposite in every way.

Edmund Howard was brother to Thomas Howard, the third Duke of Norfolk, who was powerful and prominent politician at court. Edmund forever lived in his brothers shadow, failing to gain any importance (and fucking it up when he did), and racking up a shit load of debt, so when Joyce died and he was left with fifteen kids, he shit himself.  To get himself out of the financial turd he was in, he decided the only course of action was to ditch some of the kids onto rich relatives, and being a Howard, there was no short supply of those. So that was it, off Katherine went to live with her step-Grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.

Now don’t get it twisted – this wasn’t like going to stay with your Nan and having cake every day. This woman already had several girls in her care, and her guardianship was lax to say the least. Actually, scrap that, her guardianship was some pure, stone cold bullshit, because whilst Katherine was there she was pursued by her music teacher, Henry Manox, which incidentally was only discouraged due to him being a lower rank than Katherine, and then preyed upon and sexually exploited by the Dutchess’s man servant, Francis Dereham. These events would eventually come back to haunt Katherine and lead to her death a few years later.

In 1539, Katherine was sent to court to become a lady-in-waiting to the new queen, Anne of Cleeves. Now it will hardly be a spoiler when I tell you that Henry VIII didn’t really like his forth wife, Anne, and neither will it come as a shock when I say that he wanted to get his kicks elsewhere. Henry couldn’t get ‘aroused’ by his new queen, (which apparently had everything to do with her being supposedly smelly and ugly, and nothing to do with him being a vile old cunt who was rife with Syphilis, and dented pride), so when Katherine was brought to court, and waved in front of the King’s nose by her pimp-like Uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, it was no surprise that Henry had to have her.

Poor Katherine, she must have thought all her birthdays had come at once, the King and her Uncle offering her centre-stage at court, and allowing her to believe it was because she was special and neither had anything to gain. Conversely, poor Anne; newly arrived in a foreign country, called names by a fat pig of a King, and then to be embarrassed at court as he paraded his young mistress around like King of the peados.


Henry VIII giving Rolf Harris a run for his money.

A few months after Henry’s annulment to Anne, he decided to wed his young bride, Katherine. Little is known about the actual ceremony, Henry had been so eager to impress everyone and pull out all the stops for his marriage to Anne, that he had managed to break the treasury and so decided to have a ‘low key’ affair with Katherine. The service was held at the chapel in Oatlands Palace, which he had built to rival Hampton Court as a gift for Anne of Cleeves… and then married her lady-in-waiting in it.

The pair were married by Bishop Bonner, but it is unknown who else was in attendance. After the ceremony, the wedding appears to have been kept quiet for a short while as Katherine was not announced as Queen until 8th August, when prayers were said for her at Hampton court – not that they did her much fucking good, prayers couldn’t save you from Henry. There is no record of plans for her coronation immediately after the wedding, which is unusual, but nobody could deny that Henry wasn’t smitten with his new bride, groping and grabbing at her constantly, and bragging about their bedroom exploits to his band of twats. The ceremony itself took place as Henry was having Tomas Cromwell executed for Treason for crimes only known to Henry, and after the pair went on a hunting holiday honeymoon around Surrey and Berkshire… how romantic.


Oatlands Palace

You probably already know how the story ends: Katherine began an affair with a member of Henry’s council, Thomas Culpepper, then Francis Dereham rocks up demanding a place by her side, so she gives it to him possibly out of fear, and then everyone finds out everything and all involved lose their lives, including Katherine and Henry Manox, the music teacher. You can read more about their deaths by following the link at the bottom of this page, (I hated writing about it, as it’s depressing as fuck and makes me want to set fire to things).

As with everything ever EVER, I have opinions about the whole Katherine and Henry thing, (aside from him being a cretinous, lecherous jizz-sack of a man). I often find myself questioning whether Henry Manox actually deserved to die. Apparently he was totally in love with Katherine, but was banned from seeing her, and when he got wind of the slime bag Dereham sneaking into her dorms at night, he alerted the Dowager Duchess, who did fuck all about it. As for Dereham and Culpepper?… fuck them. They were equally as much the sneaky little shit holes as Henry was a dirty old mongrel of a man. Having said that,  some historians believe that Katherine and Tom Culpepper were in a relationship before Katherine became involved with Henry, but it never really went anywhere, because they argued like a couple in IKEA on a bank holiday Monday, but either way he was accused of raping a woman and continued to pursue Katherine after she was married, so he can go fuck a knife.

Now lets think about Henry…This old prick had his BFF executed on the day that he married his new bride. Thomas Cromwell was once the Kings closest and most trusted adviser, yet like the cruel bastard he was, Henry sent him to death and still managed to make it a day of celebrations. This wasn’t the first time Henry pulled shit like this. He married Jane Seymour the day after Anne Boleyn’s execution, and made a point of wearing yellow on the day of Katherine of Aragon’s death. I don’t know why Henry did this; possibly to illustrate his power, possibly to hide the feeling of guilt, though doubtful.

And so that brings us to Katherine, a child abandoned by her family and left with a woman who can only be likened to Miss Hannigan, the evil woman from Annie, only to crave affection and find it in the arms of those who would take advantage of a young girl. If it was modern day, she would be protected by social services and a Child Sexual Exploitation case would be opened. However, it wasn’t modern day, it was Tudor time, so instead she was branded a whore, and put to death. Tudor men were fucking cunts at times.

katherine howard

Katherine Howard, looking smug because all said and done, death was preferable to  shagging Henry.



If you want to know more about Katherine’s downfall you can read about it here

Also, you can read about Anne of Cleeves’ betrothal to Henry here and about how she ultimately won the long game here.

If you want to know more about Thomas Cromwell and the events that led to his demise, you can find out here.




*Apologies to any readers who may be called Jocasta. I was showing off and it wasn’t big or clever. Jocasta is a great name and I’m sure you don’t ever get questioned about it.

4th September 1539: Anne of Cleeves is betrothed to an idiot.

Anne of Cleeves is betrothed to an idiot.

A hashed together piccy of the  'happy' couple

A hashed together piccy of the ‘happy’ couple

Anne was Henrys fourth wife and without a shadow of any doubt by far the luckiest. She was a young girl from Germany who had been promised to the Duke of Lorraine at the age of 12, but that all fell through and eventually she found herself in the Tudor Court.

This was all set up by a man called Thomas Cromwell, who was Henry’s BFF, but we will get to him in good time.
In the year 1537 Henry’s most favourite wife Jane Seymour died of Pleural fever (which was basically septicaemia or child-bed fever as it was known back in the day). Pleural fever was pretty much down to shit midwives and dirty septic stuff at childbirth, (that and a dose of the odd placental remains left in the mothers uterus).
 Henry stayed single and alone growing more and more cantankerous  for 2 years after her death. This isn’t really all that surprising when you consider his situation: he was 3 wives in, with only 1 male heir, (who to be honest was a bit weak and sickly),  it was starting to look like his lack of children despite his shagging any and every maid at court, was down to his knob-rot and not his wives. To cap this off the one wife he actually gave a shit about had taken the piss and died before she had time to annoy him sufficiently and be executed. Cromwell decided to get him a new wife. A pretty young protty that would give him a son and make him a bit less of a miserable old cunt. Enter Anne of cleeves, aged 24.
In 1539 Cromwell had heard about these hot two Young girls of the Duke of Cleeves. He was a protestant too and since Henry had ripped the country apart two wives previously in order to bend it up Anne Boleyn, he didn’t have many friends outside of Rome. By marrying a girl of Cleeves he could form some powerful allies away from the Catholic Church. Anne was good loyal girl when Henry sent his favourite painter Hans Holbein to paint her and her sister Amelia. He wanted to pick them from their pictures and guarantee he got the fittest of the sisters. Much too Anne’s dismay (and with a little influence from Cromwell), Anne was chosen.


...or what we think is Amelia?

…or what we think is Amelia?

Now whilst it’s every girls dream to be classed as the most gorgeous lady about, particularly over your sister, you can’t help but feel sorry for and and think that actually Amelia, who was apparently the less attractive of the two, actually got the better deal as she was spared the mess that was Henry.
Cromwell took the pictures to Henry and laid it on a bit thick. Henry wasn’t in any frame of mind to be marrying after the death of his much beloved Jane but is privy council were just like ‘well you need to get your knob doing some work and filling some cradles and if this doesn’t work out we’ll just get another’, so that was Henry and Anne’s betrothal in the bag. Now Although today is The anniversary of the betrothal, (or more specifically the day the Duke of Cleeves signed his daughter over to a fat Lecherous old man), it would be a shame to end the story there so let’s take a look what happened next.
Thomas Cromwell.Like a boss.

Thomas Cromwell.Like a boss.

Anne’s boat was late to arrive in England due to the shit weather and she was holed up in Calais for ages, tired and fed up. When she eventually did arrive in England she was taken to Rochester to rest up before travelling onward to London, to eventually meet the King. Henry however had other ideas and being the ‘trickster’ he was he was going to dress as a tramp, barge in on Anne at Rochester and surprise her. Bear in mind Anne had never even seen a picture of Henry so had no idea what he looked like. What could go wrong?!
So off he went to surprise Anne. Dressed like a bell end, he jumped out on her at court. Anne was not impressed at all, didn’t bow and recoiled from him, as you would if a strange tramp tried to grab you. Henry went wild with rage from the embarrassment that he had been made to look, (or rather made himself look), like a complete twat. How could she not find the fact that she was a) marrying King of the hobo’s, b) at the command of her dad, and c) have the impossible task of procreating with this prick hysterical? I often catch myself wondering this.
 The king being one spoiled little bastard took umbrage at this and decided that he didn’t like the first woman ever to not instantly piss her side open at the Kings wank japes. Henry then went into the mother of all tantrums, acting like a mardy teenager calling Anne a Flanders mare, (the best insult he could come up with). Henry was mortified with their first meeting and decided that he wasn’t all that into Anne, but it was tough shit, stuff had been sorted for their wedding and he was just going to have to suck it up. Being betrothed in those days was as good as married, so the marriage went ahead the following January.
On their wedding night Henry came to Anne’s chambers to consummate the marriage. He couldn’t though. His knob wouldn’t work. This was obviously Anne’s fault so a few weeks later she was told to leave court. Annes dismissal from court obviously had nothing to do with the fact that by now Henry was already poking his rancid cock into the young Katherine Howard, who was 34 years his junior and brought to court as eye candy for the king whilst serving as Anne’s lady in waiting.
Henry felt humiliated by his lack of performance with Anne so had done the honourable thing and blamed her because she was so repulsive to him. What a dick Henry was. He could not kill her off cos she had done nothing wrong, but had the marriage annulled anyway based on her previous betrothal to the Duke of Lorraine, (remember I said betrothal was as good as marriage? well that’s the rule he used…that and the fact that he had decided he wanted to marry Katherine Howard).
Henry paid Anne a shit load of cash and gave her a tonne of houses to fuck off and stay quiet. He also agreed to refer to her as ‘the Kings sister’ making her the second most important woman in the country after any new queen Henry decided to take. Anne had a lucky escape. She became good friends with her step daughter Mary, had bagged herself a load of wealth and had escaped Henry VIII relatively unscathed, (aside from her first time with a man resulting in having a fat useless cockwomble rub his floppy rotten bell end on her). Life after Henry came and went for Anne, and at one point there was talk of a second betrothal to him but luckily that fell on its arse and she had her second lucky escape. Anne was reportedly an amazing woman: she looked after her servants well and treated everyone with kindness and regard. She outlived Henry and eventually reverted back to Catholicism under the reign of her step daughter and best bud Mary Tudor. She was the only one of Henrys wives to have avoided penetration by Henry’s rancid man member and yet also the only one to be graced with the honour of burial at Westminster Abbey.
And what of Cromwell? Well Henry had him executed for bringing him a ‘minger’ to court…Im surprised you had to ask.
You can read about life for Anne after Henry here: https://thetudorials.com/2015/07/16/july-16th-1557-anne-of-cleeves-death-and-life-after-henry/
and also about Henry’s fall out with Cromwell here:https://thetudorials.com/2015/06/10/10th-june-1540-a-massive-fall-out/

July 16th 1557 Anne of Cleeves’ death (and life after Henry)

Recent x-rays have revealed a longer nose under the top layer of paint. Now at St. John's College Oxford

Anne of Cleeves

I know I’ve wrote about Anne of Cleeves before but today is the 458th anniversary of her death. She died on 16th July 1557 (possibly of cancer), aged 41. She outlived Henry VIII and all of the other wives, and went on to live a fantastic, luxurious lifestyle as the ultimate single lady upon the finalisation of her divorce.

Anne of Cleeves had been suggested as a wife to Henry by Thomas Cromwell and pals (He was Henry’s fave lawyer and well renowned for getting him out of the shit with Anne Boleyn amongst other things). Henry didn’t really like her and was a complete knob to her. To cut the story down, it basically went like this:  when they first met he dressed as a tramp and ‘surprised’ her at court and them took offense when she looked disgusted, he then couldn’t get a stiffy on their wedding night and so this somehow became her fault and she was labelled ‘a flanders Mare’ for all the court to take the piss out of. Not only that but Henry has his eye on Katherine Howard, her young 17 year old Lady in waiting, so he wanted rid of his new wife ASAP. Their marriage only lasted 7 months and Anne only survived because she went without fuss. Henry paid Anne a boat load of cash and gave her a shit load of houses and awarded her with the title of ‘Kings sister’ making her the most powerful and well respected woman in the country aside from the queen and princesses (who had both been declared bastards by this point). Anne embraced this new found sense of freedom knowing she had a lucky escape. She started signing letters ‘Daughter of Cleeves’ and not ‘The Queen’ and did everything she was told by the King. It must have been terrifying for Anne to come so close to pissing Henry off.

After their divorce Anne was paid a massive annuity, more than likely to keep her quiet. She lived well and was always welcome back to court. During his marriage to Katherine of Howard, Henry invited Anne to court; this must’ve given him some sort of sick kick surely? Anne went and it was all lovely. This went on for some time, even after Katherine Howard’s death and long into his last marriage to Katherine Parr. Henry would visit her frequently and the two would have all kinds of fun. By now Anne had become slightly more British, by this I mean she had let her strict piousness lax a little and now enjoyed a gamble and a booze up (welcome to England eh). She was minted. She loved her servants and was a fab boss, and they loved her. The whole of this period she remained close to the kings daughters (princesses) Elizabeth and particularly Mary who was only a year younger than herself. She even bought a pet parrot. Things were good.


Mary Tudor: Anne’s step daughter and BFF

Upon henrys death, his son Edward took over the throne as a mere young wipper snapper at the age of 9. Now Anne was no longer the Kings sister (now she was his aunt), so her importance, and with it her annuity, dropped and Anne quickly found herself in debt. Edward had also suggested that Anne should marry his Uncle Thomas Seymour, but she wasn’t keen and Tom was already secretly plotting to marry Katherine Parr, Henrys 6th wife and Edwards step mum…nice and incestuous like.  The King was fairly good to her though, but it didn’t matter anyway because in 1553 he died.

Upon his death there was the whole business with Lady Jane Grey inheriting the throne and being kicked off by Mary I. Anne loved this. Mary had been her step daughter and more importantly her Bessie. Anne found herself back in royal favour. She even ditched her strict protestant faith in favour for ‘the old religion’ of Catholicism, as Mary had requested. Anne took centrepiece next to the new Queen and her sister Elizabeth at Mary’s coronation to show the world how ace she was.

Upon her death, Mary ordered that she would have a grand funeral ‘fit for her status’. She was carried on a massive hearse through London to Westminster Abbey. She lay in state for just over two weeks and was draped in the finest funeral attire. Her funeral was conducted under Catholic rites, as Anne had wanted, (though let’s be honest this was possibly an action devised to keep Mary on side…nobody wanted to piss that bitch off!). She was the only one of henrys wives to be honoured with a burial at the Abby.

Anne is by far the luckiest of henrys wives. She not only profited from him, but survived him, outlived him and prospered from him. Getting that divorce was the best thing she ever did.