Henry VIII

According to the secular law/Church law at the time [including anything changed by Hal], how many wives did Hal actually have and who were they?  On what grounds were the others not?

Meanwhile, a cautionary tale about nagging.  I’m still shocked to this very day about the ungracious and barbaric treatment of Anne at and after her death:

2 comments for “Henry VIII

  1. Distant Relative
    February 12, 2018 at 18:16

    Henry had to get permission to marry his bro’s wife because Cath of Aragon could not according to Church law marry a sibling of her first husband Arthur. When they ‘united’ they were without issue so Henry argued that the pope was wrong to give the first dispensation. (Book of Leviticus states somewhere it’s an abomination to marry brother’s wife – Deuteronomy I think contradicts all that? )

    Answer to the Q – probably wasn’t legally married to Cath Aragon or Anne of Cleeves (annulled) As for the others?

    • February 12, 2018 at 18:45

      Quite right to drop Anne of Cleves and C of A out of it. However, others must also be dropped out. Most surprising who the ‘legal’ ones were.

      Let’s do it ‘wife’ by ‘wife’.

      Anne of Cleves definitely annulled, precontracted, all parties, including the Pope, agreed.

      Anne Boleyn – complicated. Pope said illegal because Hal was married to CofA but Henry said CofA illegal because of the brother’s wife clause.

      However, Hal declared AB annulled just before executing her. But if she was annulled, how could she have been adulterous? Either way, it was an annulment.

      Another annulment was Catherine Howard. If we buy four annulments, then that leaves two legal marriages.

      CH was interesting – if she’d agreed she was precontracted with Dereham, which he claimed, then she would have been annulled and Dereham would have lived. The Church would have accepted intercourse after precontract – intention to marry.

      However, CH claimed rape of a minor by her Dereham and no precontract, therefore she was to be executed, as were Dereham and Culpeper. Culpeper got hanging but Dereham got hung, drawn and quartered. Why?

      In Hal’s eyes, the one who’d done the dirty with her after they were married was Culpeper, not Dereham – Dereham was past history. So it seems that CH had it in for Dereham.

      My theory is that she wanted him to acknowledge the rape to her personally, she may even have forgiven him. But he didn’t, he consistently tried to escape any consequences and she wasn’t having that. Even at the cost of Culpeper’s and her beheading. There is the theory that she was just besotted with Culpeper, who had been Hal’s favourite courtier.


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