Pope refuses to dissolve Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon

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Historical Context Note

Catherine of Aragon had first been married, in 1501 at the age of fifteen, to the eldest son of Henry VII, Arthur, Prince of Wales. However, he died five months later, and in 1509 she remarried to his younger brother, the new King Henry VIII of England. She bore him a daughter, Mary, but despite six pregnancies, none of her other children survived more than a few weeks. By 1525, Henry was pursuing a new mistress, Anne Boleyn, and, hoping to gain a male heir, aimed to make her his wife. He sought an annulment of his marriage to Catherine on the grounds that since she had previously been his brother's wife, their own marriage was never legitimate in the first place. Catherine, however, insisted her marriage to Arthur had never been …

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Related Groups

  1. Anglican Reformation 16th Century - Politics and Religion