Monday, February 13, 2012

RIP Catherine Howard

On Friday, I wrote about Catherine Howard's trip to the Tower of London.  She was executed on February 13.

One of the things that most fascinates me about Catherine is that she requested the executioner's block to be brought to her room the night before.  She wanted to practice with it, and make sure she got it right.  The girl who didn't really act like a queen when she was alive wanted to look like a queen at her death.

There's something very poignant about this, and I think it's a beautiful glimpse into her character.  It is something, perhaps, that many of us would not be able to do.  It shows courage as well as a little vanity.

Catherine's body was buried in an unmarked grave in the chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula in the Tower grounds.


  1. Wow, can you imagine practicing for your own execution? I love these little historical tidbits that give a real sense of personality to these often vaguely understood historical figures.

  2. Thanks, Eve! So little is known about some of these people, but what we do know is fascinating...

  3. It's pretty heartbreaking picturing her practicing her execution. It just goes to show that there was a lot more to Catherine than seen at first glance.

  4. That image of her practicing...I don't think I'll ever forget that!

  5. Amongst each of Henry VIII's wives Catherine Howard was my least favorite. She was most likely the only one that deserved the king's wrath. She willingly married him and when she realized he wasn't attractive decided she'd seek romance elsewhere. I know she was guilty but poor Anne Boleyn was not. Anne also sealed her fate by accepting the king's courtship but in true honesty I believe she loved the king. She also bore Elizabeth, my favorite monarch, and so will always have respect in my favor.

    1. I agree that Catherine is a bit difficult to love--her motivations are shady at best. And I agree with you about Elizabeth, too--Anne had a pretty amazing child and both are worthy of our respect.