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    Catherine of Aragon

    Catherine of Aragon was once described as the most beloved Queen in English history. Catherine was born on December 15, 1485 at Alcala de Henares, Madrid. She was the last child of Ferdinand of Aragon, King of Spain and Isabella, Queen of Castile.

    She left Spain in 1501 to marry Arthor, Prince of Wales who was the oldest son of King Henry VII. They were wed on November 14, 1501 at St. Pauls Cathedral, London. After only a few short months together he passed away on April 2, 1502 at Ludlow Castle, Shorpshire. Catherine then became engaged to his brother, Henry VIII and married him in 1509 when he inherited the throne. Their relationship was a healthy and happy one for many years.

    Catherine was of considerable education, culture, and was capable of ruling the kingdom while Henry was gone during the French Campaigns. She was a great patron of education and contributed funds to Oxford and Cambridge universities. She engaged in close friendships with to many leading intellectuals of her day including Sir Thomas Moore. Sir Thomas Moore was later beheaded because he refused to sanction Catherine and Henry's divorce.

    Catherine had six children with Henry between 1510 and 1518. All of them died except one girl, Mary I. Henry decided to have his marriage annuled on the basis that it wasn't right to marry his brother's widow.

    He wanted to remarry because he wanted a male heir to avoid war over succession. He was also in love with a younger, and more beautiful Anne Boleyn. When the Catholic Church refused to grant his petition he broke with Rome and established the Church of England. However, the Pope had delayed his request for seven years until 1533.

    Catherine died on January 7, 1536 at Kimbolton Castle and she was later buried at Peterborough Cathedral.