Catherine of Aragon and the “creepy old man”….!


The Trial of Queen Catherine of Aragon, by Henry Nelson O’Neil (1846–48, Birmingham Museums)

It’s official, folks. Late in his reign Henry VII was “a creepy old man”! It’s true, because says so! Henry VIII, was “a nasty middle-aged and old man”. In my opinion anyway, and Factinate agrees, more or less.

Oh, and Catherine of Aragon was quite a woman! She had some pretty bloodthirsty ideas, that’s for sure, but then she did have a lot to put up with. The Tudors weren’t exactly a homely, welcoming family. But neither were her own kith and kin, and her basic character seems to have been pretty downright ruthless. It’s not surprising she put up such a lengthy battle to stay Queen of England.

I applaud her for thwarting her dear husband for so long!

NB: The Factinate link above no longer leads to the original article referred in this post, so I fear the meaning of my words is rather lost. I was prompted in the first place because when Prince Arthur died and Henry VII was faced with having to return Arthur’s expensive bride and her dowry to Aragon, Henry first considered marrying her himself so he could hang on to everything. This must have seemed a truly awful notion to a young girl. By that time Henry VII was indeed “a creepy old man”. The future Henry VIII must have seemed like her saviour. Poor girl.


  1. When Henry married Katherine of Aragon, he was 18, quite trim and fit, from the testimony of his surviving armor. When they divorced, he was in his early 40s, not quite so slim, still athletic, not yet grossly fat. Anne Boylen didn’t find him ‘creepy,’ though his last 4 wives may have.
    There is plenty of serious criticism that could be made about the Tudors, without concentrating on their looks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a problem with this post in that the link to Factinate took you to the wrong article. The original article to which I refer above no longer seems to be available. So the “creepy old man” was Henry VII, not Henry VIII. Please see my additional note above.


  2. This is a bit confused. The article is referring to Henry VII her father in law, but later says Henry VIII. That’s just an error, they were of similar age, she was a few years older than him. Also the picture is of Richard III.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The article refers to the fact that, after Arthur and Elizabeth both died, Henry VII sought to marry Catherine. Obviously he didn’t and Henry VIII married her soon after succeeding. M&B has an image of Richard III by default but it isn’t in this post.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I know, Lauren, and I apologise. Things changed between my first writing this post and the day it was published. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise until the comments started coming in.


  3. I apologize. I thought you said that Henry VIII was a creepy old man, and now I read the post more carefully, you did say both father and son were Buy yeah, they were old – both in their 50s. I have shoes older than that!

    Liked by 1 person

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