Catherine of Aragon

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Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536) was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain and was the first wife of Henry VIII whom she married in 1509. She had previously married his brother Arthur in 1501 until his untimely death ended that marriage. Catherine and Henry had a daughter together, Mary, but their marriage produced no male heirs. Henry had his marriage with Catherine annulled in 1533 without the approval of the Pope and broke away from the Catholic Church in order to marry his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

Catherine was a devout Catholic, and her daughter Mary was raised the same. This caused difficulties for England when Mary assumed the throne and attempted to restore Catholicism. She became known in history as "Bloody Mary".


The New American Desk Encyclopedia, Penguin Group, 1989