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Did Arthur and Katherine of Aragon have sex?

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Did Arthur and Katherine have sex during marriage?

The marriage was not consummated
18
78%
The marriage was consummated
5
22%
 
Total votes: 23

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Wed May 25th, 2011, 1:17 am

Yeah, I got all my historical knowledge from PG. :rolleyes:
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Post by SGM » Wed May 25th, 2011, 7:48 am

Is this really important?

I have read sources that suggest that Henry would have had a better argument with the Pope if he had acknowledged Katherine's virginity because the papal dispensation acquired before their marriage had assumed that the marriage of Katherine and Arthur had been consummated. It was also suggested that Wolsey saw that Henry's case with the pope would have been if he had argued that Katherine had been a virgin because it would have created a different impediment (that of 'public honesty') that the original dispensation had not covered.

Anyway Henry was never going to get his divorce whilst the pope was besieged in Rome by Katherine's nephew, the Emperor Charles V so I am not sure that the question of Katherine's virginity on marriage makes the slightest difference.
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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Wed May 25th, 2011, 7:44 pm

At the time it seemed very important. Now? Not so much. But then I don't think anyone has claimed that it's important, just a matter of controversy even now.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed May 25th, 2011, 7:59 pm

IS THIS IMPORTANT??? It is one of the hinges on which modern history turns! If Katherine had granted Henry his divorce, England would have remained Catholic; the balance of power of Europe would have been drastically changed; the Netherlands would probably not have succeeded in breaking away from the Spanish crown, there would have been less competition in maritime development---

Yes, it's important. Everything that came before shaped the now, but some incidents more than others.

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Post by SGM » Wed May 25th, 2011, 8:37 pm

The point that I am making is that Henry's annulment did not rest on whether or not the marriage of Katherine and Arthur was consumated. I did not imply that Henry's split was not crucial merely that that event did not rest upon whether Katherine was a virgin at the time of her marriage to Henry. During a brief respite in Charles V's seige of Rome, the pope did appear to vere more in Henry's favour but unfortunately that respite did not last and Henry's chance of obtaining his annulment from the pope was lost for good. I am well aware of the impact of the English Reformation but I don't really consider Katherine's virginity or not was going to make a difference. The Vatican made their decisions for political reasons not for matters of fact.
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Divia
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Post by Divia » Wed May 25th, 2011, 9:16 pm

[quote=""MLE""]IS THIS IMPORTANT??? It is one of the hinges on which modern history turns! [/quote]


Who knew that her virginity or non virginal state had such power.
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Post by SGM » Wed May 25th, 2011, 10:06 pm

[quote=""Divia""]Who knew that her virginity or non virginal state had such power.[/quote]

No the English Reformation was an important event and did change this country's internal direction and changed for centuries its relationship with the rest of Europe but it didn't rest on Katherine's 'virginal state'.

But as I pointed out Wolsey knew that Henry had made a mistake by basing is claim for annulment on the fact she came to him not as a virgin. The papal dispensation for the marriage of Henry and Katherine was granted on the assumption that her marriage to Arthur had been consummated. Henry would have had a better case if he based it on the fact that she was a virgin when he married her because that created a second impediment that had not been dealt with in the original dispensation.

Henry was not going to get his anulment whether or not Katherine was a virgin. He didn't get it for political reasons.
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Elizabeth
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Post by Elizabeth » Wed May 25th, 2011, 10:09 pm

[quote=""SGM""]
I have read sources that suggest that Henry would have had a better argument with the Pope if he had acknowledged Katherine's virginity because the papal dispensation acquired before their marriage had assumed that the marriage of Katherine and Arthur had been consummated.[/quote]

The actual papal dispensation issued by Julius II described the marriage of Arthur and Catherine as "forsan consummatum," "perhaps consummated," although a brief of the dispensation held in Spanish files does not have the weasel word "forsan." So even at the time there appears to have been confusion.

There's a similar uncertainty as to whether or not Francois II and Mary Stuart ever consummated their marriage, although poor little Francois was considerate enough to die and leave Mary unquestionably free to marry again. For all the good it did her. (ETA: there were semi-serious negotiations for her to marry Charles IX, which could have brought up similar issues of dispensations, although Catherine de' Medici put an end to those in record time.)

I tend to think that in both cases there was probably some fumbling attempt at consummation by the young people involved, primarily because there were so many expectations weighing upon them. But my opinion, for what it's worth, is that neither couple ever achieved full, genuine consummation.
Last edited by Elizabeth on Wed May 25th, 2011, 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu May 26th, 2011, 12:37 am

Everybody argues as though the marriage annulment rested solely on the pope, forgetting that he was secondary. the FIRST impediment was not the pope, but Katherine. If she had agreed, the pope's would have granted Henry's request with great relief. And Charles V would have been relieved, too. Certainly he and Henry 'made nice' before Katherine was cold in her grave.

So the English Reformation essentially came down to one woman's stubborn refusal to say she was not a virgin when she married.

Of course I don't know any more than anyone else. But let's say you had a bizarre lottery where your life depended on you guessing right, and the judge was some being who really knew the truth: which way would you guess?

Given the entire corpus of the lady's works, if I had to stake my life on it, I'd guess that Katherine was telling the truth.
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Thu May 26th, 2011, 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Thu May 26th, 2011, 1:41 am

[quote=""SGM""]No the English Reformation was an important event and did change this country's internal direction and changed for centuries its relationship with the rest of Europe but it didn't rest on Katherine's 'virginal state'.

[/quote]


I know. I was being snarky because some people are obsessed with her virginity. ;) :p
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