Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Question from Rachael - Isabella of Castile's age at Catherine's birth


Hi all. While recently re-reading Alison Weir's "Children of England", I noticed that it is stated that during Mary I's first 'pregnancy', she was reminded that her grandmother, Isabella of Castile, bore a child at 52. To my knowledge, Katherine of Aragon was her last child, and Isabella certainly wasn't 52 when she was born! Frustratingly, Weir mentions no source and I was wondering if anybody knew if there was any truth behind this claim?



3 Comments:

Blogger Lara said...

Carolly Erickson states pretty much the same thing in "Bloody Mary", so I'm guessing that it is something that was thought at the time? Erickson lists a State Papers reference so I'll see if I can dig it up.

May 19, 2009 7:39 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

No luck on the source listed by Erickson... it had information about the supposed "miscalculation" but nothing about Isabella giving birth at 52. I checked several other books that mention Mary's "pregnancies" and only Weir and Erickson have the thing about Isabella.

It seems pretty well-documented that Isabella was born in 1451, making her 34 when she had Catherine, so I'd also be curious to know where this idea came from!

May 19, 2009 8:13 PM  
Blogger Foose said...

Isabella died in 1504, when she was 53, and I don't believe there was any mention of pregnancy involved ... it seems like some sort of unthinking error by the authors or possibly by Mary's attendants, intending to comfort her. I seem to recall that dropsy, which causes swelling, was a factor in Isabella's death, so Mary should have seen the story as more ominous than comforting.

May 19, 2009 9:39 PM  

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