Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Question from Kelly - Kathryn Howard's sexual activity before her marriage

It is a fact that Catherine Howard had had intercourse before and after her marriage. Why did she have intercourse after her marriage? Was it for pleasure and enjoyment?


Blogger Elizabeth M. said...

Katherine Howard carried on an affair with her distant cousin Thomas Culpeper after her marriage to King Henry VIII. She was a very young girl, perhaps as old as 20 at the time of her death, or as young as 17. She was married to a man over thirty years her senior, grossly fat, enfeebled by ailments, including an ulcerated leg which oozed foul smelling pus. For a girl as young and vivacious as Katherine, this was hardly a match made to satisfy the carnal desires of a young girl who had already been made love to by at least two men (Manox and Dereham) and who had enjoyed full sexual relations with at least Dereham.
By all contemporary accounts, Culpeper was a dashing young man, though somewhat cruel. He was accused of having some of his men hold down a peasant girl while he forcibly raped her.
Poor Katherine also just did not have much sense. She had none of the education of her cousin Anne Boleyn, and none of the intellect. She was kind-hearted, but still very childlike. You could use the adage that mentally she was a child in the sexually mature body of a woman.
Perhaps she believed Henry to be so in love with her, he would forgive her anything. Perhaps she felt secure in her position as queen, with her powerful uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, backing her. Perhaps she was naive enough to think her indiscretion would never come to light.
There have been stories that her Howard relations used her and encouraged the affair with Culpeper in order for her to get pregnant, as it was believed the King could no longer sire children. But this is just an innuendo, and no contemporary facts confirm such a story.
But in the end, she was a young girl who had grown up with little or no supervision in the dormitory of her step-grandmother's house. Her mother had died when she was very young, her father was a wastrel who really did not care about her and who basically dumped her off on his step-mother. Thus Katherine was pretty much able to do as she pleased from a young age, with very little consequences to herself.
The glory of being young, vivacious, pretty, and a queen probably went to her head and she was just not careful.

July 22, 2008 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Thank you elizabeth m.

July 23, 2008 8:22 AM  
Blogger kb said...

And Katherine Howard had the misfortune to have Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford as a confidant. Jane was the widow of George Boleyn, Anne's brother. It is possible that Jane encouraged Katherine to get pregnant by any means possible in order to secure her position as queen. I SERIOUSLY doubt that she felt secure, or that her uncle the Duke of Norfolk felt her position was secure without an heir. After all, her uncle had been through all this before with his other niece Anne.

July 23, 2008 8:45 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth M. said...

Ah, yes, the devious Lady Rochford. I don't know if we will ever know her motives. Julia Fox's book paints her as kind of a saint. I think the woman definitely had some problems. Why she would have helped Katherine in flagrant adultery has been a mystery for over 460 years. Maybe, as Ms. Fox points out, she did it because she had no choice but to obey her mistress. Maybe she did it as some twisted revenge to the Duke of Norfolk for his role in the deaths of her husband George Boleyn and his sister Queen Anne.
We do not even know for sure if she actually did help willingly with the accusations against her husband. Julia Fox believes she did it out of fear for her own security. Who knows? It is safe to say she was not the wisest choice to have as a confidante. Before her execution, King Henry had a law passed clearing the way to execute insane persons. Perhaps she was nuts. My own opinion was that Lady Rochford was a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

July 23, 2008 9:35 AM  
Anonymous GarethR said...

David Starkey's excellent book "Six Wives" has deciphered the interrogations against Catherine. He argues that she fooled around with Mannox and slept with Dereham before her marriage; but that her affair with Culpepper afterwards had not yet become sexual. It's an interesting theory and one that certainly muddies the water on Catherine's fate.

July 23, 2008 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Before Kathryn howard married the king she was staying at a house in Horsham under the supervision of her step-Aunt Agnes their she met various people including her two cousins Henry Howard, Mary Howard and also a muscician called Henry Mannox and a man called Francis Dereham. At some point she became involved with Henry Mannox then later on her attentions moved to another man of the household.A man called Francis.I know that their courtship blossomed into a relationship but no one in the household had any idea of what was going on it was only some time later that the Duchess found out what catherine had been up to. I will tell you how henry mannox found out some how that catherine was seeing Francis and what he did was write a note of it and left it in the pew in the house then it was noticed by her step-Aunt on reading it she spoke to them both but I don't think they took any notice what they did was just calm it for a while but where to reunite later on.The whole household then moved on to Lambeth.(Lambeth palace)where they stayed before moving on to Hampton court this is where Kathryn was to meet a man called Thomas culpepper usher of the chamber,a page at court but as far as I know their relationship was only platonic and I think I beleive this,in other words it would not surprise me if this was true. so as far as I know and what I think is true catherine only had sexual relations before her marriage. I know that when catherine became Queen she appointed francis Dereham as her secretary now whether this was because they had been previously courted and she was now a Queen she thought that she would position him give him a reward of some kind or because she still had feelings and a love for francis.or it was both. I think it was both.
Their is a love letter that catherine sent to Culpepper and it expresses her love and desire for him. I like the way she signs it at the end she signs it yours as long as life endures kathryn. In other words as long as life goes on for but i am leaving this to the reader. Do you think she meant how ever long their life goes on for (which was a short one)or how ever long life on earth itself goes on for?
Obviously this was a girl who aswell as revelling in being married to a king and being a Queen she lived it to the full she also wanted a suitor of her own age and also attention from males of her own age.
but I think she had a real love for culpepper because I have never heard of her writing any letters like this to any other man or Dereham.Did you know that the when it was time for the execution the king had Dereham executed first and in a more brutal way then Culpepper? I think myself that this was because dereham had been Catherine's first love. but what I did notice was that nothing was ever said or brought up about Mannox at the time it was like he had been totally forgotten about.All I can say is lucky for him because he could have faced the chop.I do think that if catherine and Culpepper's relationship was only platonic then he was executed for nothing he meaning the king had executed an innocent man but what was he to think I suppose.

July 24, 2008 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont know if it is fact that she did have intercourse with Thomas Culpeper. Obviously there was something there, but as for full intercourse, I doubt we will ever know. Both Culpeper and Katherine denied it, but of course they would have. Culpeper did state that while they did not engage in full intercourse,"he confessed his intention to do so". Which I believe at the time constituted treason as well. Lady Rochford confessed that she thought they did "considering all the things that she hath heard and seen between them. So, it was by no means a "fact" although I beleive they did indeed do the deed.


July 24, 2008 4:24 PM  
Anonymous The rose crowned said...

Thanks for your reply Anonymous I understand what you are saying it is possible that there could have been more to it than is known and there is no really definate answer one way or the other but if this were to be the case this would not surprise me either.
your entititled to your opinion anyway.

July 29, 2008 6:39 PM  

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