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?


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  

Post a Comment

<< Home