Posts Tagged ‘July 12’

On This Day in 1543 and 1992

Posted in General, On This Day on July 12th, 2010 by Eugene Finerman – 28 Comments

Henry VIII and I share a wedding anniversary. Of course, everyone could say that. In my case, the date of Henry’s marrage to Katherine Parr coincides with my marriage to Karen.

We should also consider my other remarkable similarities to Mr. Tudor. Both Henry and I are equally plausible as the head of the Church of England. Henry had syphillis; I certainly tried to–but during the Sexual Revolution I must have been classified as 4-F. Henry had a brother-in-law beheaded; that is on my to-do list.

But how can we compare Katherine Parr and Karen Finerman? They are equally entitled to your pity.

Happy Anniversary to my noble martyr and lovely wife.

and now more about the other bride

 Katherine Parr Borough Neville Tudor Seymour

In choosing Katherine Parr as his sixth wife, Henry VIII made a very sensible choice. By 1543 Henry’s libido was a subject of nostalgia. Her family was established but staid English gentry: no social-climbing Boleyns or power-mad Howards. And her resume was impeccable: she was a virtuous, affable woman who made of a career of being a wife.

Henry was her third husband. In her first marriage, she was a bride at 15 and a childless widow at 19. Apparently infertile and definitely unlucky, the widow was not considered a great catch, But her family found someone. At 21, she was married off to a man twice her age; he basically needed a nurse. (She was his third wife, and his first two marriages had produced an adequate number of children.) At 31, she was a widow again, but with a comfortable income. (Her stepchildren didn’t quibble over her allowance; she really was a nice person.)

Now the wealthy widow was being pursued by a handsome adventurer, Thomas Seymour. Seymour was the brother of the late Queen Jane Seymour and had stayed in the favor of his mercurial royal brother-in-law. However, that same brother-in-law also wanted a wife. Having the soul of a pimp, Thomas encouraged Henry’s interest in Katherine Parr; after all, she would be an even richer widow as Mrs. Tudor. So Katherine once again was a married nurse, dealing with the obese, gout-strickened Henry. However she wasn’t that good a nurse; Henry died four years later in 1547.

Now Katherine could finally have a handsome virile husband. And Mrs. Thomas Seymour died as the result of it in 1548: childbirth.