Kathryn Howard (Catherine Howard) was born to Lord Edmund Howard (son of the Duke of Norfolk, brother-in-law to the Earl of Wiltshire) and Jocasta Culpeper. She was cousin to Anne Boleyn.
King Henry VIII asked Kathryn’s cousin, Anne Boleyn, to be his mistress but Anne refused stating that she would only give herself to her husband.
Kathryn’s mother, Jocasta, died.
Kathryn was moved to the household of her grandmother, Agnes Howard, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. She shared a dormitory with other girls who were wards of the Duchess at Lambeth Palace. She was taught reading, writing and music and dancing.
Anne Boleyn helped Kathryn’s father to gain the position of Controller of Calais.
1533 (25th January)
Kathryn’s cousin, Anne Boleyn, secretly married Henry VIII at Whitehall because she was pregnant.
1533 (7th September)
A daughter, Elizabeth, was born to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.
Kathryn shared intimate moments with her music teacher Henry Manox, this may or may not have been with her consent. When they were discovered the Duchess told them that they should never be alone together.
1536 (19th May)
Kathryn’s cousin, Anne Boleyn, was executed for treason.
1536 (30th May)
Henry VIII married Jane Seymour.
Kathryn began a relationship with Francis Dereham, who was the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk’s secretary. Kathryn allowed him to visit her in her chamber at night.
1537 (12th October)
A son, Edward, was born to Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.
1537 (24th October)
Jane Seymour died from puerperal fever.
Kathryn’s relationship with Francis Dereham continued. Henry Manox found out about the couple and, filled with jealousy, sent an anonymous note to the Dowager Duchess. The Dowager Duchess investigated and discovered Kathryn and Dereham together. Dereham was sent from the household and went to Ireland soon afterwards. He hoped to marry Kathryn when he returned to England.
1539 (19th March)
Kathryn’s father, Edmund Howard died.
Kathryn met Thomas Culpeper, a distant relative of her mother, while staying at her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk’s house. She was immediately attracted to him.
Kathryn was chosen to be one of Anne of Cleves’ ladies-in-waiting.
1540 (6th January)
Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves at the Palace of Placentia, Greenwich. The ceremony was conducted by Thomas Cranmer.
Kathryn had caught the eye of King Henry. The Howard family, who were Catholics, hoped that if Catherine could win the King’s heart he may return to Catholicism. On the advice of her family she encouraged Henry and he soon fell in love with her.
1540 (24th April)
Kathryn received a gift of land from Henry VIII.
1540 (30th April)
Kathryn received a gift of quilted sarcanet from Henry VIII.
1540 (late Spring)
Henry had decided that he wanted to marry Kathryn and needed to end his marriage to Anne of Cleves.
1540 (24th June)
Henry sent Anne of Cleves to Richmond Palace.
1540 (6th July)
Anne was told that her marriage to Henry was being questioned due to the precontract with Francis of Lorraine. It is likely that Anne would have been very concerned as to her fate.
1540 (9th July)
Anne’s marriage to Henry VIII was annulled on the grounds of her precontract with Francis, Duke of Lorraine and non-consummation. Anne, who had not contested the annullment, was to be known as the King’s sister. She was given precedence over all ladies of the court save the Queen and the King’s daughters and she was given a very generous divorce settlement of property with an income of £3000 per year including Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, Hever Castle.
1540 (28th July)
Thomas Cromwell was executed for treason.
1540 (28th July)
Kathryn married Henry at Oatlands Palace, Surrey. The service was conducted by Bishop Bonner.
Kathryn and Henry went on a progress visiting Reading, Buckingham and Woking.
Henry’s leg ulcer became infected and he became ill. He was bed ridden and bad tempered and refused to see Kathryn because he did not want her to see him grumpy and ill.
Kathryn spent much of her time in the company of people her own age. It began to be rumoured that she was committing adultery with a number of young men including Thomas Culpeper.
Kathryn and Henry, who had recovered, went on a progress of the north of England. Throughout the time that they were away, Kathryn continued to meet Thomas Culpeper. She was helped by her Lady of the Chamber, Lady Jane Rochford, widow of George Boleyn.
Kathryn appointed Francis Dereham, who she had fallen in love with while in the residence of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, as her private secretary.
1541 (1st November)
John Lascelles, a reformist who did not want Catholicism restored and brother of Mary Hall who had been a chambermaid to the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, told Cranmer about Kathryn’s past.
1541 (2nd November)
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer gave Henry a letter explaining what he had learned about Kathryn. Henry did not believe the accusations and ordered a secret enquiry to prove the stories false.
1541 (early November)
Thomas Cranmer interviewed Lascelles and his sister who confirmed that Kathryn had had intimate relations before her marriage. Francis Dereham and Henry Manox were both questioned. Dereham admitted he had committed adultery with the queen and implicated Thomas Culpeper. Culpeper also confessed to adultery.
1541 (early November)
When Henry learned that Dereham and Culpeper had confessed to adultery he was distraught. He ordered that Kathryn be confined to her quarters at Hampton Court.
1541 (5th November)
Henry left Kathryn at Hampton Court and moved to Whitehall Palace.
1541 (7th November)
Kathryn was interviewed by Cranmer and the Duke of Norfolk. She initially claimed she was innocent but then decided to tell the truth.
1541 (12th November)
Kathryn was arrested on charge of treason for having committed adultery.
1541 (14th November)
Kathryn was moved to Syon House.
1541 (22nd November)
Kathryn’s status as queen was removed.
1541 (1st December)
Francis Dereham and Thomas Culpeper were tried for treason at Guildhall. Both men pleaded guilty and were sentenced to death.
1541 (10th December)
Thomas Culpeper was executed by beheading and Francis Dereham was hung drawn and quartered.
1541 (22nd December)
Many members of the Howard family were arrested and imprisoned.
1542 (21st January)
A Bill of Attainder against Kathryn Howard was brought before parliament.
1542 (10th February)
Kathryn became hysterical when she was told that she was to be moved to the Tower of London. She was forced onto a barge and taken to the Tower.
1542 (11th February)
Henry approved the warrant for the death of Kathryn Howard.
1542 (13th February)
Kathryn Howard was beheaded on Tower Green. Her body was buried at the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.
Published Jan 17, 2018 @ 9:26 am – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2018). Kathryn Howard c1521 – 1542. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/kathryn-howard-c1521-1528 Last accessed October 23rd, 2019