Friday, 17 April 2015

The mothers of Katherine Howard

Katherine Howard (1525-42) was born the daughter of Edmund Howard (1478-1539) and his wife Joyce Culpeper (b.1480). Edmund was the youngest son of the Duke of Norfolk, and as such did not have much of an inheritance, and therefore had very little money to support his family. In 1527 Joyce had to plead with Cardinal Wolsey to spare Edmund from being imprisoned for debt. Joyce Culpeper died when Katherine was still young, in around 1528.

Edmund and Joyce had the following children;
+ Charles Howard (b.1511)
+ Margaret Howard (1515-71) m. Thomas Arundell
+ Mary Howard (b.1518) m. Edmund Trafford
+ Henry Howard m. Anne (b.1510)
+ George Howard (1519-80)
+ Katherine Howard (b.1525) m. King Henry VIII

Joyce had previously married in around 1592 to Ralph Legh (1479-1509), a relative of her stepfather, and they had five children together;
+ Isabel Legh (d.1573) m1. Edward Baynton m2. James Stumpe m3. Thomas Stafford
+ Ralph Legh (b.1505) m. Margaret Ireland
+ John Legh (1502-66) m. Elizabeth Darcy
+ Joyce Legh m. John Stanney
+ Margaret Legh m. Mr Rice

When Katherine Howard became queen in 1540 many of her siblings and relatives came to the royal court, and her sisters Margaret Howard and Isabel Legh became her ladies-in-waiting.

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Katherine Howard
When his wife Joyce died, Edmund was then solely responsible for a household of eleven children. Needing to provide his young family with a maternal figure he soon remarried, to Dorothy Troyes (1487-1530), daughter of Thomas Troyes, and the widow of William Uvedale (1483-1528).
Dorothy and William, who married in 1501, had eight children together;
+ Arthur Uvedale (1502-38) m. Anne Haselwood
+ John Uvedale (1504-45)
+ William Uvedale (b.1506)
+ Agnes Uvedale (b.1508) m. Richard Cooke
+ Elizabeth Uvedale (b.1510) m. Thomas Cheeke
+ Richard Uvedale (1512-56)
+ Anne Uvedale (b.1514)
+ Francis Uvedale (1516-45)
Due to the ages of Dorothy's children, it is unlikely that they came to live with her and her new husband Edmund, as it was probable that they were already married themselves or being educated outside of the family home.
This marriage did not last long as Dorothy died in 1530, leaving Edmund Howard a widow for the second time within two years.

Edmund Howard married again for a third time between 1533 and 1537 to Margaret Munday (1510-66), the widow of Nicholas Jennings (d.1533). Margaret was the daughter of Sir John Munday, the Lord Mayor of London.
Margaret and Nicholas, who had married in 1526, had the following children together;
+ Anna Jennings
+ Bernard Jennings
+ Juliana Jennings (d.1595) m. Thomas Holcroft
At the time of Nicholas Jennings' death in 1533, only his daughter Juliana was still living and was his sole heir. Due to her young age it could be presumed that she went with her mother to live in the Howard household.
Edmund Howard died on the 19th March 1539, just one year before his daughter became Queen of England. His widow Margaret married for a third time to Henry Maddocks, MP, with whom she had Margaret Maddocks (1545-1612), who married Francis Cromwell, and a son who was disinherited by his father for "naughty, light and lewd behaviour".

Katherine Howard was living with her step-grandmother the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, Agnes Howard (nee Tilney) by 1536. Her father had sent her brother George and herself to live there around 1533, as they would receive an education there far better than one he would be able to provide. It has been surmised by some historians that prior to this Katherine had been sent to live with one of her maternal aunts, Margaret or Elizabeth, in 1531 when her father was sent to take up his posting as Controller of Calais. He had gained this position through the influence of his niece, Anne Boleyn, with the king, and would remain in the position until his death.

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Agnes Howard, nee Tilney
Katherine Howard spent her entire childhood in the country, receiving little education or supervision, until she went to serve at the royal court in the winter of 1539. Her father had barely been able to support his family financially, possibly due to the large number of children. He had also spent most of his time working away from his family, and Katherine would have only spent a minimal amount of time with her two stepmothers. Later, living in the Dowager Duchess' household, Katherine was still deprived of a real family atmosphere. The household was home to a large number of Howard relatives, and so Katherine probably received very little attention and had very few of her own possessions. Therefore when King Henry began courting Katherine, showering her with expensive gifts, and the attention she then began to receive from everyone, was foreign to her. As any young girl would, Katherine relished all of it; possibly resulting in a reputation for being materialistic and fanciful.

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