Catherine Howard Biography
(Queen of England (1540-1541))
Born In: Lambeth, London, England
Catherine Howard was the Queen of England from 1540 to 1541. Although she was born to poor parents, Howard was part of the aristocracy as she was the granddaughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. She was also the first cousin of Anne Boleyn, who served as the Queen of England from 1533 to 1536. Catherine Howard became a queen by marrying Henry VIII of England. Her marriage to the king occurred immediately after the annulment of his previous marriage with Anne of Cleves. Nonetheless, the marriage was short-lived as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, charged Catherine of undisclosed premarital relationship. The allegations were made in relation with Henry Mannox, a musician, Francis Dereham, a secretary, and her cousin Thomas Culpeper. The three men were executed and their heads were placed on spikes for public display. The Parliament attainted Catherine and she was beheaded. There was very little sympathy for the young queen at the time. However, her life is now cited as an example of how women have historically been judged solely on their sexuality.