Saturday, February 01, 2014

Question from Amanda - Siblings of Katherine Howard

I have come across various sources that differ on how many siblings Katherine Howard had. Some state that she had none and others say that she had numerous brothers and sisters. Is there any concrete info regarding the validity of either of these? Assuming that Katherine did have siblings, how many were there and were they older or younger than she? Also, is there any list anywhere that lists the siblings (Katherine included) in their birth order? Thanks in advance. :)


Anonymous said...

The problem with Katherine Howard's early life and indeed her immediate family is that when she was born c.1523 she was just one of the group of children of Edmund Howard, a younger son of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk who had many children himself. Therefore Katherine's family is not well recorded, and since she was Queen for only a short amount of time only two of her brothers George and Charles Howard began to get recognition from Henry VIII before her disgrace. Her mother Joyce Culpepper had been a widow when she married Edmund Howard, and was the mother of perhaps four children; John, Ralph, Isabel and Joyce Leigh. When Joyce Culpepper married Edmund Howard they had at least six; Henry, George, Charles Mary, Margaret and Katharine herself. Her father remarried twice after Joyce's death but had no further issue with either of his lives and as usual with the unlucky Edmund Howard he died before his daughter became queen. The dates and order of Katherine and her full siblings are unknown as far as I'm aware of and mostly guesswork. Hope that helps a bit

Marilyn Roberts said...

Lord Edmund’s first wife, Jocasta Culpeper, was the widow of Ralph Legh (or Leigh), by whom she had produced several children. With Edmund she had more, including Katherine, and in one of his catastrophic encounters with debt, Lord Edmund begged Cardinal Wolsey for assistance for his wife ‘and 10 starving children’, although how many were his and how many were step-children is not known. At one stage he was in such dire straits he was actually having to hide from his creditors and said, presumably in all seriousness, that he would have been prepared ‘to dig and delve’ to earn a living, except that his noble standing made such manual labour inappropriate. Jocasta died when Katherine was a child, and although Edmund married twice more, he fathered no more children.

I second what Anonymous has to say about the problems of working out the details as to dates of birth. I would not normally recommend Wikipedia articles for serious research, but the one on Joyce Culpeper carries a number of references which might be useful to you, although I have not yet investigated most of them myself, so cannot really recommend.

Hope this helps.