Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Question from Nikki - Choice of Kathryn Howard's method of execution

As a final act of "kindness", Henry allowed Anne to be beheaded by a sword instead of an ax. Why didn't he do this for Katharine Howard?


  1. I think that the answer lies in the circumstances of each queen's execution. Not many people particularly believed the accusations against Anne (adultery and incest) as they were probably an excuse for Henry to move onto another wife.

    However, the accusations against Katherine Howard were probably true and widely believed, especially in light of her rather indiscreet past.

  2. @rtuko,-I do not believe the different method of execution used had anything to with their guilty. The king Henry VIII thought both of them to be guilty. However, the reason why Anne Boleyn was beheaded with a sword and Catherine Howard an ax, hand more to do with the fact that Anne Boleyn was a crowned queen and the mother of Henry VIII's daughter,and Catherine Howard was not. Anne Boleyn was the first crowned queen in England to ever be sent to the scaffold on treason /and adultery.While Anne was found guilty by a jury ,poor Catherine Howard was found guilty by an act of attainder.

  3. I think Luv has it in a nutshell. I would just like to add that because Anne had been crowned, she had also (as part of the coronation ceremony) been anointed and this meant that she was considered a holy and sacred being. Every care had to be taken to ensure that her death was quick and relatively easy. Catherine, however, was never actually crowned.

  4. Why was Anne a "crowned" queen while Kathryn was not? I don't understand the difference? Did Kathryn Howard never have a coronation?

  5. to answer your question MelanieZ no she wasn't crowned in fact after Anne none of his other wives were.

    not sure why maybe the mood of the country didn't want it with the expense and all that or maybe he was waiting for Jane to give him a son then crown her as a reward.

    however she was proclaimed queen 4 June 1536 but never anointed.

  6. The King was to distressed to even sign the execution warrant. I think that he was unable to do anything and was unable to help Catherine. I think he was very hurt not just because he loved her and because she made him feel young but because it forced him to acknowledge that he was no longer attractive.

  7. It could also depend on the preferred method of whoever the executioner on the payroll was too.

    From what I understand, it was too expensive for more coronations of the queens. Each bride was considered Queen of England but I think the people probably got sick of it after Anne's execution and Henry remarrying yet again. If memory serves, when Anne was crowned, they used items that were used to crown Katherine of Aragon.


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