Catherine Howard's Fate

Album: Under a Violet Moon (1999)

Songfacts®:

  • Running to 2 minutes 34 seconds, this Ritchie Blackmore/Candice Night composition in classical Olde Englishe style is about the wife of Henry VIII. One of them! Also spelt Kathryn Howard, she was wife number 5, and was to become the second to be executed (read murdered) by this talented but notorious tyrant.

    She and Henry were married July 28, 1540, at Oatlands Palace, Surrey. On February 15, 1542, she was beheaded in the Tower of London. Her exact age is unknown but she was almost certainly no more than 19. It appears that the young Catherine did indeed betray her marriage vows, which would normally constitute adultery, but at that time was also classed as treason. Her execution came less than six years after that of Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn, she who walks the Bloody Tower with her head tucked underneath her arm.

    Unlike this latter, the Blackmore's Night song is not frivolous at all but is an address to the King, and clearly a futile one. It ends with a reference to a letter (in her own hand) that betrayed her. This remains a matter of contention, but sadly her fate does not. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

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