Tag Archives: Henry VIII

Women’s History: May 19

19 May

Happy Birthday, Lorraine Hansberry.  Hansberry was the  first African American woman to produce a play on Broadway, A Raisin in the Sun.  She was also a political activist for civil rights.  Hansberry was a staff writer for the Black newspaper Freedom.  

May 19, 1536, was the day that Henry VIII of England had his second wife, Anne Boleyn, beheaded.  Boleyn was the mother of Elizabeth I.  Henry was successfully married a total of six times. Here are Boleyn’s last words before being executed:

Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it.  I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord.  And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best.  And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me.  O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul.

May 19, 1994, Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis dies.  Onasis was the widow of John F. Kennedy and the mother of John Jr. and Caroline.

Women’s History: April 23

23 Apr

Catherine of Aragon

April 23, 1533, Catherine of Aragon is annulled by Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn was already pregnant–just good family values.  Nothing like starting your own religion (Anglican Church) so you can get a divorce.  Thomas Cornwall said of Catherine: If not for her sex, she could have defied all the heroes of History.  After being successfully (cough cough) married for 24 years to good old Hank, she was summarily dismissed from the throne for not bearing a son. Well that and Hank was already carrying on with Anne and other women. Catherine did bear an heir to the throne however. Bloody Mary, ever faithful to her mother and to the Catholic church, becomes Queen of England and restores England to Catholicism, the faith of her mother, Catherine. I think I chose Catherine to celebrate today for her strength and determination.  I have always been saddened that Catherine of Aragon has seemed under-appreciated. To learn more about Catherine of Aragon, click here.

Women’s History, January 22

22 Jan

The Age of Morality (?)

January 22, 1901. Queen Victoria dies. Victoria ruled over Great Britain for 64 years. She took the throne at eighteen years of age and ruled until her death at 82 years old. Her marriage to her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was legendary. They had nine children together and upon Albert’s death, Victoria plunged into a deep depression.  Their nine children and 26 of their 42 grandchildren married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname “the grandmother of Europe.”

January 22, 1554, Lady Catherine Grey dies.  Catherine was the younger sister of Henry VIII and the younger sister of Grey Lady Jane Grey, a.k.a. The Nine Day Queen, who was then executed for treason.

Happy Birthday, Beatrice Potter Webb.  Webb was a sociologist, economist, reformer and a co-founder of the London School of Economics.  Webb identified as a socialist.  Webb collaborated with her husband in drafting the policy statement, Labour and the New Social Order.


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