Queen Catherine Howard

Catherine Howard London Sites

Catherine Howard was King Henry VIII‘s 5th wife. She was only a teenager when she married Henry, who was almost 50 at the time. She was admittedly a promiscuous girl before her marriage to the king, and had an affair with Thomas Culpepper during her marriage.

When Henry found out, she was accused of adultery, arrested, and executed at the Tower of London. She was the 2nd of King Henry’s wives to be beheaded, along with her cousin Anne Boleyn.

Catherine Howard Attractions in London

Hampton Court Palace

In 1541, Catherine was charged with adultery and placed under house arrest at Hampton Court Palace. She allegedly escaped from the guards and ran through the gallery to beg her husband Henry for forgiveness and for mercy on her life. She pounded on the chapel doors, screaming her husband’s name, until the guards captured her and dragged her back to her room. She was later executed at the Tower of London. According to legend, her ghost now haunts the gallery, and tourists have heard her shrieking Henry’s name.

Photo credit: Hampton Court

Hampton Court Palace

London Bridge

Catherine’s lover Thomas Culpepper was executed before Catherine was. When Catherine was being taken to the Traitor’s Gate entrance of the Tower of London, she passed Thomas’ gruesome impaled head on the London Bridge.

Photo credit: London Bridge (1616) by Claes Van Visscher

Old London Bridge

Tower of London

Before being executed at the Tower of London, Catherine asked for a block so that she could practice her execution. Her last words before being beheaded were: “I die a queen, but would rather die the wife of Culpepper.”

Photo credit: Tower of London Scaffold Site

Tower of London Scaffold Site

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