Black Hills Doll Designs
Katherine Howard

5th in the series:
Henry VIII and His Six Wives
Katherine Howard was Henry's fifth wife, and at least 30 years younger than him. Historians put her age at 19 or younger when they married.
She was born in or around 1521, and was a first cousin of Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn.
She was young, and flirtatious, and made Henry feel young, especially considering his health was faltering.
She was brought to court while Henry was still trying to release himself from his marriage to Anne of Cleves.  Henry was totally smitten with Katherine and called her his "rose without a thorn", and lavished gifts on
her constantly.
Katherine was young, and not well-educated.  She spent her young life in the home of her grandmother, and rules and supervision were very lacking.  This lack of supervision allowed Katherine to become promiscuous and careless as she was growing up.
Katherine was very young and probably pushed towards the king by her father and uncle, who were desperately trying to get back in with the king after the disgrace of their other queen in the family, Anne Boleyn.  It is thought that Katherine was a pawn in this endeavor.

Within six months of Katherine's marriage to Henry, rumors of infidelity, and Lady Rochford's assistance in the infidelity began to make their way through court.  

Katherine was having an affair with Thomas Culpepper, one of Henry's closest courtiers.  It was dangerous to fall in love with the queen, and when the rumors made it back to Henry, he was enraged and threatened to kill them himself.
Katherine was arrested and found guilty by act of attainder and sentenced to death, along with Lady Rochford, Thomas Culpepper, and Frances Dereham, a young man she had a previous relationship with prior to her marriage to Henry, and was foolish enough to offer a position in her household.
The night before Katherine's execution, she requested the block be brought to her room, so she could practice lying her head on it.  She felt this would help her die with dignity.
Katherine and Lady Rochford were executed together on February 13th, 1542.

Katherine lived a short life, and came to a violent end, the pawn of her family's ambitions. 
None of Katherine's family was there to support her at her end, and when she was arrested, her family disowned her and fled from court.  After her death, all of her portraits were removed from her family homes and she was not spoke of again. 

Katherine's gown is made from a deep emerald green.  It is fully lined and beaded with black Czech glass beads on antique gold trim.  The sleeves are accented with black and gold puffed trim and beads.  The cuffs are embroidered in black. Her partlet is made of black silk and lined in white silk.  It is lined in white silk and lightly beaded with tiny faux pearls. Her underskirt is made of antique gold pin-tucked dupioni silk and is fully lined.  Katherine's headpiece is a French Hood.  It is made of sturdy materials and covered in white silk.  It is beaded with antique gold delica and Czech glass beads.  Her jewelry includes a necklace and the waist belt (girdle) she is wearing.  They are both made of small faux pearls, with black and antique gold Czech glass beads. Katherine is holding the love note to Culpepper that was found and used against her in her trial.

Click below for more pictures and a closer look at the details!

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