This is the last letter Katharine wrote to Henry. Its magnanimity is proof that the queen’s much-vaunted piety was sincere. However, she was not averse to a few rebukes. Henry had treated her horribly and she had not seen their daughter for years. But Katharine’s capacity for forgiveness was great, as was her self-delusion; in this letter, she again attributes his love for Anne Boleyn to mere physical desire.
Henry openly celebrated her death and she was buried as Dowager Princess of Wales in Peterborough Cathedral. In light of this, the last line of her letter becomes especially tragic. While she may have desired a visit with him above all else, Henry was only too happy to learn of her death. It is probable, too, that his harsh treatment of Katharine hastened her decline.
My most dear lord, king and husband,
The hour of my death now drawing on, the tender love I owe you forceth me, my case being such, to commend myself to you, and to put you in remembrance with a few words of the health and safeguard of your soul which you ought to prefer before all worldly matters, and before the care and pampering of your body, for the which you have cast me into many calamities and yourself into many troubles. For my part, I pardon you everything, and I wish to devoutly pray God that He will pardon you also. For the rest, I commend unto you our daughter Mary, beseeching you to be a good father unto her, as I have heretofore desired. I entreat you also, on behalf of my maids, to give them marriage portions, which is not much, they being but three. For all my other servants I solicit the wages due them, and a year more, lest they be unprovided for. Lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things.
Katharine the Quene.
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Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "Letter of Katharine of Aragon to her husband, King Henry VIII 7 January 1536" https://englishhistory.net/tudor/letter/letter-of-katharine-of-aragon-to-king-henry-viii/, February 8, 2015