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The Plantagenet Descent of the Six Wives of Henry VIII

Due to the narrowness of sixteenth century aristocratic society, all six wives of King Henry VIII had a common descent, shared with their husband, from the Plantagenet monarchs,King John, Henry III, Edward I and Edward III of England.

Katherine of Aragon

Katherine of AragonKatherine of Aragon, the only one of Henry's wives to have been born a princess, was the youngest daughter of the joint sovereigns King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castille. She was born at Laredo Palace in Alcalá de Henares on 16th October, 1485. Katherine descended from John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, 3rd surviving son of King Edward III and Phillipa of Hainaut and two of John's three wives and was Henry's third cousin, once removed.

Signature of Katherine of AragonThrough her mother, Isabella, Queen of Castille in her own right, Katherine descended through Isabella's father, King John II of Castille, whose mother was Katherine of Lancaster, who herself was the daughter of John of Gaunt (third surviving son of King Edward III) and his second wife, Constanza of Castile, (the daughter of Pedro the Cruel of Castille and Leon).

John of Gaunt's first wife, Blanche of Lancaster, daughter of Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster and his wife Maud Chaworth, was also Katherine's ancestress. Henry of Grosmont was the son of Henry, Earl of Lancaster and Maud Chaworth, and the grandson of Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, the second son of Henry III. Isabella of Castile's mother, Isabella of Portugal, Queen of Castile was the daughter of John, Constable of Portugal, himself the son of Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt and his first wife, Blanche of Lancaster. Philippa was the sister of the first Lancastrian king, Henry IV.

On the Spanish side of her family, Katherine could trace her ancestors back to the Visigothic kings of Spain, who first settled in the country in 410. She could also trace her descent from Eleanor Plantagenet, Queen of Castille, the daughter of the first Plantagenet king Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine and from Eleanor of Aquitaine and her first husband, Louis VII of France,whose daughter Marie of France who married Henry I, Count of Champagne. Their daughter, Marie, married Baldwin I of Constantinople and their descendants included the Castillian royal house.

The Ancestry of Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon Father:
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Paternal Grandfather:
John II of Aragon
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Ferdinand I of Aragon

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Eleanor of Alburquerque

Paternal Grandmother:
Juana Enríquez
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Fadrique Enríquez,
Count of Melba and Rueda

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Mariana Fernández
de Córdoba y Ayala

Mother:
Isabella, Queen of Castille
Maternal Grandfather:
John II of Castile
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Henry III of Castile
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Catherine of Lancaster
Maternal Grandmother:
Isabella of Portugal
Maternal Great-grandfather:
John, Lord of Reguengos de Monsaraz
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Isabella of Braganza

Anne Boleyn

Anne BoleynAnne Boleyn was the daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, later created 1st Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde, and his wife, Elizabeth Howard (daughter of Thomas Howard 2nd Duke of Norfolk). Controversy surrounds Anne's birth date, but it was probably late May-early June,1500 -1507 and was likely to have been at Blickling Hall in Norfolk.

Signature of Anne BoleynAnne descended from King Edward I via her mother Elizabeth Howard, the grandaughter of John Howard Duke of Norfolk, who died fighting for the last Plantagenet King Richard III at the battle of Bosworth in 1485.

John Howard was the son of Sir Robert Howard of Tendring and Margaret de Mowbray. He descended from the Plantagenets through both his father and mother. Through his mother, Margaret de Mowbray, the eldest daughter of Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk who was the second son of John de Mowbray, 4th Baron Mowbray, and Elizabeth de Segrave, daughter and heiress of John de Segrave, 4th Baron Segrave, by his wife Margaret, daughter and heiress of Thomas of Brotherton, son of Edward I and his second wife, Margaret of France.

Through his father Robert Howard, he descended from Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall, the second son of King John, who had an illegitimate son, also named Richard, whose daughter, Joan of Cornwall, married Sir John Howard.On his mother's side, Howard was descended from Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk, the elder son of Edward I of England by his second wife, Margaret of France.

Anne Boleyn Father:
Thomas Boleyn
Earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde
Paternal Grandfather:
Sir William Boleyn
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Geoffrey Boleyn
Mayor of London

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Anne Hoo

Paternal Grandmother:
Lady Margaret Butler
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Thomas Butler,
7th Earl of Ormond

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Anne Hankford

Mother:
Elizabeth Howard
Maternal Grandfather:
Thomas Howard,
2nd Duke of Norfolk
Maternal Great-grandfather:
John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Katherine Moleyns

Maternal Grandmother:
Elizabeth Tilney

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Sir Frederick Tilney
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Elizabeth Cheney

Jane Seymour

Jane SeymourHenry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour was the daughter of Sir John Seymour of Wulf Hall and his wife Margery Wentworth, she was born at Wulf Hall in Savernake Forest, Wiltshire. Her exact date of birth is not known, but it is believed to have occured between 1507-1508.

Jane Seymour's SignatureJane descended from King Edward III through her mother, Margery Wentworth, the grandaughter of Mary Clifford, whose mother, Lady Elizabeth Percy, was the daughter of the famous Harry 'Hotspur' Percy and Elizabeth Mortimer. Elizabeth Mortimer was the daughter of Philippa, 5th Countess of Ulster who was herself the daughter of Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence, (the second surviving son of King Edward III) and his first wife Elizabeth de Burgh.

Jane's direct paternal ancestors, the Seymour family, were a family of country gentry, who are believed to have settled in England at the time of the Norman conquest, originating from the French town of St. Maur-sur-Loire, Seymour was a later corruption of St.Maur. By the thirteenth century the family was settled in Monmouthshire. Sir William St. Maur, or Seymour, was an attendant of Edward, the Black Prince. His son Roger increased the family estates by his marriage with Maud, daughter of Sir William Esturmi of Wolf Hall in Wiltshire. Jane's father, Sir John Seymour of Wolf Hall took an active part in suppressing the Cornish Rebellion of 1497 and later attended Henry at the Field of the Cloth of Gold

The Ancestry of Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour Father:
Sir John Seymour
Paternal Grandfather:
John Seymour
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Sir John Seymour

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Elizabeth Coker

Paternal Grandmother:
Elizabeth Darrel
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Sir George Darell

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Margaret Stourton

Mother:
Margery Wentworth
Maternal Grandfather:
Sir Henry Wentworth
de jure 4th Baron Despenser
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Sir Philip Wentworth
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Mary Clifford
Maternal Grandmother:
Anne Say
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Sir John Say
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Elizabeth Cheney



Plantagenet Descent of the Six Wives of Henry VIII

Anne of Cleves

Anne of ClevesAnne of Cleves, the daughter of John Duke of Cleves and Marie of Juelich and Berg was born at Dusseldorf, Germany on 22 September, 1515.

Anne descended from King Edward I of Enghland via her father, John, Duke of Cleves, whose paternal great-grandmother was Mary of Burgundy, who was the grandaughter of Margaret of Brabant. Margaret of Brabant herself was descended from Edward I via both her parents. Her mother, Margaret, countess of Norfolk in her own right was the daughter and eventual sole heiress of Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk and Alice Hales, the daughter of Sir Roger de Hales. Thomas of Brotherton was the son of Edward I and his second wife Margaret of France, daughter of King Phillip III of France.

Anne of Cleves signatureMargaret of Brabant's father, John III, Duke of Brabant was the son of Margaret of England daughter of King Edward I and his first wife, Eleanor of Castile, the second of five children of Ferdinand III, King of Castile and Joan of Dammartin, Countess of Ponthieu. Eleanor of Castile also descended from Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, through their second daughter, Eleanor, who was her father's maternal grandmother.

Anne was also descended from the Kings of France, and was related to Louis XII of France on her father's side. Anne's great grandfather, John I, Duke of Cleves, was the son of Mary of Burgundy, great-grandaughter of King John II of France.

The Ancestry of Anne of Cleves

Anne of Cleves Father:
John, Duke of Cleves
Paternal Grandfather:
John II, Duke of Cleves
Paternal Great-grandfather:
John I, Duke of Cleves

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Elizabeth of Nevers

Paternal Grandmother:
Mathilde of Hesse
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Henry III,
Landgrave of Upper Hesse

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Anna of Katzenelnbogen

Mother:
Marie of Juelich and Berg
Maternal Grandfather:
Wilhelm IV,
Duke of Jülich-Berg
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Gerhard VII,
Duke of Jülich-Berg
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Sophie of Saxe-Lauenburg
Maternal Grandmother:
Sibylle of Brandenburg
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Albrecht III Achilles
Elector of Brandenburg
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Anna of Saxony

Catherine Howard

Catherine HowardCatherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife, was the tenth child of Lord Edmund Howard, a younger son of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and his wife Joyce Culpepper, who was the daughter of Richard Culpepper of Oxenheath in Kent and Isabel Worsley. Catherine's birth date and place of birth have gone unrecorded, although it has been estimated to be between 1520 and 1525, and was probably in London.

Signature of Catherine HowardIn common with her first cousin Anne Boleyn, by her paternal line, the Howard family, Catherine descended from King Edward I and his second wife, Margaret of France through Thomas of Brotherton, Ist Earl of Norfolk and Alice Hales.

Catherine's great-grandmother Elizabeth Cheney was also the great grandmother of Henry's third wife, Jane Seymour, which made them second cousins.

The Ancestry of Catherine Howard

Catherine Howard Father:
Edmund Howard
Paternal Grandfather:
Thomas Howard,
2nd Duke of Norfolk
Paternal Great-grandfather:
John Howard,
1st Duke of Norfolk

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Katherine Moleyns

Paternal Grandmother:
Elizabeth Tilney
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Sir Frederick Tilney

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Elizabeth Cheney

Mother:
Joyce Culpeper
Maternal Grandfather:
Sir Richard Culpeper
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Sir William Culpeper
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Elizabeth Ferrers of Groby

Maternal Grandmother:
Isabel Worsley

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Otwell Worsley of Stamworth
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Rose Trevor

Catherine Parr

Catherine ParrThe sixth and final wife of Henry VIII, Catherine Parr was born in 1512, acording to some authorities at Kendal Castle in Cumbria and was the daughter of Sir Thomas Parr and Maud Green. Catherine was a maternal 3rd cousin, once removed and and a paternal 4th cousin, once removed of her 3rd husband, King Henry VIII. Her paternal ancestry has been said to be more distinguished than that of Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour.

Signature of Catherine ParrCatherine descended from King Edward III and Phillipa of Hainault. Her paternal grandmother Elizabeth FitzHugh, was the daughter of Alice Neville (the sister of Richard Neville, otherwise known as 'Warwick, the Kingmaker') Alice descended from Joan Beaufort and her second husband Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland. Joan Beaufort was the legitimized daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, (third surviving son of King Edward III) and Katherine Swynford.

Though Phillipa of Hainault Edward III's wife. Katherine descended from the Kings of France, Phillipa was the daughter of Joan of Valois, herself the daughter of Charles of Valois, the son of Philip III of France

Catherine's paternal great-great-grandfather, Sir John Parr (born circa 1383) had married Agnes de Crophull, heiress to Sir Thomas de Crophull of Weobley Castle in Hertfordshire and Sybil de Bere. Agnes de Crophull 's grandfather, Sir John of Bonnington had married Margery de Verdun. The Verdun's descended from John I of England (via his illegitimate daughter Joan and her husband Llywelyn 'The Great', Prince of Gwynedd) and his sister Princess Eleanor, Queen of Castile, they also descended from David I, King of Scots and via his mother St.Margaret from the The Saxon Royal House of Wessex. She had a further descent from the Scottish kings via King William "the Lion" of Scotland from his illegitimate daughter Isabella, Lady Ros, who married into the Parr family.

The Ancestry of Catherine Parr

Catherine Parr Father:
Sir Thomas Parr
Paternal Grandfather:
William Parr,
1st Baron Parr of Kendal
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Sir Thomas Parr

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Alice Tunstall

Paternal Grandmother:
Elizabeth FitzHugh
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Henry FitzHugh,
5th Baron FitzHugh

Paternal Great-grandmother:
Lady Alice Neville

Mother:
Maud Green
Maternal Grandfather:
Sir Thomas Green
Lord of Greens Norton
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Sir Thomas Greene
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Matilda Throckmorton

Maternal Grandmother:
Joan Fogge

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Sir John Fogge
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Alice Haute