Catherine of Valois

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Catherine of Valois (1401–37), queen of Henry V. Youngest daughter of Charles VI of France, Catherine was sent at an early age to a convent. Her marriage to Henry on 2 June 1420, after bitter warfare between France and England, was an affair of state. At the same time, the treaty of Troyes was signed, whereby Henry was to become Charles's heir. A son, the later Henry VI, was born in December 1421 at Windsor. Catherine accompanied Henry to Harfleur, where war against the dauphin, Charles, continued, and returned a widow in May 1422 when Henry died of dysentery. Though an affair with Owain Tudor resulted in an Act forbidding her to remarry without royal permission, she was already married secretly. The grandson of this marriage took the throne as Henry VII. Catherine died in February 1437, was buried in the Lady Chapel, Westminster abbey, and later placed alongside Henry V. On his 30th birthday in February 1669, Pepys was shown her corpse, ‘and did kiss her mouth’.

Sue Minna Cannon

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Catherine of Valois

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Updated Aug 24 2016 About content Print Topic