Otd, during the night of the 15th/16th of December 1485, Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, was born at the recently reformed fortified palace at Alcalá de Henares, a town just east of Madrid. Pregnancy had not stopped Catherine’s mother, Isabella I of Castile, from waging war on the Moors, and she had spent the summer of 1485 moving around Andalucia, following her troops’ campaign. Isabella and her troops finished warring for the year in September, and the Royal Court travelled from Andalucia to Alcalá for the winter, and for the impending birth.
Catherine was the last of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I’s children, and was named after her maternal great grandmother, Catalina of Castile or Catherine of Lancaster.She was descended, on her maternal side, from the English royal house; her great-grandmother Catherine of Lancaster, after whom she was named, and her great-great-grandmother Philippa of Lancaster were both daughters of John of Gaunt and granddaughters of Edward III of England. Consequently, she was third cousin of her father-in-law, Henry VII of England, and fourth cousin of her mother-in-law Elizabeth of York.
Catherine was quite short in stature with long red hair, wide blue eyes, a round face, and a fair complexion.
We know various details about Catherine’s childhood because it was recorded by Gonzalo de Baeza, Isabella’s treasurer. For example, we know that she was baptised by the Bishop of Palencia and wore a a white brocade gown which was trimmed with gold lace and lined with green velvet, and that Dutch olanda linen was used to make her sheets, pillowcases, nightshirts and bibs. We also know that scarlet Florentine cloth was ordered to make clothes, fresh cotton was used to stuff her crib mattress, a brass basin was used for washing her, and that she owned a perfume sprinkler. Quite interesting!
Catherine was educated by a tutor, Alessandro Geraldini, who was a clerk in Holy Orders. She studied arithmetic, canon and civil law, classical literature, genealogy and heraldry, history, philosophy, religion, and theology.
Continued in comments⬇️