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A-Z Blogging Challenge: I is for...I Had a Little Nut Tree

The Little Nut Tree
'I had a little nut tree   
Nothing would it bear
But a silver nutmeg
And a golden pear
The King of Spain's daughter
Came to visit me
And all for the sake
Of my little nut tree.

Her dress was made of crimson
Golden was her hair
She asked me for my nut tree
And my golden pear
I said "So fair a princess
Never did I see
I'll give you all the fruit 
from my little nut tree."

The story surrounding the rhyme is quite vague but it is believed that the 'King of Spain's daughter' was Catherine of Aragon, youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella. The words are believed to be those of Prince Arthur; King Henry VII's eldest son and heir.

When Catherine was three years old she was betrothed to Prince Arthur, son of Henry VII. Arthur was just two at the time. When she was almost 16 (in 1501) she travelled to England and on the 14th November, Catherine and Arthur were married but sadly, only six months after the marriage, Arthur died.

Catherine was left a young widow but Arthur had a younger brother and as the king was keen to keep Catherine's dowry, she was betrothed to Henry; the future King Henry VIII. After much to-ing and fro-ing they were finally married and in February, 1516, after several miscarriages, she gave birth to a baby girl - Mary.

Catherine and Henry were divorced in 1533. The Pope at the time refused to divorce them so Henry made up his own rules to allow the separation to go through.

Henry had  5 more wives after Catherine of Aragon. They were Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Kathryn Howard and Katherine Parr. The easiest way to remember their fates is as follows;

Divorced, beheaded, died; Divorced, beheaded, survived.


JoJo said…
That's a great mnemonic to remember Henry's wives!

Visiting from A-Z
Jenni Steel said…
I remember Henry VIII having five wives after Catherine of Aragon but I could not remember which ones they were or in which order they died.

So much history around!

Lovely poem too.
Love this post. So interesting.
Anonymous said…
I love this story! It's one of my favorite periods of history to study.

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