In the note dated October 3, 1529, the Spanish-born Queen asks a cardinal from her home country begging the pontiff’s help in halting the king’s bid to annul their marriage because she had failed to produce a son.
Let's go back to the beginning. After a reign of nearly 24 years, King of England, Henry VII, died in 1509.
After the death of his elder brother Arthur in 1502, Henry became heir to the English throne. Shortly afterward, Henry V111 obtained the papal dispensation required to allow him to marry his brother's widow, Catherine of Aragon. This sort of thing was allowable back then.
For twelve years, Queen Catherine's sons died in childbirth or immediately afterward but she produced a daughter. The passionate hope of the country that she might still produce a surviving male child had been constantly disappointed. When in her 40s she had "certain diseases" which made it impossible that she should be again pregnant, and Henry had for two years ceased to cohabit with her. He had two children still living—the Princess Mary, Catherine's daughter, then a girl of eleven, and an illegitimate son.
Pope Clement VII’s eventual refusal to grant the divorce led to division with the Roman Catholic Church, and on to Henry appointing himself head of the Church of England and taking many more wives.
And so a king's dissatisfaction with his first wife and his inability to produce male offspring led to a split in religion and changed the way Christians lived.
I feel so sorry for all the women back then. When did the divide between men and women's status begin? Surely we were created equal. I'd like to say, women have a better control over their lives now, but that's not so in many countries and cultures.