Asked • 04/03/19

In medieval Europe, were children born in an annulled marriage automatically illegitimate?

I know that under modern laws (even within the Catholic Church), children born in a marriage that is later annulled are still considered legitimate, because they were born of a putative marriage. Was that also true in the Middle Ages? "Bloody" Mary and Elizabeth were both declared illegitimate and then legitimate several times, if I understand correctly, but was that the necessary result of annulment, or just their father's decree so he could choose his successor?

1 Expert Answer


BZ C. answered • 04/03/19

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