Dating and marriage elizabethan era
Henry was desperate to have a male heir, fearing another civil war over the succession to the throne.
(See Shakespeares Henry VI Parts I, II and III, and Richard III).
Both Hamlet and the ghost condemn the relationship and marriage between Claudius and Gertrude as incestuous (1.2.157; 1.5.42).
This was based on the Old Testament book of Leviticus : If a man shall take his brothers wife, it is an unclean thing; he hath uncovered his brothers nakedness; they shall be childless.
Suppose I tell you now, what I, in my turn, expect, and how you may best please me and make me happy.—Thus then I begin—Let me ever have the sweet consiousness of knowing myself the best beloved of your heart—I do not always require a lover’s attention—that wou’d be impossible, but let it never appear by your conduct that I am indifferent to you." Margaret Davenport Coulter to John Coulter, May 10, 1795.
In November 1776, Benjamin and Annabelle Powell of Williamsburg married their elder daughter, Hannah, to William Drew of Isle of Wight County.
At age 14, Arthur married Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabel of Spain. However, it was asserted that the marriage with Arthur had never been consummated, since Arthur had been sick, and there was no problem.
As a further precaution, a Papal dispensation was obtained, and Henry married Catherine in 1509.
I think incest-avoidance was more of an excuse than a motivation.
10___And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.
"You know what to expect from me, as you have seen my character of a good wife.
Although Catherine became pregnant several times, all the children, except one, Mary, died in infancy or were stillborn.
After 24 years of marriage, in 1533, Catherine was no longer able to have children.