Henry VIII of England

Henry VIII of England

Overview
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord
Lordship of Ireland
The Lordship of Ireland refers to that part of Ireland that was under the rule of the king of England, styled Lord of Ireland, between 1177 and 1541. It was created in the wake of the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–71 and was succeeded by the Kingdom of Ireland...

, and later King
King of Ireland
A monarchical polity has existed in Ireland during three periods of its history, finally ending in 1801. The designation King of Ireland and Queen of Ireland was used during these periods...

, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim
English claims to the French throne
The English claims to the French throne have a long and complex history between the 1340s and the 19th century.From 1340 to 1801, with only brief intervals in 1360-1369 and 1420–1422, the kings and queens of England, and after the Acts of Union in 1707 the kings and queens of Great Britain, also...

 by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France. Henry was the second monarch of the House of Tudor, succeeding his father, Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

.

Besides his six marriages, Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 from the Roman Catholic Church.
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Timeline

1491   Hnery VIII is born at Greenwich Palace, London

1501   Catherine of Aragon (later Henry VIII's first wife) meets Arthur Tudor, Henry VIII's older brother – they would later marry.

1509   Henry VIII ascends the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII.

1509   Henry VIII of England marries Catherine of Aragon.

1509   Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon are crowned King and Queen of England.

1510   Henry VIII of England, then 18 years old, appears incognito in the lists at Richmond, and is applauded for his jousting before he reveals his identity.

1513   Edmund de la Pole, Yorkist pretender to the English throne, is executed on the orders of Henry VIII.

1531   Henry VIII of England is recognized as supreme head of the Church of England.

1532   Henry VIII and François I sign a secret treaty against Emperor Charles V.

1532   Lady Anne Boleyn is made Marchioness of Pembroke by her fiancé, King Henry VIII of England.

 
Encyclopedia
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord
Lordship of Ireland
The Lordship of Ireland refers to that part of Ireland that was under the rule of the king of England, styled Lord of Ireland, between 1177 and 1541. It was created in the wake of the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–71 and was succeeded by the Kingdom of Ireland...

, and later King
King of Ireland
A monarchical polity has existed in Ireland during three periods of its history, finally ending in 1801. The designation King of Ireland and Queen of Ireland was used during these periods...

, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim
English claims to the French throne
The English claims to the French throne have a long and complex history between the 1340s and the 19th century.From 1340 to 1801, with only brief intervals in 1360-1369 and 1420–1422, the kings and queens of England, and after the Acts of Union in 1707 the kings and queens of Great Britain, also...

 by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France. Henry was the second monarch of the House of Tudor, succeeding his father, Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

.

Besides his six marriages, Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry's struggles with Rome led to the separation of the Church of England from papal authority, the Dissolution of the Monasteries
Dissolution of the Monasteries
The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland; appropriated their...

, and establishing himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Yet he remained a believer in core Catholic theological teachings, even after his excommunication from the Catholic Church. Henry oversaw the legal union of England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

 with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–42.

Henry was known by some to be an attractive and charismatic man in his prime, educated and accomplished. He was an author and a composer. He ruled with absolute power. His desire to provide England with a male heir—which stemmed partly from personal vanity and partly because he believed a daughter would be unable to consolidate the Tudor Dynasty
Tudor dynasty
The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house of Welsh origin that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including the Lordship of Ireland, later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor, a descendant through his mother of a legitimised...

 and the fragile peace that existed following the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

—led to the two things that Henry is remembered for: his wives
Wives of Henry VIII
The wives of Henry VIII were the six queens consort married to Henry VIII of England between 1509 and 1547. The six women to hold the title 'queens consort' of King Henry VIII were, in order:* Catherine of Aragon ,* Anne Boleyn ,...

, and the English Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 that made England a mostly Protestant nation. In later life he became morbidly obese and his health suffered; his public image is frequently depicted as one of a lustful, egotistical, harsh, and insecure king.

Early years: 1491–1509


Born at Greenwich Palace, Henry VIII was the third child of Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 and Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York was Queen consort of England as spouse of King Henry VII from 1486 until 1503, and mother of King Henry VIII of England....

. Of the young Henry's six siblings, only three – Arthur, Prince of Wales
Arthur, Prince of Wales
Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales was the first son of King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and therefore, heir to the throne of England. As he predeceased his father, Arthur never became king...

; Margaret
Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor was the elder of the two surviving daughters of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and the elder sister of Henry VIII. In 1503, she married James IV, King of Scots. James died in 1513, and their son became King James V. She married secondly Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of...

; and Mary
Mary Tudor (queen consort of France)
Mary Tudor was the younger sister of King Henry VIII of England and queen consort of France through her marriage to Louis XII. The latter was more than 30 years her senior. Following his death, which occurred less than two months after her coronation as his third wife, she married Charles Brandon,...

 – survived infancy. In 1493, at the age of two, Henry was appointed Constable of Dover Castle
Dover Castle
Dover Castle is a medieval castle in the town of the same name in the English county of Kent. It was founded in the 12th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history...

 and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Cinque Ports
The Confederation of Cinque Ports is a historic series of coastal towns in Kent and Sussex. It was originally formed for military and trade purposes, but is now entirely ceremonial. It lies at the eastern end of the English Channel, where the crossing to the continent is narrowest...

. In 1494, he was made Duke of York
Duke of York
The Duke of York is a title of nobility in the British peerage. Since the 15th century, it has, when granted, usually been given to the second son of the British monarch. The title has been created a remarkable eleven times, eight as "Duke of York" and three as the double-barreled "Duke of York and...

. He was subsequently appointed Earl Marshal
Earl Marshal
Earl Marshal is a hereditary royal officeholder and chivalric title under the sovereign of the United Kingdom used in England...

 of England and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was the British King's representative and head of the Irish executive during the Lordship of Ireland , the Kingdom of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

. Henry was given a first-rate education from leading tutors, becoming fluent in Latin, French, and Spanish. As it was expected that the throne would pass to Prince Arthur, Henry's older brother, Henry was prepared for a clerical career. Elizabeth of York, his mother, died when Henry was aged 11.

Death of Prince Arthur




In 1502, Arthur died at the age of 15, after only 20 weeks of marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Arthur's death thrust all his duties upon his younger brother, the 10-year-old Henry, who then became Prince of Wales. Henry VII renewed his efforts to seal a marital alliance between England and Spain, by offering his second son in marriage to Prince Arthur's widow, Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

, youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 and Queen Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

. For the new Prince of Wales to marry his brother's widow, a dispensation from the Pope was normally required to overrule the impediment of affinity
Affinity (canon law)
In Canon law of the Catholic Church, affinity is a relationship which "arises from a valid marriage, even if not consummated, and exists between a man and the blood relatives of the woman and between the woman and the blood relatives of the man."...

 because, as told in the Book of Leviticus, "If a brother is to marry the wife of a brother they will remain childless." Catherine swore that her marriage to Prince Arthur had not been consummated. Still, both the English and Spanish parties agreed that an additional papal dispensation of affinity would be prudent to remove all doubt regarding the legitimacy of the marriage.

The impatience of Catherine's mother, Queen Isabella I, induced Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

 to grant dispensation in the form of a Papal bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

. So, 14 months after her young husband's death, Catherine was betrothed to his even younger brother, Henry. Yet by 1505, Henry VII lost interest in a Spanish alliance and the younger Henry declared that his betrothal had been arranged without his consent.

Continued diplomatic manoeuvring over the fate of the proposed marriage lingered until the death of Henry VII in 1509. Only 17 years old, Henry married Catherine on 11 June 1509 and, on 24 June 1509, the two were crowned at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

.

Early reign: 1509–1525


Two days after his coronation, he arrested his father's two most unpopular ministers, Sir Richard Empson
Richard Empson
Sir Richard Empson , minister of Henry VII, King of England, was a son of Peter Empson, an influential inhabitant of Towcester....

 and Edmund Dudley
Edmund Dudley
Edmund Dudley was an English administrator and a financial agent of King Henry VII. He served as Speaker of the House of Commons and President of the King's Council. After the accession of Henry VIII, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London and executed the next year on a treason charge...

 (grandfather of Henry's daughter Elizabeth's favourite courtier, Robert Dudley
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, KG was an English nobleman and the favourite and close friend of Elizabeth I from her first year on the throne until his death...

). They were charged with high treason
High treason
High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's government. Participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps...

 and were executed in 1510. This was to become Henry's primary tactic for dealing with those who stood in his way, as believed by historians such as Crofton. Henry also returned to the public some of the money supposedly extorted by the two ministers.

Henry cultivated the image of a Renaissance Man
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

 and his court was a centre of scholarly and artistic innovation and glamorous excess, epitomised by the Field of the Cloth of Gold
Field of the Cloth of Gold
The Field of Cloth of Gold is the name given to a place in Balinghem, between Guînes and Ardres, in France, near Calais. It was the site of a meeting that took place from 7 June to 24 June 1520, between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France. The meeting was arranged to increase...

. He was an accomplished musician, author, and poet. His best known musical composition is "Pastime with Good Company
Pastime with Good Company
"Pastime with Good Company", also known as "The King's Ballad" , is an English folk song written by King Henry VIII in the first years of the 16th century, shortly after being crowned. It is regarded as the most famous of his compositions, and it became a popular song in England and other European...

" or "The Kynges Ballade". He was an avid gambler and dice
Dice
A die is a small throwable object with multiple resting positions, used for generating random numbers...

 player, and excelled at sports, especially jousting
Jousting
Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two knights mounted on horses and using lances, often as part of a tournament.Jousting emerged in the High Middle Ages based on the military use of the lance by heavy cavalry. The first camels tournament was staged in 1066, but jousting itself did not...

, hunting, and real tennis
Real tennis
Real tennis – one of several games sometimes called "the sport of kings" – is the original indoor racquet sport from which the modern game of lawn tennis , is descended...

. He was known for his strong defence of conventional Christian piety. Meeting Francis I
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 on 7 June 1520 near Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

, he entertained the French king with a fortnight of lavish entertainment to establish a closer diplomatic relationship after the military conflicts of the previous decade.

France and the Habsburgs


In 1511, Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

 proclaimed a Holy League against France
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was one of the most powerful states to exist in Europe during the second millennium.It originated from the Western portion of the Frankish empire, and consolidated significant power and influence over the next thousand years. Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, developed a...

. The new alliance rapidly grew to include not only Spain and the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 but England as well. Henry decided to use the occasion to expand his holdings in northern France. He concluded the Treaty of Westminster, a pledge of mutual aid with Spain against France, in November 1511 and prepared for involvement in the War of the League of Cambrai
War of the League of Cambrai
The War of the League of Cambrai, sometimes known as the War of the Holy League and by several other names, was a major conflict in the Italian Wars...

.

In 1513, Henry invaded France and his troops defeated a French army at the Battle of the Spurs
Battle of Guinegate (1513)
The Battle of Guinegate or Battle of the Spurs took place on August 16, 1513. As part of the Holy League under the on-going Italian Wars, English and Imperial troops under Henry VIII and Maximilian I surprised and routed a body of French cavalry under Jacques de La Palice.The English army was...

. His brother-in-law, James IV of Scotland
James IV of Scotland
James IV was King of Scots from 11 June 1488 to his death. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland, but his reign ended with the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Flodden Field, where he became the last monarch from not only Scotland, but also from all...

, invaded England at the behest of Louis XII of France
Louis XII of France
Louis proved to be a popular king. At the end of his reign the crown deficit was no greater than it had been when he succeeded Charles VIII in 1498, despite several expensive military campaigns in Italy. His fiscal reforms of 1504 and 1508 tightened and improved procedures for the collection of taxes...

, but failed to draw Henry's attention away from France. The English army, led by Queen Catherine, who acted as regent of England while Henry was in France, defeated the Scots at the Battle of Flodden on 9 September 1513. Among the dead was the Scottish King James IV, ending Scotland's brief involvement in the war.

On 18 February 1516, Queen Catherine bore Henry his first child to survive infancy, Princess Mary
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

. (A son, Henry, Duke of Cornwall
Henry, Duke of Cornwall
Henry, Duke of Cornwall was the name of two sons of King Henry VIII of England and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Henry and Catherine had five children, but only Princess Mary survived infancy.-The first Henry, Duke of Cornwall:...

, had been born in 1511 but lived only a few weeks.)

Government and finances under Henry


Financially, the reign of Henry was a near-disaster. Although he inherited a prosperous economy (and further augmented his royal treasury by seizures of church lands), Henry's heavy spending and high taxes damaged the economy. For example, Henry expanded the Royal Navy from 5 to 53 ships. He loved palaces; he began with a dozen and died with fifty-five, in which he hung 2,000 tapestries. By comparison, his neighbour and nephew James V of Scotland
James V of Scotland
James V was King of Scots from 9 September 1513 until his death, which followed the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss...

 had five palaces and 200 tapestries
Scottish Royal tapestry collection
The Scottish royal tapestry collection was a group of tapestry hangings assembled to decorate the palaces of sixteenth century kings and queens of Scotland....

. He took pride in showing off his collection of weapons, which included exotic archery equipment, 2,250 pieces of land ordinance and 6,500 handguns.
Henry began his reign with heavy reliance on advisors and ended with complete control. From 1514 to 1529, Thomas Wolsey (1473–1530), a Catholic cardinal, served as lord chancellor and practically controlled domestic and foreign policy for the young king. He negotiated the truce with France that was signalled by the dramatic display of amity on the Field of the Cloth of Gold
Field of the Cloth of Gold
The Field of Cloth of Gold is the name given to a place in Balinghem, between Guînes and Ardres, in France, near Calais. It was the site of a meeting that took place from 7 June to 24 June 1520, between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France. The meeting was arranged to increase...

 (1520). He switched England back and forth as an ally of France and the Holy Roman Empire. Wolsey centralised the national government and extended the jurisdiction of the conciliar courts, particularly the Star Chamber
Star Chamber
The Star Chamber was an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster until 1641. It was made up of Privy Counsellors, as well as common-law judges and supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters...

. His use of forced loans to pay for foreign wars angered the rich, who were annoyed as well by his enormous wealth and ostentatious living. Wolsey disappointed the king when he failed to secure a quick divorce from Queen Catherine. The treasury was empty after years of extravagance; the peers and people were dissatisfied and Henry needed an entirely new approach; Wolsey had to be replaced. After 16 years at the top he lost power in 1529 and in 1530 was arrested on false charges of treason and died in custody. Wolsey's fall was a warning to the Pope and to the clergy of England of what might be expected for failure to comply with the king's wishes. Henry then took full control of his government, although at court numerous complex factions continued to try to ruin and destroy each other.

Elton (1962) argues there was a major Tudor revolution in government. While crediting Henry with intelligence and shrewdness, Elton finds that much of the positive action, especially the break with Rome, was the work of Thomas Cromwell and not the king. Elton sees Henry as competent, but too lazy to take direct control of affairs for any extended period; that is, the king was an opportunist who relied on others for most of his ideas and to do most of the work. Henry's marital adventures are part of Elton's chain of evidence; a man who marries six wives, Elton notes, is not someone who fully controls his own fate. Elton shows that Thomas Cromwell had conceived of a commonwealth of England that included popular participation through Parliament and that this was generally expressed in the preambles to legislation. Parliamentary consent did not mean that the king had yielded any of his authority; Henry VIII was a paternalistic ruler who did not hesitate to use his power. Popular "consent" was a means to augment rather than limit royal power.

Reformation



Henry never formally repudiated the doctrines of the Catholic Church, but he declared himself supreme head
Supreme Governor of the Church of England
The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarchs which signifies their titular leadership over the Church of England. Although the monarch's authority over the Church of England is not strong, the position is still very relevant to the church and is mostly...

 of the church in England in 1534. This, combined with subsequent actions, eventually resulted in a separated church, the Church of England. Henry and his advisors felt the pope was acting in the role of an Italian prince involved in secular affairs, which obscured his religious role. They said Rome treated England as a minor stepchild, allowing it one cardinal out of fifty, and no possibility of that cardinal becoming pope. For reasons of state it was increasingly intolerable to Henry that major decisions in England were settled by Italians. The divorce issue exemplified the problem but was not itself the cause of the problem.

Henry's reformation of the English church involved more complex motives and methods than his desire for a new wife and an heir. Henry asserted that his first marriage had never been valid, but the divorce issue was only one factor in Henry's desire to reform the church. In 1532–37, he instituted a number of statutes – the act of appeal (Statute in Restraint of Appeals
Statute in Restraint of Appeals
The Statute in Restraint of Appeals – short title Ecclesiastical Appeals Act 1532 – was an English parliamentary Act of 1533, considered by many historians to be the key legal foundation of the English Reformation....

, 1533), the various Acts of Succession
Succession to the Crown Act
The Succession to the Crown Act, or Act of Succession, may refer to a number of pieces of English law passed in the reign of Henry VIII:*The Succession to the Crown Act 1533 *The Succession to the Crown Act 1534...

 (1533, 1534, and 1536), the first Act of Supremacy (1534), and others – that dealt with the relationship between the king and the pope and the structure of the Church of England. During these years, Henry suppressed monasteries and pilgrimage shrines in his attempt to reform the church. The king was always the dominant force in the making of religious policy; his policy, which he pursued skilfully and consistently, is best characterised as a search for the middle way.

Questions over what was the true faith were resolved with the adoption of the orthodox "Act of Six Articles" (1539) and a careful holding of the balance between extreme factions after 1540. Even so, the era saw movement away from religious orthodoxy, the more so as the pillars of the old beliefs, especially Thomas More
Thomas More
Sir Thomas More , also known by Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and, for three years toward the end of his life, Lord Chancellor...

 and John Fisher
John Fisher
Saint John Fisher was an English Roman Catholic scholastic, bishop, cardinal and martyr. He shares his feast day with Saint Thomas More on 22 June in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints and 6 July on the Church of England calendar of saints...

, had been unable to accept the change and had been executed in 1535 for refusing to renounce papal authority. Critical for the Henrician reformation was the new political theology of obedience to the prince that was enthusiastically adopted by the Church of England in the 1530s. It reflected Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

's new interpretation of the fourth commandment ("Honor thy father and mother") and was mediated to an English audience by William Tyndale
William Tyndale
William Tyndale was an English scholar and translator who became a leading figure in Protestant reformism towards the end of his life. He was influenced by the work of Desiderius Erasmus, who made the Greek New Testament available in Europe, and by Martin Luther...

. The founding of royal authority on the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

, and thus on the word of God, was a particularly attractive feature of this doctrine, which became a defining feature of Henrician religion. Rival tendencies within the Church of England sought to exploit it in the pursuit of their particular agendas. Reformers strove to preserve its connections with the broader framework of Lutheran theology, with the emphasis on faith alone and the word of God, while conservatives emphasised good works, ceremonies, and charity. The Reformers linked royal supremacy and the word of God to persuade Henry to publish the Great Bible
Great Bible
The Great Bible was the first authorized edition of the Bible in English, authorized by King Henry VIII of England to be read aloud in the church services of the Church of England. The Great Bible was prepared by Myles Coverdale, working under commission of Sir Thomas Cromwell, Secretary to Henry...

 in 1539, an English translation that was a formidable prop for his new-found dignity.

Response to the reforms was mixed. The reforms, which closed down monasteries that were the only support of the impoverished, alienated most of the population outside of London and helped provoke the great northern rising of 1536–37, known as the Pilgrimage of Grace
Pilgrimage of Grace
The Pilgrimage of Grace was a popular rising in York, Yorkshire during 1536, in protest against Henry VIII's break with the Roman Catholic Church and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, as well as other specific political, social and economic grievances. It was done in action against Thomas Cromwell...

. It was the only real threat to Henry's security on the throne in all his reign. Some 30,000 rebels in nine groups were led by the charismatic Robert Aske
Robert Aske (political leader)
Robert Aske was an English lawyer who became the leader of rebellion in York. He led the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536 and was executed by Henry VIII for treason in 1537.-Biography:...

, together with most of the northern nobility. Aske went to London to negotiate terms; once there he was arrested, charged with treason and executed. About 200 rebels were executed and the disturbances ended. Elsewhere the changes were accepted and welcomed, and those who clung to Catholic rites kept quiet or moved in secrecy. They would reemerge in the reign of Henry's daughter Mary
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 (1553–58).

Dissolving the monasteries



England possessed numerous religious houses that owned large tracts of land worked by tenants. Henry dissolved them (1536–1541) and transferred a fifth of England's landed wealth to new hands. The program was designed primarily to create a landed gentry beholden to the crown, which would use the lands much more efficiently.

Henry made radical changes in traditional religious practices. He ordered the clergy to preach against superstitious images, relics, miracles, and pilgrimages, and to remove most candles. The catechism
Catechism
A catechism , i.e. to indoctrinate) is a summary or exposition of doctrine, traditionally used in Christian religious teaching from New Testament times to the present...

 of 1545, called the King's Primer, left out the saints. Latin rituals gave way to English. Shrines to saints were destroyed – including the popular one of St. Thomas of Canterbury – and relics were ridiculed as worthless old bones.

Mistresses


Contrary to popular belief, Henry may not have had very many affairs outside marriage. Apart from women he later married, the identities of only two mistresses are completely undisputed: Elizabeth Blount
Elizabeth Blount
Elizabeth Blount , who was better known by her nickname of "Bessie", was a mistress of Henry VIII of England.-Early life:She was the daughter of Sir John Blount and Catherine Pershall, of Kinlet, Bridgnorth, Shropshire...

 and Mary Boleyn
Mary Boleyn
Mary Boleyn , was the sister of English queen consort Anne Boleyn and a member of the Boleyn family, which enjoyed considerable influence during the reign of King Henry VIII of England...

. However, it is unlikely that they were the only two; Alison Weir has argued that, aside from the affairs listed below, there were numerous other short-term and secret liaisons, most of them conducted in the king's river-side mansion of Jordan House.

Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount
Elizabeth Blount
Elizabeth Blount , who was better known by her nickname of "Bessie", was a mistress of Henry VIII of England.-Early life:She was the daughter of Sir John Blount and Catherine Pershall, of Kinlet, Bridgnorth, Shropshire...

 gave birth in June 1519 to Henry's illegitimate son, Henry FitzRoy
Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset
Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset was the son of King Henry VIII of England and his teenage mistress, Elizabeth Blount, the only illegitimate offspring whom Henry acknowledged.-Childhood:...

. The young boy was made Duke of Richmond in June 1525 in what some thought was one step on the path to legitimising him. In 1533, FitzRoy married Mary Howard, Anne Boleyn's first cousin, but died three years later without any children. At the time of FitzRoy's death (July 1536), Parliament was enacting the Second Succession Act
Second Succession Act
The Second Succession Act of Henry VIII's reign was passed by the Parliament of England in June 1536, removing both Mary and Elizabeth from the line of the succession. The Act was formally titled "An Act concerning the Succession of the Crown"...

, which could have allowed Henry's illegitimate son to become king.

Mary Boleyn
Mary Boleyn
Mary Boleyn , was the sister of English queen consort Anne Boleyn and a member of the Boleyn family, which enjoyed considerable influence during the reign of King Henry VIII of England...

 was Henry's mistress before her sister, Anne
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...

, became his second wife. She is thought to have been Catherine's
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

 lady-in-waiting
Lady-in-waiting
A lady-in-waiting is a female personal assistant at a royal court, attending on a queen, a princess, or a high-ranking noblewoman. Historically, in Europe a lady-in-waiting was often a noblewoman from a family highly thought of in good society, but was of lower rank than the woman on whom she...

 at some point between 1519 and 1526. There has been speculation that Mary's two children, Catherine
Catherine Carey
Katherine Carey, often spelt Catherine Carey, after her marriage Katherine Knollys and later Lady Knollys, pronounced "Noles" Katherine Carey, often spelt Catherine Carey, after her marriage Katherine Knollys and later Lady Knollys, pronounced "Noles" Katherine Carey, often spelt Catherine Carey,...

 and Henry
Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon
Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, of Hunsdon was an English nobleman.He was the son of Mary Boleyn, the sister of Anne Boleyn and also the mistress to King Henry VIII of England...

, were fathered by Henry, but this has never been proved and the King never acknowledged them as he did Henry FitzRoy.

In 1510 it was reported that Henry was conducting an affair with one of the sisters of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham
Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham
Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, KG was an English nobleman. He was the son of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and the former Lady Catherine Woodville, daughter of the 1st Earl Rivers and sister-in-law of King Edward IV.-Early life:Stafford was born at Brecknock Castle in Wales...

, either Elizabeth or Anne Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon
Anne Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon
Anne Hastings was the youngest daughter of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and his wife Catherine Woodville. In 1510, her affair with King Henry VIII was the subject of a scandal at court.-Background:...

. Her brother, the Duke of Buckingham
Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham
Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, KG was an English nobleman. He was the son of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and the former Lady Catherine Woodville, daughter of the 1st Earl Rivers and sister-in-law of King Edward IV.-Early life:Stafford was born at Brecknock Castle in Wales...

, became enraged and Lord George Hastings
George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon
George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, the son of Edward Hastings, 2nd Baron Hastings and Mary Hungerford. George Hastings was created the first Earl of Huntingdon by Henry VIII of England on 3 November 1529. On the same day his son Francis gained a seat at the...

, her husband, sent her to a convent. Eustace Chapuys
Eustace Chapuys
Eustace Chapuys was a Savoyard diplomat who served as the Imperial ambassador to England from 1529 until 1545 and is best known for his extensive and detailed correspondence.-Life:...

 wrote, "the husband of that lady went away, carried her off and placed her in a convent sixty miles from here, that no one may see her.".

Biographer Antonia Fraser
Antonia Fraser
Lady Antonia Margaret Caroline Fraser, DBE , née Pakenham, is an Anglo-Irish author of history, novels, biographies and detective fiction, best known as Antonia Fraser...

 has claimed that Henry had an affair with Mary Shelton in 1535, in opposition to the traditional belief that Margaret ("Madge") Shelton was Henry's lover.

King's Great Matter: 1525–1533



Henry became impatient with Catherine's inability to produce the heir he desired. All of Catherine's children died in infancy except their daughter Mary
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

. Henry wanted a male heir to consolidate the power of the Tudor dynasty.

In 1525, as Henry grew more impatient, he became enamoured of a charismatic young woman in the Queen's entourage, Anne Boleyn. Anne at first resisted his attempts to seduce her, and refused to become his mistress as her sister Mary Boleyn had. She said "I beseech your highness most earnestly to desist, and to this my answer in good part. I would rather lose my life than my honesty." This refusal made Henry even more attracted, and he pursued her relentlessly.

Eventually, Anne saw her opportunity in Henry's infatuation and determined she would only yield to his embraces as his acknowledged queen. It soon became the King's absorbing desire to annul his marriage to Catherine.

Henry appealed directly to the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, independently from Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, from whom he kept his plans for Anne secret. Instead, Henry's secretary, William Knight, was sent to Pope Clement VII
Pope Clement VII
Clement VII , born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was a cardinal from 1513 to 1523 and was Pope from 1523 to 1534.-Early life:...

 to sue for the annulment. The grounds were that the bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 of Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

 was obtained by false pretences, because Catherine's brief marriage to the sickly Arthur had been consummated. Henry petitioned, in the event of annulment, a dispensation to marry again to any woman even in the first degree of affinity, whether the affinity was contracted by lawful or unlawful connection. This clearly had reference to Anne.


However, as the pope was at that time imprisoned by Catherine's nephew, Emperor Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, Knight had difficulty in getting access to him, and so only managed to obtain the conditional dispensation for a new marriage. Henry now had no choice but to put the matter into the hands of Wolsey. Wolsey did all he could to secure a decision in the King's favour, going so far as to arrange an ecclesiastical court to meet in England, with a representative from the Pope. Shakespeare's play, Henry VIII
Henry VIII (play)
The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight is a history play by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, based on the life of Henry VIII of England. An alternative title, All is True, is recorded in contemporary documents, the title Henry VIII not appearing until the play's publication...

, accurately records Catherine of Aragon's astounding coup in that remarkable courtroom in Act II, scene iv. She bows low to Henry, put herself at his mercy, states her case with irrefutable eloquence and then sweeps out of the courtroom, a woman both formidable and clearly wronged. However much this moment swayed those present and the rest of the world to her side, the Pope had never had any intention of empowering his legate. Charles V resisted the annulment of his aunt's marriage, but it is not clear how far this influenced the pope. But it is clear that Henry saw that the Pope was unlikely to give him an annulment from the Emperor's aunt. The pope forbade Henry to proceed to a new marriage before a decision was given in Rome, not in England. Wolsey bore the blame. Convinced that he was treacherous, Anne Boleyn maintained pressure until Wolsey was dismissed from public office in 1529. After being dismissed, the cardinal begged her to help him return to power, but she refused. He then began a plot to have Anne forced into exile and began communication with Queen Catherine and the Pope to that end. When this was discovered, Henry ordered Wolsey's arrest and had it not been for his death from illness in 1530, he might have been executed for treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

. His replacement, Sir Thomas More
Thomas More
Sir Thomas More , also known by Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and, for three years toward the end of his life, Lord Chancellor...

, initially cooperated with the king's new policy, denouncing Wolsey in Parliament and proclaiming the opinion of the theologians at Oxford and Cambridge that the marriage of Henry to Catherine had been unlawful. As Henry began to deny the authority of the Pope, More's qualms grew.

A year later, Queen Catherine was banished from court and her rooms were given to Anne. With Wolsey gone, Anne had considerable power over political matters. She was an unusually educated and intellectual woman for her time, and was keenly absorbed and engaged with the ideas of the Protestant Reformers. When Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 William Warham
William Warham
William Warham , Archbishop of Canterbury, belonged to a Hampshire family, and was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, afterwards practising and teaching law both in London and Oxford....

 died, Anne had the Boleyn family's chaplain, Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build a favourable case for Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon which resulted in the separation of the English Church from...

, appointed to the vacant position. Through the intervention of the King of France, this was conceded by Rome, the pallium
Pallium
The pallium is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Roman Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the Pope, but for many centuries bestowed by him on metropolitans and primates as a symbol of the jurisdiction delegated to them by the Holy See. In that context it has always remained unambiguously...

 being granted to him by Clement.

Breaking the power of Rome in England proceeded slowly. In 1532, a lawyer who was a supporter of Anne, Thomas Cromwell
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, , was an English statesman who served as chief minister of King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540....

, brought before Parliament a number of acts including the Supplication against the Ordinaries
Supplication against the Ordinaries
The Supplication against the Ordinaries was a petition passed by the House of Commons in 1532. It was the result of grievances against Church of England prelates and the clergy...

 and the Submission of the Clergy
Submission of the Clergy
The Submission of the Clergy was a process by which the Church of England gave up their power to formulate church laws without the King's licence and assent. It was first passed by the Convocation of Canterbury in 1532 and then by the Reformation Parliament in 1534...

, which recognised Royal Supremacy
Acts of Supremacy
The first Act of Supremacy was a piece of legislation that granted King Henry VIII of England Royal Supremacy, which means that he was declared the supreme head of the Church of England. It is still the legal authority of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom...

 over the church. Following these acts, Thomas More
Thomas More
Sir Thomas More , also known by Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and, for three years toward the end of his life, Lord Chancellor...

 resigned as Chancellor, leaving Cromwell as Henry's chief minister.

Second marriage



In the winter of 1532, Henry attended a meeting with Francis I of France
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 at Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

 in which he enlisted the support of the French king for his new marriage. Immediately upon returning to Dover
Dover
Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's administrative capital Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings...

 in England, Henry and Anne went through a secret wedding service. She soon became pregnant and there was a second wedding service in London on 25 January 1533. On 23 May 1533, Cranmer, sitting in judgment at a special court convened at Dunstable Priory
Dunstable Priory
The Priory Church of St Peter with its monastery was founded in 1132 by Henry I for Augustinian Canons in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England. St Peter’s today is a large and impressive building, but this is only the nave of what remains of an originally much larger Augustinian priory church...

 to rule on the validity of the king's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, declared the marriage of Henry and Catherine null and void. Five days later, on 28 May 1533, Cranmer declared the marriage of Henry and Anne to be valid.

Catherine was formally stripped of her title as queen, and Anne was crowned queen consort on 1 June 1533. The queen gave birth to a daughter slightly prematurely on 7 September 1533. The child was christened Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

, in honour of Henry's mother, Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York was Queen consort of England as spouse of King Henry VII from 1486 until 1503, and mother of King Henry VIII of England....

. Rejecting the decisions of the Pope, Parliament validated the marriage of Henry and Anne with the First Succession Act (Act of Succession 1533). Catherine's daughter, Mary, was declared illegitimate, and Anne's issue
Issue (legal)
In law, issue can mean several things:*In wills and trusts, a person's issue are his or her lineal descendants or offspring. These are distinguished from heirs, which can include other kin such as a brother, sister, mother, father, grandfather, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, or cousin.*In...

 were declared next in the line of succession. Most notable in this declaration was a clause repudiating "any foreign authority, prince or potentate". All adults in the Kingdom were required to acknowledge the Act's provisions by oath; those who refused were subject to imprisonment for life. Any publisher or printer of any literature alleging that the marriage was invalid was automatically guilty of high treason and could be punished by death.

Separation from Rome: 1533–1540


Meanwhile, Parliament had forbidden all appeals to Rome
Statute in Restraint of Appeals
The Statute in Restraint of Appeals – short title Ecclesiastical Appeals Act 1532 – was an English parliamentary Act of 1533, considered by many historians to be the key legal foundation of the English Reformation....

 and exacted the penalties of praemunire
Praemunire
In English history, Praemunire or Praemunire facias was a law that prohibited the assertion or maintenance of papal jurisdiction, imperial or foreign, or some other alien jurisdiction or claim of supremacy in England, against the supremacy of the Monarch...

 against all who introduced papal bulls into England. Parliament prohibited the Church from making any regulations (canons) without the king's consent. It was only then that Pope Clement at last took the step of launching sentences of excommunication
Excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

 against Henry and Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build a favourable case for Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon which resulted in the separation of the English Church from...

, declaring at the same time the archbishop's decree of annulment to be invalid and the marriage with Anne null and papal nuncio
Nuncio
Nuncio is an ecclesiastical diplomatic title, derived from the ancient Latin word, Nuntius, meaning "envoy." This article addresses this title as well as derived similar titles, all within the structure of the Roman Catholic Church...

 was withdrawn from England and diplomatic relations with Rome were broken off. Several more laws were passed in England. The Ecclesiastical Appointments Act 1534 required the clergy to elect bishops nominated by the Sovereign. The Act of Supremacy in 1534 declared that the King was "the only Supreme Head in Earth of the Church of England" and the Treasons Act 1534
Treasons Act 1534
The Treasons Act 1534 was an Act passed by the Parliament of England in 1534, during the reign of King Henry VIII.This Act was passed after the Act of Supremacy 1534, which made the king the "Only Head of the Church of England on Earth." The 1534 Act made it treason, punishable by death, to...

 made it high treason, punishable by death
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

, to refuse to acknowledge the King as such. In response to the excommunications, the Peter's Pence Act
Act Concerning Peter's Pence and Dispensations
The Act Concerning Peter's Pence and Dispensations – short title Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533 – was passed by the English Reformation Parliament in the early part of 1534 and outlawed the payment of Peter's Pence and other payments to Rome.-Description:Peter's Pence was originally an annual...

 was passed in and it reiterated that England had "no superior under God, but only your Grace" and that Henry's "imperial crown" had been diminished by "the unreasonable and uncharitable usurpations and exactions" of the Pope.

In defiance of the Pope the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 was now under Henry’s control, not Rome's. Protestant Reformers still faced persecution, particularly over objections to Henry's annulment. Many fled abroad where they met further difficulties, including the influential William Tyndale
William Tyndale
William Tyndale was an English scholar and translator who became a leading figure in Protestant reformism towards the end of his life. He was influenced by the work of Desiderius Erasmus, who made the Greek New Testament available in Europe, and by Martin Luther...

, who was eventually executed and his body burned at King Henry's behest. Theological and practical reforms would follow only under Henry's successors (see end of section).

Personal troubles


The king and queen were not pleased with married life. The royal couple enjoyed periods of calm and affection, but Anne refused to play the submissive role expected of her. The vivacity and opinionated intellect that had made her so attractive as an illicit lover made her too independent for the largely ceremonial role of a royal wife, given that Henry expected absolute obedience from those who interacted with him in an official capacity at court. It made her many enemies. For his part, Henry disliked Anne’s constant irritability and violent temper. After a false pregnancy
False pregnancy
False pregnancy or hysterical pregnancy, most commonly termed pseudocyesis in humans and pseudopregnancy in other mammals, is the appearance of clinical and/or subclinical signs and symptoms associated with pregnancy when the person or animal is not pregnant. Clinically, false pregnancy is most...

 or miscarriage
Miscarriage
Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or fetus is incapable of surviving independently, generally defined in humans at prior to 20 weeks of gestation...

 in 1534, he saw her failure to give him a son as a betrayal. As early as Christmas 1534, Henry was discussing with Cranmer and Cromwell the chances of leaving Anne without having to return to Catherine.

Opposition to Henry's religious policies was quickly suppressed in England. A number of dissenting monks were tortured and executed. The most prominent resisters included John Fisher
John Fisher
Saint John Fisher was an English Roman Catholic scholastic, bishop, cardinal and martyr. He shares his feast day with Saint Thomas More on 22 June in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints and 6 July on the Church of England calendar of saints...

, Bishop of Rochester, and Sir Thomas More
Thomas More
Sir Thomas More , also known by Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and, for three years toward the end of his life, Lord Chancellor...

, Henry's former Lord Chancellor
Lord Chancellor
The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

, both of whom refused to take the oath to the King and were subsequently convicted of high treason and beheaded at Tower Hill, just outside the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

.

These suppressions, including the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries Act
Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries Act
The Act for the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries – was an Act of the English Reformation Parliament of 1535/36, the beginning of the legal process by which King Henry VIII set about the Dissolution of the Monasteries...

 of 1536, in turn contributed to further resistance among the English people, most notably in the Pilgrimage of Grace
Pilgrimage of Grace
The Pilgrimage of Grace was a popular rising in York, Yorkshire during 1536, in protest against Henry VIII's break with the Roman Catholic Church and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, as well as other specific political, social and economic grievances. It was done in action against Thomas Cromwell...

, a large uprising in northern England in October, 1536. Henry VIII promised the rebels he would pardon them and thanked them for raising the issues to his attention, then invited the rebel leader, Robert Aske
Robert Aske (political leader)
Robert Aske was an English lawyer who became the leader of rebellion in York. He led the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536 and was executed by Henry VIII for treason in 1537.-Biography:...

 to a royal banquet. At the banquet, Henry asked Aske to write down what had happened so he could have a better idea of the problems he would "change." Aske did what the King asked, although what he had written was later used against him as a confession. The King's word could not be questioned (as he was held as God's chosen, and second only to God himself) so Aske told the rebels they had been successful and they could disperse and go home. However, because Henry saw the rebels as traitors, he did not feel obliged to keep his promises. The rebels realised that the King was not keeping his promises and rebelled again later that year, but their strength was less in the second attempt and the King ordered the rebellion crushed. The leaders, including Aske, were arrested and executed for treason.

Execution of Anne Boleyn



On 8 January 1536 news reached the king and the queen that Catherine of Aragon had died. Upon hearing the news of her death, Henry and Anne reportedly decked themselves in bright yellow clothing, yellow being the colour of mourning in Spain at the time. Henry called for public displays of joy regarding Catherine's death. The queen was pregnant again, and she was aware of the consequences if she failed to give birth to a son. Her life could be in danger, as with both wives dead, Henry would be free to remarry and no one could claim that the union was illegal. Later that month, the King was unhorsed in a tournament and was badly injured. It seemed for a time that the King's life was in danger. When news of this accident reached the queen, she was sent into shock and miscarried
Miscarriage
Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or fetus is incapable of surviving independently, generally defined in humans at prior to 20 weeks of gestation...

 a male child that was about 15 weeks old, on the day of Catherine’s funeral, 29 January 1536. For most observers, this personal loss was the beginning of the end of the royal marriage.

Given the King's desperate desire for a son, the sequence of Anne's pregnancies has attracted much interest. Author Mike Ashley speculated that Anne had two stillborn children after Elizabeth's birth and before the birth of the male child she miscarried in 1536. Most sources attest only to the birth of Elizabeth in September 1533, a possible miscarriage in the summer of 1534, and the miscarriage of a male child, of almost four months gestation, in January 1536. As Anne recovered from her final miscarriage, Henry declared that his marriage had been the product of witchcraft. The King's new mistress, Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour was Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as queen consort following the latter's execution for trumped up charges of high treason, incest and adultery in May 1536. She died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of...

, was quickly moved into new quarters. This was followed by Anne's brother, George Boleyn
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford was an English courtier and nobleman, and the brother of queen consort Anne Boleyn...

, being refused a prestigious court honour, the Order of the Garter
Order of the Garter
The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

, which was instead given to Jane Seymour's brother.

Five men, including Anne's own brother, were arrested on charges of incest
Incest
Incest is sexual intercourse between close relatives that is usually illegal in the jurisdiction where it takes place and/or is conventionally considered a taboo. The term may apply to sexual activities between: individuals of close "blood relationship"; members of the same household; step...

 and treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

, accused of having sexual relationships with the queen. On 2 May 1536 Anne was arrested and taken to the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

. She was accused of adultery, incest and high treason
High treason
High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's government. Participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps...

. Although the evidence against them was unconvincing, the accused were found guilty and condemned to death by the peers
Peerage of England
The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union in 1707. In that year, the Peerages of England and Scotland were replaced by one Peerage of Great Britain....

. George Boleyn and the other accused men were executed on 17 May 1536. At 8 am on 19 May 1536, the queen was executed on Tower Green
Tower Green
Tower Green is a space within the Tower of London where two English Queens consort and five other British nobles were executed by beheading. The Tower Green is located on a space south of the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula...

. She knelt upright, in the French style of executions. The execution was swift and consisted of a single stroke.

Birth of a prince



One day after Anne's execution in 1536 Henry became engaged to Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour was Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as queen consort following the latter's execution for trumped up charges of high treason, incest and adultery in May 1536. She died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of...

, one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting to whom the king had been showing favour for some time. They were married 10 days later. At about the same time as this, his third marriage, Henry granted his assent to the Laws in Wales Act 1535
Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542
The Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 were parliamentary measures by which the legal system of Wales was annexed to England and the norms of English administration introduced. The intention was to create a single state and a single legal jurisdiction; frequently referred to as England and Wales...

, which legally annexed Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, uniting England and Wales into one unified nation. This was followed by the Second Succession Act
Second Succession Act
The Second Succession Act of Henry VIII's reign was passed by the Parliament of England in June 1536, removing both Mary and Elizabeth from the line of the succession. The Act was formally titled "An Act concerning the Succession of the Crown"...

 (Act of Succession 1536), which declared Henry's children by Queen Jane
Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour was Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as queen consort following the latter's execution for trumped up charges of high treason, incest and adultery in May 1536. She died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of...

 to be next in the line of succession and declared both the Lady Mary and the Lady Elizabeth illegitimate, thus excluding them from the throne
Throne
A throne is the official chair or seat upon which a monarch is seated on state or ceremonial occasions. "Throne" in an abstract sense can also refer to the monarchy or the Crown itself, an instance of metonymy, and is also used in many expressions such as "the power behind the...

. The king was granted the power
Political power
Political power is a type of power held by a group in a society which allows administration of some or all of public resources, including labour, and wealth. There are many ways to obtain possession of such power. At the nation-state level political legitimacy for political power is held by the...

 to further determine the line of succession in his will
Will (law)
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death...

. In 1537, Jane gave birth to a son, Prince Edward
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

, the future Edward VI. The birth was difficult and the queen died at Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London; it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames...

 on 24 October 1537 from an infection. After Jane's death, the entire court mourned with Henry for an extended period. Henry considered Jane to be his "true" wife, being the only one who had given him the male heir he so desperately sought. He was later to be buried next to her at his death.

Final years: 1540–1547


In 1540, Henry sanctioned the destruction of shrines to saints. At this time, Henry desired to marry once again to ensure the succession. Thomas Cromwell
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, , was an English statesman who served as chief minister of King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540....

, created Earl of Essex, suggested Anne
Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves was a German noblewoman and the fourth wife of Henry VIII of England and as such she was Queen of England from 6 January 1540 to 9 July 1540. The marriage was never consummated, and she was not crowned queen consort...

, the sister of the Protestant Duke of Cleves, who was seen as an important ally in case of a Roman Catholic attack on England. Hans Holbein the Younger
Hans Holbein the Younger
Hans Holbein the Younger was a German artist and printmaker who worked in a Northern Renaissance style. He is best known as one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century. He also produced religious art, satire and Reformation propaganda, and made a significant contribution to the history...

 was dispatched to Cleves to paint a portrait of Anne for the king. Although it has been said that he painted her in a more flattering light, it is unlikely that the portrait was highly inaccurate, since Holbein remained in favour at court. After regarding Holbein's portrayal, and urged by the complimentary description of Anne given by his courtiers, Henry agreed to wed Anne. On Anne's arrival in England, Henry is said to have found her utterly unattractive, privately calling her a "Flanders Mare".


Henry wished to annul the marriage so he could marry another. The Duke of Cleves had become engaged in a dispute with the Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, with whom Henry had no desire to quarrel. Queen Anne was intelligent enough not to impede Henry's quest for an annulment. Upon the question of marital sex, she testified that her marriage had never been consummated. Henry was said to have come into the room each night and merely kissed his new bride on the forehead before retiring. All impediments to an annulment were thus removed.

The marriage was subsequently dissolved and Anne received the title of "The King's Sister", and was granted Hever Castle
Hever Castle
Hever Castle is located in the village of Hever near Edenbridge, Kent, south-east of London, England. It began as a country house, built in the 13th century...

, the former residence of the Boleyn family. Cromwell
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex
Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, , was an English statesman who served as chief minister of King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540....

, meanwhile, fell out of favour for his role in arranging the marriage and was subsequently attainted
Attainder
In English criminal law, attainder or attinctura is the metaphorical 'stain' or 'corruption of blood' which arises from being condemned for a serious capital crime . It entails losing not only one's property and hereditary titles, but typically also the right to pass them on to one's heirs...

 and beheaded. The office of Vicegerent
Vicegerent
Vicegerent is the official administrative deputy of a ruler or head of state: vice + gerere .-Related usage:*The Byzantine Emperors held as a title "God's Vicegerent on Earth"....

 in Spirituals, which had been specifically created for him, was not filled.


On 28 July 1540 (the same day Cromwell was executed), Henry married the young Catherine Howard
Catherine Howard
Catherine Howard , also spelled Katherine, Katheryn or Kathryn, was the fifth wife of Henry VIII of England, and sometimes known by his reference to her as his "rose without a thorn"....

, Anne Boleyn's first cousin and a lady-in-waiting of Anne's. He was absolutely delighted with his new queen. Soon after her marriage, however, Queen Catherine had an affair with the courtier Thomas Culpeper
Thomas Culpeper
Sir Thomas Culpeper was a courtier of Henry VIII and the lover of Henry's fifth queen, Catherine Howard. He was born to Alexander Culpeper of Bedgebury, to the south of Maidstone in Kent, and his second wife, Constance Harper. He was the middle child and his older brother, also named Thomas, was a...

. She employed Francis Dereham
Francis Dereham
Francis Dereham was a Tudor courtier whose involvement with Henry VIII's fifth Queen, Catherine Howard, in her youth was a principal cause of the Queen's execution.-Life:...

, who was previously informally engaged to her and had an affair with her prior to her marriage, as her secretary. Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build a favourable case for Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon which resulted in the separation of the English Church from...

, who was opposed to the powerful Roman Catholic Howard family, brought evidence of Queen Catherine's activities to the king's notice. Though Henry originally refused to believe the allegations, he allowed Cranmer to conduct an investigation, which resulted in Queen Catherine's implication. When questioned, the queen could have admitted a prior contract to marry Dereham, which would have made her subsequent marriage to Henry invalid, but she instead claimed that Dereham had forced her to enter into an adulterous relationship. Dereham, meanwhile, exposed Queen Catherine's relationship with Thomas Culpeper. Catherine was executed on 13 February 1542. She was aged between 17 and 22 when she died (opinions differ as to her year of birth). That same year, England's remaining monasteries were all dissolved, and their property transferred to the Crown. Abbot
Abbot
The word abbot, meaning father, is a title given to the head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not actually the head of a monastery...

s and prior
Prior
Prior is an ecclesiastical title, derived from the Latin adjective for 'earlier, first', with several notable uses.-Monastic superiors:A Prior is a monastic superior, usually lower in rank than an Abbot. In the Rule of St...

s lost their seats in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

; only archbishops and bishops came to comprise the ecclesiastical element of the body. The Lords Spiritual
Lords Spiritual
The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom, also called Spiritual Peers, are the 26 bishops of the established Church of England who serve in the House of Lords along with the Lords Temporal. The Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian, is not represented by spiritual peers...

, as members of the clergy with seats in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 were known, were for the first time outnumbered by the Lords Temporal.


Henry married his last wife, the wealthy widow Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr ; 1512 – 5 September 1548) was Queen consort of England and Ireland and the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England. She married Henry VIII on 12 July 1543. She was the fourth commoner Henry had taken as his consort, and outlived him...

, in 1543. She argued with Henry over religion; she was a reformer, but Henry remained a conservative. This behaviour nearly proved her undoing, but she saved herself by a show of submissiveness. She helped reconcile Henry with his first two daughters, the Lady Mary and the Lady Elizabeth. In 1544, an Act of Parliament put the daughters back in the line of succession after Edward, Prince of Wales, though they were still deemed illegitimate. The same act allowed Henry to determine further succession to the throne in his will.

A wave of political executions that commenced with Edmund de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk
Edmund de la Pole, 3rd Duke of Suffolk
Edmund de la Pole, 3rd Duke of Suffolk, 6th Earl of Suffolk , Duke of Suffolk, was a son of John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk and his wife Elizabeth of York.-Family:...

 in 1513 ended with Henry Earl of Surrey
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Henry Howard, KG, , known as The Earl of Surrey although he never was a peer, was an English aristocrat, and one of the founders of English Renaissance poetry.-Life:...

 in January, 1547. Although some sources claim that, according to Holinshed, the number of executions in this reign amounted to 72,000, the figure referred to "great thieves, petty thieves, and rogues," and the source is not Holinshed but the English clergyman William Harrison
William Harrison (clergyman)
William Harrison was an English clergyman, whose Description of England was produced as part of the publishing venture of a group of London stationers who produced Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles...

. This inflated figure came from Gerolamo Cardano
Gerolamo Cardano
Gerolamo Cardano was an Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, astrologer and gambler...

 who in turn got it from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Lisieux.

Death and succession



Late in life, Henry became obese (with a waist measurement of 54 inches/137 cm) and had to be moved about with the help of mechanical inventions. He was covered with painful, pus-filled boils and possibly suffered from gout
Gout
Gout is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected . However, it may also present as tophi, kidney stones, or urate...

. His obesity and other medical problems can be traced from a jousting
Jousting
Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two knights mounted on horses and using lances, often as part of a tournament.Jousting emerged in the High Middle Ages based on the military use of the lance by heavy cavalry. The first camels tournament was staged in 1066, but jousting itself did not...

 accident in 1536 in which he suffered a leg wound. The accident actually re-opened and aggravated a previous leg wound he had sustained years earlier, to the extent that his doctors found it difficult (if not impossible) to treat it. The wound festered for the remainder of his life and became ulcerated, thus preventing him from maintaining the same level of physical activity and daily exercise that he had previously enjoyed. The jousting accident is believed to have caused in Henry mood swings, which may have had a dramatic effect on his personality and temperament. Concurrently, Henry developed a binge-eating habit, consisting of a diet of mainly fatty red meats and few vegetables. It is believed that this habit was used as a coping mechanism for stress. Henry's obesity undoubtedly hastened his death at the age of 55, which occurred on 28 January 1547 in the Palace of Whitehall
Palace of Whitehall
The Palace of Whitehall was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698 when all except Inigo Jones's 1622 Banqueting House was destroyed by fire...

, on what would have been his father's 90th birthday. He expired soon after allegedly uttering these last words: "Monks! Monks! Monks!"

The theory that Henry suffered from syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

 has been dismissed by most serious historians. Syphilis was a well-known disease in Henry's time, and although his contemporary Francis I of France
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 was treated for it, the notes left from Henry's physicians do not indicate that the English king was. A more recent and credible theory suggests that Henry's medical symptoms, and those of his older sister Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor was the elder of the two surviving daughters of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and the elder sister of Henry VIII. In 1503, she married James IV, King of Scots. James died in 1513, and their son became King James V. She married secondly Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of...

, are characteristic of untreated Type II diabetes.

According to research published in March 2011, his wives' pattern of pregnancies and his mental deterioration suggests that the king may have been Kell positive
Kell antigen system
The Kell antigen system is a group of antigens on the human red blood cell surface which are important determinants of blood type and are targets for autoimmune or alloimmune diseases which destroy red blood cells. Kell can be noted as K, k, or Kp...

 and suffered from McLeod syndrome
McLeod syndrome
McLeod syndrome is a genetic disorder that may affect the blood, brain, peripheral nerves, muscle and heart. It is caused by a variety of recessively-inherited mutations in the XK gene on the X chromosome...

.


Henry VIII was Interred in St George's Chapel
St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
St George's Chapel is the place of worship at Windsor Castle in England, United Kingdom. It is both a royal peculiar and the chapel of the Order of the Garter...

 in Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

, next to his wife Jane Seymour.
Over a hundred years later Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 was buried in the same vault.

Within a little more than a decade after his death, all three of his royal heirs sat on the English throne, but none of the three left any descendants. Under the Act of Succession 1543
Third Succession Act
The Third Succession Act of Henry VIII's reign was passed by the Parliament of England in July 1543, and returned both Mary and Elizabeth to the line of the succession behind Prince Edward....

, Henry's only surviving legitimate son, Edward, inherited the Crown, becoming Edward VI
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

. Since Edward was only nine years old at the time, he could not exercise actual power. Henry's will designated 16 executor
Executor
An executor, in the broadest sense, is one who carries something out .-Overview:...

s to serve on a council of regency until Edward reached the age of 18. The executors chose Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, 1st Earl of Hertford, 1st Viscount Beauchamp of Hache, KG, Earl Marshal was Lord Protector of England in the period between the death of Henry VIII in 1547 and his own indictment in 1549....

, Jane Seymour's elder brother, to be Lord Protector
Lord Protector
Lord Protector is a title used in British constitutional law for certain heads of state at different periods of history. It is also a particular title for the British Heads of State in respect to the established church...

 of the Realm. In default of heirs to Edward, the throne was to pass to Henry VIII's daughter by Catherine of Aragon, the Princess Mary
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

, and her heirs. If Mary's issue failed, the crown was to go to Henry's daughter by Anne Boleyn, Princess Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

, and her heirs. Finally, if Elizabeth's line became extinct, the crown was to be inherited by the descendants of Henry VIII's deceased younger sister, Mary. The descendants of Henry's sister Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor was the elder of the two surviving daughters of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, and the elder sister of Henry VIII. In 1503, she married James IV, King of Scots. James died in 1513, and their son became King James V. She married secondly Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of...

—the royal family of Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

—were therefore excluded from succession according to this act. This final provision failed when James VI of Scotland subsequently became James I of England
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 upon Elizabeth's death.

Public image and memory


Henry worked hard to present an image of unchallengeable authority and irresistible power. He executed at will, beheading, often in public, more English notables than any monarch before or since. The roll of heads included two wives, twenty peers, four leading public servants, and six of the king's close attendants and friends, not to mention one cardinal and various heads of monasteries. In addition Cardinal Wolsey died en route to his treason trial.

A big, strong man (over six feet tall and broad in proportion), he excelled at jousting and hunting. More than pastimes, they were political devices that served multiple goals, from enhancing his athletic royal image to impressing foreign emissaries and rulers, to conveying Henry's ability to suppress any rebellion. Thus he arranged a jousting tournament at Greenwich in 1517, where he wore gilded armour, gilded horse trappings, and outfits of velvet, satin and cloth of gold dripping with pearls and jewels. It suitably impressed foreign ambassadors, one of whom wrote home that, "The wealth and civilisation of the world are here, and those who call the English barbarians appear to me to render themselves such." Henry finally retired from the lists in 1536 after a heavy fall from his horse left him unconscious for two hours, but he continued to sponsor two lavish tournaments a year. He then started adding weight and lost that trim athletic look that had made him so handsome; Henry's courtiers began dressing in heavily padded clothes to emulate—and flatter—their increasingly stout monarch. Towards the end of his reign his health rapidly declined due to unhealthy eating.

Henry was an intellectual. The first English king with a modern humanist education, who read and wrote English, French, Latin and was thoroughly at home in his well-stocked library; he personally annotated many books and wrote and published his own book. He is also said to have written Helas madam
Helas madam
"Helas madam" is a folk song said to be composed by Henry VIII. The song is part of a secular collection, found on a manuscript that was used in Henry's court. The originality of the song has been questioned, with various parts of the song allegedly lifted from similar pieces in Europe...

. He founded Christ Church Cathedral School
Christ Church Cathedral School
Christ Church Cathedral School is a Prep and Pre-Prep, fee-paying boarding and day school for approximately 140 pupils based in Oxford, England. Steeped in music and history, the School was founded by Henry VIII in 1546 to provide choristers for Christ Church Cathedral and College. Now a Church of...

, Oxford, in 1546. To promote the public support for the reformation of the church, Henry had numerous pamphlets and lectures prepared. For example, Richard Sampson's Oratio (1534) was a legalistic argument for absolute obedience to the temporal power as vested in divine law and Christian love ("obey my commandments"). Sampson cited historical precedents (now known to be spurious) to support his claim that the English church had always been independent from Rome.
At the popular level theatre and minstrel troupes funded by the crown travelled around the land to promote the new religious practices and ridicule the old. In the polemical plays they presented, the pope and Catholic priests and monks were mocked as foreign devils, while the glorious king was hailed as a brave and heroic defender of the true faith.

Henry VIII was an avid gambler and dice
Dice
A die is a small throwable object with multiple resting positions, used for generating random numbers...

 player. He was an accomplished musician, author, and poet; his best known piece of music is "Pastime with Good Company
Pastime with Good Company
"Pastime with Good Company", also known as "The King's Ballad" , is an English folk song written by King Henry VIII in the first years of the 16th century, shortly after being crowned. It is regarded as the most famous of his compositions, and it became a popular song in England and other European...

" ("The Kynges Ballade"). He is often reputed to have written "Greensleeves
Greensleeves
"Greensleeves" is a traditional English folk song and tune, a ground of the form called a romanesca.A broadside ballad by this name was registered at the London Stationer's Company in September 1580 as "A New Northern Dittye of the Lady Greene Sleeves". It then appears in the surviving A Handful of...

" but probably did not. The King was involved in the original construction and improvement of several significant buildings, including Nonsuch Palace
Nonsuch Palace
Nonsuch Palace was a Tudor royal palace, built by Henry VIII in Surrey, England; it stood from 1538 to 1682–3. Its ruins are in Nonsuch Park.- Background :Nonsuch Palace in Surrey was perhaps the grandest of Henry VIII's building projects...

, King's College Chapel, Cambridge
King's College Chapel, Cambridge
King's College Chapel is the chapel to King's College of the University of Cambridge, and is one of the finest examples of late Gothic English architecture, while its early Renaissance rood screen separating the nave and chancel, erected in 1532-36 in a striking contrast of style, has been called...

 and Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 in London. Many of the existing buildings Henry improved were properties confiscated from Wolsey, such as Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church or house of Christ, and thus sometimes known as The House), is one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England...

, Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London; it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames...

, the Palace of Whitehall
Palace of Whitehall
The Palace of Whitehall was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698 when all except Inigo Jones's 1622 Banqueting House was destroyed by fire...

, and Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

.

The only surviving piece of clothing worn by Henry VIII is a cap of maintenance
Cap of Maintenance
A Cap of Maintenance is a ceremonial cap of crimson velvet lined with ermine, which is worn or carried by certain persons as a sign of nobility or special honour. It is worn with the high part to the fore, the tapering tail behind...

 awarded to the Mayor of Waterford
Waterford
Waterford is a city in the South-East Region of Ireland. It is the oldest city in the country and fifth largest by population. Waterford City Council is the local government authority for the city and its immediate hinterland...

, along with a bearing sword, in 1536. It currently resides in the Waterford Museum of Treasures
Waterford Museum of Treasures
The Waterford Museum of Treasures is a museum for historical artifacts associated with the city of Waterford. It is located at the Granary on Merchant's Quay, Waterford city....

. A suit of Henry's armour is on display in the Tower of London. In the centuries since his death, Henry has inspired or been mentioned in numerous artistic and cultural works
Cultural depictions of Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII of England and his reign has been depicted in art, film, literature, music, opera, plays, and televisionPLEASE NOTE: Those with Wikipedia articles are cited only-Art:*Henry VIII by Hans Eworth...

.

Royal finances


Henry inherited a vast fortune from his father Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 who had, in contrast to his son, been frugal and careful with money. This fortune was estimated to £1,250,000 (£375 million by today's standards). Much of this wealth was spent by Henry on maintaining his court and household, including many of the building works he undertook on royal palaces. Tudor monarchs had to fund all the expenses of government out of their own income. This income came from the Crown lands that Henry owned as well as from customs duties like tonnage and poundage
Tonnage and Poundage
Tonnage and Poundage were certain duties and taxes first levied in Edward II's reign on every tun of imported wine, which came mostly from Spain and Portugal, and on every pound weight of merchandise exported or imported. Traditionally tonnage and poundage was granted by Parliament to the king...

, granted by parliament to the king for life. During Henry's reign the revenues of the Crown remained constant (around £100,000), but were eroded by inflation and rising prices brought about by war. Indeed it was war and Henry's dynastic ambitions in Europe that meant that the surplus he had inherited from his father was exhausted by the mid-1520s. Whereas Henry VII had not involved Parliament in his affairs very much, Henry VIII had to turn to Parliament during his reign for money, in particular for grants of subsidies to fund his wars. The Dissolution of the Monasteries provided a means to replenish the treasury and as a result the Crown took possession of monastic lands worth £120,000 (£36 million) a year. But Henry had to debase the coinage in 1526 and 1539 in order to solve his financial problems, and despite his ministers efforts to reduce costs and waste at court, Henry died in debt.

Legacy


Though mainly motivated by dynastic and personal concerns, and despite never really abandoning the fundamentals of the Catholic Church, Henry ensured that the greatest act of his reign would be one of the most radical and decisive of any English monarch. His break with Rome in 1533–34 was an act with enormous consequences for the subsequent course of English history beyond the Tudor dynasty
Tudor dynasty
The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house of Welsh origin that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including the Lordship of Ireland, later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor, a descendant through his mother of a legitimised...

. Not only in making possible the transformation of England into a powerful (albeit very distinctive) nation; but in the seizing of economic and political power from the Church by the aristocracy, chiefly through the acquisition of monastic lands and assets – a short-term strategy with long-term social consequences. Henry's decision to entrust the regency of his son Edward's minor years to a decidedly reform-oriented regency council, dominated by Edward Seymour, most likely for the simple tactical reason that Seymour seemed likely to provide the strongest leadership for the kingdom, ensured that the English Reformation would be consolidated and even furthered during his son's reign. Such ironies marked other aspects of his legacy.


He fostered humanist learning and yet was responsible for the deaths of several outstanding English humanists. Obsessed with securing the succession to the throne, he left as his only heirs a young son (who died before his 16th birthday) and two daughters adhering to different religions. The power of the state was magnified. Henry worked with some success to make England once again a major player on the European scene but depleted his treasury in the course of doing so, a legacy that has remained an issue for English monarchs ever since.

Scarisbrick (1968) concludes that Henry was a formidable, captivating man who "wore regality with a splendid conviction." But unpredictably his overpowering charm could turn into anger and shouting, for he was high-strung and unstable; hypochondriac and possessed of a strong streak of cruelty. Smith (1971) considered him an egotistical border-line neurotic given to great fits of temper and deep and dangerous suspicions, with a mechanical and conventional, but deeply held piety, having at best "a mediocre intellect" to hold these contradictory forces in harness.

English navy



Together with Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

 and Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

, Henry is traditionally cited as one of the founders of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

. His reign featured some naval warfare and, more significantly, large royal investment in shipbuilding (including a few spectacular great ships such as Mary Rose
Mary Rose
The Mary Rose was a carrack-type warship of the English Tudor navy of King Henry VIII. After serving for 33 years in several wars against France, Scotland, and Brittany and after being substantially rebuilt in 1536, she saw her last action on 1545. While leading the attack on the galleys of a...

), dockyards (such as HMNB Portsmouth
HMNB Portsmouth
Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the British Royal Navy...

) and naval innovations (such as the use of cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

 on board ship – although archers
Archery
Archery is the art, practice, or skill of propelling arrows with the use of a bow, from Latin arcus. Archery has historically been used for hunting and combat; in modern times, however, its main use is that of a recreational activity...

 were still deployed on medieval-style forecastle
Forecastle
Forecastle refers to the upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast, or the forward part of a ship with the sailors' living quarters...

s and bowcastles as the ship's primary armament on large ships, or co-armament where cannon were used). However, in some ways this is a misconception since Henry did not bequeath to his immediate successors a navy in the sense of a formalised organisation with structures, ranks, and formalised munitioning structures but only in the sense of a set of ships. Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 still had to cobble together a set of privately owned ships to fight off the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

 (which consisted of about 130 warships and converted merchant ships) and in the former, formal sense the modern British navy, the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, is largely a product of the Anglo-Dutch naval rivalry of the 17th century. Still, Henry's reign marked the birth of English naval power and was a key factor in England's later victory over the Spanish Armada.

Henry's break with Rome incurred the threat of a large-scale French or Spanish invasion. To guard against this he strengthened existing coastal defence fortresses such as Dover Castle
Dover Castle
Dover Castle is a medieval castle in the town of the same name in the English county of Kent. It was founded in the 12th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history...

 and, at Dover, Moat Bulwark and Archcliffe Fort, which he personally visited for a few months to supervise. He built a chain of new 'castles' (in fact, large bastioned and garrisoned gun batteries) along Britain's southern and eastern coasts from East Anglia
East Anglia
East Anglia is a traditional name for a region of eastern England, named after an ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom, the Kingdom of the East Angles. The Angles took their name from their homeland Angeln, in northern Germany. East Anglia initially consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk, but upon the marriage of...

 to Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, largely built of material gained from the demolition of the monasteries
Dissolution of the Monasteries
The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland; appropriated their...

. These were known as Henry VIII's Device Forts
Device Forts
The Device Forts, also known as Henrician Castles, are a series of artillery fortifications built to defend the southern coast of England by Henry VIII. After his divorce of Catherine of Aragon England was left politically isolated, and the peace of Nice between France and Spain in 1538 aroused...

.

Style and arms


Many changes were made to the royal style during his reign. Henry originally used the style "Henry the Eighth, by the Grace of God, King of England, France and Lord of Ireland". In 1521, pursuant to a grant from Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

 rewarding a book by Henry, the Defence of the Seven Sacraments
Defence of the Seven Sacraments
The Defence of the Seven Sacraments is a theological treatise written by King Henry VIII of England in 1521.Henry started to write it in 1519 while he was reading Martin Luther's attack on indulgences...

, attacking Martin Luther, the royal style became "Henry the Eighth, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, Defender of the Faith
Fidei defensor
Fidei defensor is a Latin title which translates to Defender of the Faith in English and Défenseur de la Foi in French...

 and Lord of Ireland". Following Henry's excommunication, Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...

 rescinded the grant of the title "Defender of the Faith", but an Act of Parliament
Act of Parliament
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...

 declared that it remained valid; and it continues in royal usage to the present day.

In 1535, Henry added the "supremacy phrase" to the royal style, which became "Henry the Eighth, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, Defender of the Faith, Lord of Ireland and of the Church of England in Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 Supreme Head". In 1536, the phrase "of the Church of England" changed to "of the Church of England and also of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

".


In 1541, Henry had the Irish Parliament change the title "Lord of Ireland" to "King of Ireland" with the Crown of Ireland Act 1542
Crown of Ireland Act 1542
The Crown of Ireland Act 1542 is an Act of the Parliament of Ireland , declaring that King Henry VIII of England and his successors would also be Kings of Ireland. Since 1171 the monarch of England had held the title Lord of Ireland...

, after being advised that many Irish people regarded the Pope as the true head of their country, with the Lord acting as a mere representative. The reason the Irish regarded the Pope as their overlord was that Ireland had originally been given to the King Henry II of England
Henry II of England
Henry II ruled as King of England , Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Count of Nantes, Lord of Ireland and, at various times, controlled parts of Wales, Scotland and western France. Henry, the great-grandson of William the Conqueror, was the...

 by Pope Adrian IV
Pope Adrian IV
Pope Adrian IV , born Nicholas Breakspear or Breakspeare, was Pope from 1154 to 1159.Adrian IV is the only Englishman who has occupied the papal chair...

 in the 12th century as a feudal territory under papal overlordship. The meeting of Irish Parliament that proclaimed Henry VIII as King of Ireland was the first meeting attended by the Gaelic Irish chieftains as well as the Anglo-Irish
Anglo-Irish
Anglo-Irish was a term used primarily in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify a privileged social class in Ireland, whose members were the descendants and successors of the Protestant Ascendancy, mostly belonging to the Church of Ireland, which was the established church of Ireland until...

 aristocrats. The style "Henry the Eighth, by the Grace of God, King of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith and of the Church of England and also of Ireland in Earth Supreme Head" remained in use until the end of Henry's reign.

Henry's motto
Motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

 was "Coeur Loyal" ("true heart") and he had this embroidered on his clothes in the form of a heart symbol and with the word "loyal". His emblem was the Tudor rose
Tudor rose
The Tudor Rose is the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England and takes its name and origins from the Tudor dynasty.-Origins:...

 and the Beaufort portcullis.

As Duke of York, Henry used the arms of his father (i.e. those of the kingdom), differenced by a label of three points ermine. As king, Henry's arms
Heraldry
Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound harja-waldaz, "army commander"...

 were the same as those used by his predecessors since Henry IV
Henry IV of England
Henry IV was King of England and Lord of Ireland . He was the ninth King of England of the House of Plantagenet and also asserted his grandfather's claim to the title King of France. He was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, hence his other name, Henry Bolingbroke...

: Quarterly, Azure three fleurs-de-lys
Fleur-de-lis
The fleur-de-lis or fleur-de-lys is a stylized lily or iris that is used as a decorative design or symbol. It may be "at one and the same time, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic", especially in heraldry...

 Or (for France) and Gules three lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England).



500th anniversary of coronation – celebrations


An exhibition called Henry VIII: Man and Monarch, curated by David Starkey
David Starkey
David Starkey, CBE, FSA is a British constitutional historian, and a radio and television presenter.He was born the only child of Quaker parents, and attended Kendal Grammar School before entering Cambridge through a scholarship. There he specialised in Tudor history, writing a thesis on King...

, was held at the British Library
British Library
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and is the world's largest library in terms of total number of items. The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from every country in the world, in virtually all known languages and in many formats,...

 in 2009.
In 2009, Henry's 500th year anniversary of his coronation was celebrated in his favourite palaces along the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

.

Ancestry





Marriages and issue


NameBirthDeath By Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

(married Greenwich Palace 11 June 1509; annulled 23 May 1533)
Unnamed Daughter 31 January 1510 2 February 1510
Henry, Duke of Cornwall
Henry, Duke of Cornwall
Henry, Duke of Cornwall was the name of two sons of King Henry VIII of England and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Henry and Catherine had five children, but only Princess Mary survived infancy.-The first Henry, Duke of Cornwall:...

1 January 1511 22 February 1511
Henry, Duke of Cornwall December 1514 died within one month of birth
Queen Mary I
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

18 February 1516 17 November 1558 married 1554, Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

; no issue
Unnamed Daughter November 1518 died within one week of birth
By Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...

(married Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 25 January 1533; annulled 17 May 1536) beheaded on 19 May 1536
Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

7 September 1533 24 March 1603 never married; no issue
By Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour was Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII. She succeeded Anne Boleyn as queen consort following the latter's execution for trumped up charges of high treason, incest and adultery in May 1536. She died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of...

(married York Place 30 May 1536; Jane Seymour died 24 October 1537)
King Edward VI
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

12 October 1537 6 July 1553 unmarried; no issue
By Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves
Anne of Cleves was a German noblewoman and the fourth wife of Henry VIII of England and as such she was Queen of England from 6 January 1540 to 9 July 1540. The marriage was never consummated, and she was not crowned queen consort...

(married Greenwich Palace 6 January 1540; annulled 9 July 1540)
no issue
By Catherine Howard
Catherine Howard
Catherine Howard , also spelled Katherine, Katheryn or Kathryn, was the fifth wife of Henry VIII of England, and sometimes known by his reference to her as his "rose without a thorn"....

(married Oatlands Palace
Oatlands Palace
Oatlands Palace is a former Tudor and Stuart royal palace located between Weybridge and Walton on Thames in Surrey, England. The surrounding modern district of Oatlands takes its name from the palace...

 28 July 1540; annulled 23 November 1541) beheaded on 13 February 1542
no issue
By Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr
Catherine Parr ; 1512 – 5 September 1548) was Queen consort of England and Ireland and the last of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England. She married Henry VIII on 12 July 1543. She was the fourth commoner Henry had taken as his consort, and outlived him...

(married Hampton Court Palace 12 July 1543; Henry VIII died 28 January 1547)
no issue
By Elizabeth Blount
Elizabeth Blount
Elizabeth Blount , who was better known by her nickname of "Bessie", was a mistress of Henry VIII of England.-Early life:She was the daughter of Sir John Blount and Catherine Pershall, of Kinlet, Bridgnorth, Shropshire...

Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset
Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset
Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset was the son of King Henry VIII of England and his teenage mistress, Elizabeth Blount, the only illegitimate offspring whom Henry acknowledged.-Childhood:...

15 June 1519 23 July 1536 illegitimate; married 1533, the Lady Mary Howard; no issue
By Mary Boleyn
Mary Boleyn
Mary Boleyn , was the sister of English queen consort Anne Boleyn and a member of the Boleyn family, which enjoyed considerable influence during the reign of King Henry VIII of England...


Paternity is debated by historians.
Catherine Carey, Lady Knollys
Catherine Carey
Katherine Carey, often spelt Catherine Carey, after her marriage Katherine Knollys and later Lady Knollys, pronounced "Noles" Katherine Carey, often spelt Catherine Carey, after her marriage Katherine Knollys and later Lady Knollys, pronounced "Noles" Katherine Carey, often spelt Catherine Carey,...

c. 1524 15 January 1569 married Sir Francis Knollys
Francis Knollys (the elder)
Sir Francis Knollys , of Greys Court, in Oxfordshire, KG was an English courtier in the service and favour of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Elizabeth I of England, and was a Member of Parliament for a number of constituencies....

; had issue
Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon
Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon
Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon, of Hunsdon was an English nobleman.He was the son of Mary Boleyn, the sister of Anne Boleyn and also the mistress to King Henry VIII of England...

4 March 1526 23 July 1596 married 1545, Ann Morgan; had issue

List of Popes during the reign of Henry VIII

Pontificate Portrait Involvement with Henry VIII
Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...


31 October 1503 – 21 February 1513
Henry VIII between ages of 12 and 21.
Henry and the Pope close allies.
Granted the dispensation for Henry to marry the widow of his brother. Julius was the warrior pope. In 1511 the Holy League was formed for the purpose of delivering Italy from French rule. England joined the League on 17 November 1511.
Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...


9 March 1513 – 1 December 1521
Henry VIII between ages of 21 and 30.
Henry and the Pope close allies.
Granted Henry VIII the title of Defender of the Faith in the last week of his life. Excommunicated Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

.
Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI , born Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens, served as Pope from 9 January 1522 until his death some 18 months later...


9 January 1522 – 14 September 1523
Henry VIII between ages of 30 and 32.
Short pontificate.
Only Dutch pope. Pontificate lasted only 613 days.
Clement VII
Pope Clement VII
Clement VII , born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was a cardinal from 1513 to 1523 and was Pope from 1523 to 1534.-Early life:...


26 November 1523 – 25 September 1534
Henry VIII between ages of 32 and 42.
Henry formed Anglican Church
Denied Henry VIII his request for divorce in 1527.
Paul III
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...


13 October 1534 – 10 November 1549
Henry VIII between ages of 42 and death.
Final break from pope.
Catherine of Aragon died 15 months after his election. On 17 December 1538, four years into his pontificate, Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII.

Depictions in literature and popular culture



See also

  • Cestui que
  • Inventory of Henry VIII of England
    Inventory of Henry VIII of England
    The Inventory of Henry VIII of England compiled in 1547 is a list of the possessions of the crown, now in the British Library as Harley Ms. 1419....

  • Sebastian Giustinian
    Sebastian Giustinian
    Sebastian Giustinian was a sixteenth-century Venetian diplomat.Between 1515 and 1519, during the reign of Henry VIII of England, Giustinian was the Venetian ambassador to England....

  • The Rough Wooing
    The Rough Wooing
    The War of the Rough Wooing was fought between Scotland and England. War was declared by Henry VIII of England, in an attempt to force the Scots to agree to a marriage between his son Edward and Mary, Queen of Scots. Scotland benefited from French military aid. Edward VI continued the war until...


Sources

  • The New World by Winston Churchill (1966).
  • The Reformation Parliament, 1529–1536 by Stanford E. Lehmberg (1970).
  • Henry VIII and his Court by Neville Williams (1971).
  • The Life and Times of Henry VIII by Robert Lacey (1972).
  • The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir (1991) ISBN 0802136834.
  • English Reformations by Christopher Haigh (1993).
  • Europe: A history by Norman Davies (1998) ISBN 978-0060974688.
  • Europe and England in the Sixteenth Century by T. A. Morris (1998).
  • New Worlds, Lost Worlds by Susan Brigden (2000).
  • Henry VIII: The King and His Court by Alison Weir (2001).
  • British Kings & Queens by Mike Ashley (2002) ISBN 0-7867-1104-3.
  • Henry VIII: The King and His Court by Alison Weir (2002) ISBN 034543708X.
  • Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII by David Starkey (2003) ISBN 0060005505.
  • The Kings and Queens of England by Ian Crofton (2006).

Biographical

  • Bowle, John
    John Edward Bowle
    -Education:He was educated at Marlborough College. There his contemporaries included John Betjeman, who became a friend, and Anthony Blunt, about whom he was consistently negative. He was an undergraduate at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was counted as an Aesthete.-Career:After his education,...

    . Henry VIII: a Study of Power in Action. Little, Brown, 1964.
  • Erickson, Carolly. Mistress Anne: the Exceptional Life of Anne Boleyn. (1984) 464 pp. popular biography
  • Cressy, David. "Spectacle and Power: Apollo and Solomon at the Court of Henry VIII." History Today 1982 32(oct): 16–22. ISSN: 0018-2753 Fulltext: Ebsco Traces the transition of Henry from Renaissance monarch (the youthful Apollo) to Reformation patriarch (the ageing Solomon) using the graphics and visual images displayed in his court, festivals, and kingdom.
  • Gardner, James. "Henry VIII" in Cambridge Modern History vol 2 (1903), a brief political history online edition
  • Graves, Michael. Henry VIII (2003) 217 pp, topical coverage
  • Ives, E. W. "Henry VIII (1491–1547)", in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), online at OUP, a good starting point
  • Pollard, A. F. Henry VIII (1905) 470 pp; the first modern biography, accurate and still valuable online edition
  • Rex, Richard. Henry VIII and the English Reformation. (1993). 205 pp.
  • Ridley, Jasper. Henry VIII. (1985). 473 pp. popular biography
  • Scarisbrick, J. J. Henry VIII (1968) 592 pp, a favourable scholarly biography
  • Smith, Lacey Baldwin. Henry VIII: the Mask of Royalty (1971), a leading scholar writes a psycho-biography online edition
  • Starkey, David. Six Wives: the Queens of Henry VIII (2003) excerpt and text search
  • Starkey, David. The Reign of Henry VIII: Personalities and Politics (1986). 174 pp
  • Starkey, David, and Susan Doran. Henry VIII: Man and Monarch (2009) 288 pp
  • Weir, Alison. Henry VIII, King and Court (2001). 640 pp, a flattering portrait excerpt and text search
  • Weir, Alison. The Children of Henry VIII. (1996). 400 pp.

Scholarly studies

  • Bernard, G. W. The King's Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church. (2005). 712 pp. excerpts and text search
  • Bernard, G. W. "The Making of Religious Policy, 1533–1546: Henry VIII and the Search for the Middle Way." Historical Journal 1998 41(2): 321–349. Issn: 0018-246x Fulltext: in Jstor
  • Bernard, G. W. War, Taxation, and Rebellion in Early Tudor England: Henry VIII, Wolsey, and the Amicable Grant of 1525. (1986). 164 pp
  • Elton, G. R. The Tudor Revolution in Government: Administrative Changes in the Reign of Henry VIII (1953; revised 1962), major interpretation online edition
    • Coleman, Christoper, and David Starkey, eds. Revolution Reassessed: Revision in the History of Tudor Government and Administration (1986), evaluates Elton thesis
  • Elton, G. R. Reform and Reformation: England, 1509–1558 (1977), hostile to Henry
  • Fielder, Martha Anne. "Iconographic Themes in Portraits of Henry VIII." PhD dissertation Texas Christian U. 1985. 232 pp. DAI 1985 46(6): 1424-A. DA8517256 Fulltext: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Fox, Alistair, and John Guy, eds. Reassessing the Henrician Age: Humanism, Politics and Reform 1500–1550 (1986), 242pp; advanced essays by scholars
  • Head, David M. "Henry VIII's Scottish Policy: a Reassessment." Scottish Historical Review 1982 61(1): 1–24. Issn: 0036-9241 Argues that if Henry intended to take over Scotland then his 1542 victory at Solway Moss was the opportune moment, for the French were unable to intervene, the Scottish nobility was in disarray, and the infant Mary was in line for Scotland's throne. Instead, Henry adopted a policy similar to that in Ireland, since he could not afford outright conquest or the luxury of diplomacy.
  • Lindsey, Karen. Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII (1995) online edition
  • Loades, David. Henry VIII: Court, Church and Conflict (2007) 248pp; by a leading scholar excerpt and text search
  • MacCulloch, Diarmaid, ed. The Reign of Henry VIII: Politics, Policy, and Piety. (1995). 313 pp. essays by scholars
  • Marshall, Peter. "(Re)defining the English Reformation," Journal of British Studies July 2009, Vol. 48 Issue 3, pp 564–85,
  • Mackie, J. D. The Earlier Tudors, 1485–1558 (1952), a political survey of the era online edition
  • Moorhouse, Geoffrey. Great Harry's Navy: How Henry VIII Gave England Seapower (2007)
  • Moorhouse, Geoffrey. The Last Divine Office: Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries (2009)
  • Slavin, Arthur J., ed. Henry VIII and the English Reformation (1968), readings by historians. online edition
  • Smith, H. Maynard. Henry VIII and the Reformation (1948) online edition
  • Wagner, John A. Bosworth Field to Bloody Mary: An Encyclopedia of the Early Tudors (2003). ISBN 1-57356-540-7.
  • Walker, Greg. Writing under Tyranny: English Literature and the Henrician Reformation. (2005). 556 pp.

Historiography and memory

  • Head, David M. "'If a Lion Knew His Own Strength': the Image of Henry VIII and His Historians." International Social Science Review 1997 72(3–4): 94–109. Issn: 0278-2308 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Hoak, Dale. "Politics, Religion and the English Reformation, 1533–1547: Some Problems and Issues." History Compass 2005 3 (Britain and Ireland): 7 pp Issn: 1478-0542 Fulltext: Blackwell Synergy
  • Ives, Eric. "Will the Real Henry VIII Please Stand Up?" History Today 2006 56(2): 28–36. Issn: 0018-2753 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Rankin, Mark. 'Imagining Henry VIII: Cultural Memory and the Tudor King, 1535–1625'. PhD Dissrertation, Ohio State. U. Dissertation Abstracts International 2007 68(5): 1987-A. DA3264565, 403p.

Primary sources

  • Williams, C. M. A. H. English Historical Documents, 1485–1558 (1996) online sources
  • Letters and papers, foreign and domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII: preserved in the Public Record Office, the British Museum and elsewhere, Volume 1 edited by John S. Brewer, Robert H. Brodie, James Gairdner. (1862), full text online vol 1; full text vol 3
    • see James Gairdner
      James Gairdner
      James Gairdner was a British historian. Specializing in 15th century and Early Tudor history, he among other tasks edited the Letters and Papers, foreign and domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII series....

       for more detail

External links



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