Henry VIII and the Church of England Essay

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INTRODUCTION

King Henry VIII was an important figure in helping to kick start the Reformation in England, even though it was not his intent. His break with the Papacy and his constantly changing ideas on how the new Church of England should be run gave the Protestants the foothold they needed to gain popularity in Europe. Although his intentions were purely politically motivated, he started a change in the way the layman viewed the church and how it should be run.
THE LIFE OF HENRY VIII

Henry VIII was born on June 28, 1491 to the King Henry VII of England and Queen Elizabeth of York. He was the second son and his elder brother Arthur and his bride Catherine of Aragon inherited the throne upon his father’s death.2 In 1502,
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Cramner appealed to Parliament to confirm that Henry’s marriage to Catherine was invalid. Henry secretly marries a lady in his court, Anne Boleyn, in 1533. He decides to officially break with the Catholic church the following year and makes himself the head of the Church of England. He appoints Cramner as his new Archbishop and Cramner publicly declares the marriage between King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon as invalid. The Pope is outraged by Henry’s move to break with the Catholic church and he is excommunicated for breaking with Papal authority. King Henry and Queen Anne produce a daughter shortly after their secret marriage. Their daughter Elizabeth would be their only surviving child. Once again, there was an issue with the failure to produce a male heir. He soon grew tired of Anne. In 1536, she was accused of adultery and executed. In 1537, Henry took a third wife, Jane Seymour. With Jane, Henry finally produces a male heir, Arthur. Unfortunately, Jane dies shortly after the baby’s birth due to complications with the birth. After Jane’s death,
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