King Henry Viii Essay

709 Words Oct 23rd, 1999 3 Pages
King Henry VIII

Henry VIII (born 1491, ruled 1509-1547). The second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York was one of England's strongest and least popular monarchs. He was born at Greenwich on June 28, 1491. The first English ruler to be educated under the influence of the Renaissance, he was a gifted scholar, linguist, composer, and musician. As a youth he was gay and handsome, skilled in all manner of athletic games, but in later life he became coarse and fat. When his elder brother, Arthur, died (1502), he became heir apparent. He succeeded his father on the throne in 1509, and soon thereafter he married Arthur's young widow, Catherine of Aragon.
During the first 20 years of his reign he left the shaping of policies largely in the
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In the northern part of the kingdom the people rose in rebellion in behalf of the monks, but the
Pilgrimage of Grace, as it was called, was put down.

Although Henry reformed the government of the church, he refused to allow any changes to be made in its doctrines. Before his divorce he had opposed the teachings of Martin Luther in a book that had gained for him from the pope the title Defender of the Faith--a title the monarch of
England still bears. After the separation from Rome he persecuted with equal severity the Catholics who adhered to the government of Rome and the
Protestants who rejected its doctrines.

Henry was married six times. Anne Boleyn bore the king one child, who became Elizabeth I. Henry soon tired of Anne and had her put to death. A few days later he married a third wife, Jane Seymour. She died in a little more than a year, after having given birth to the future Edward VI.

A marriage was then contracted with a German princess, Anne of Cleves, whom the king had been led to believe to be very beautiful. When he saw her he discovered that he had been tricked, and he promptly divorced this wife and beheaded Thomas Cromwell, the minister who had arranged the marriage.
Henry's fifth wife, Catherine Howard, was sent to the block for misconduct.
In 1543 he married his sixth wife, the tactful and pious Catherine Parr.
Catherine, who survived Henry, lived to marry her fourth husband.

During Henry's reign

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