The King's Great Matter Essay

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The King's Great Matter

The Spanish-English marriage alliance of Catherine of Aragon and Prince Arthur was arranged when the children were very young. Catherine traveled to England only to face tragedy when her young husband, Arthur died in 1502.Henry VII wanted to marry Catherine to his younger son, who would be, Henry VIII so that he did not lose the dowry money from Catherine's parents and to secure some other agreements between the two countries. In the Catholic Church, it was forbidden to marry the wife of a deceased brother. A papal dispensation was required for the marriage. It was easily obtained from Pope Julius II. Henry VII died before the marriage took place but Henry VIII immediately married Catherine once he became
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Throughout this time period, Cardinal Wolsey, an advisor to Henry and very powerful in the Catholic Church, moved closer and closer to Henry. As the relationship progressed Henry became more distant to Catherine. Wolsey spied on Catherine and she thought he acted against her always. She began to believe that Wolsey had always hated her and possibly that she had always hated him also. She held him responsible for the promotion of Henry's bastard son, for tempting the King of France to break the word agreed at Madrid and plunging Europe into war, for ruining the alliance between the two countries, and for seducing the pope and the Italian states. She also held Wolsey responsible for Henry's irritability.
It isn't surprising that Catherine also blamed Wolsey for Henry wanting to divorce her. But, Catherine was not the only one with this idea. The ambassador, the emperor, Reginald Pole, Catholic controversialists, and Catholic writers ever since have agreed that Wolsey was probably the instigator. Catherine's thought that Wolsey had put the ideas of divorce into Henry's head was very reasonable. She believed that Wolsey thought this was the best way to safeguard his pro-French policy by removing Catherine and replacing her with a French princess. Wolsey was serious about his French alliance and did hope to arrange a French marriage. He also feared Catherine. He knew that he needed to get rid of her so that he get closer to the king and help him handle his
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