Henry VIII: His Life and Legacy

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In his crusade for a male heir he divorced her, creating the Church of England to do so. Unfortunately, Anne Boleyn, the woman he married instead, also only provided him with a daughter — Elizabeth.

To make matters worse for Anne, one of the children she miscarried was believed to have had a deformity. This was associated with unfaithful or abnormal sexual practices and signalled the beginning of the end for her. She was executed in When Henry finally did father a healthy son, Edward, the celebration was followed by sorrow. Jane Seymour, his third wife, died of postnatal complications 12 days later. Henry liked beautiful women. A desirable queen was an asset, and it was expected that a king of his stature should have an attractive wife.

Anne Boleyn was considered highly alluring.


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Her striking dark looks and sophisticated manners from the French court enchanted the king. They married in a secret ceremony in with Anne already pregnant. Henry had never met Anne of Cleves, wife number four, before she landed in England to be his wife. The marriage was annulled almost immediately on the grounds it was never consummated. However, Henry treated Anne kindly after the annulment and they stayed on good terms. As king, Henry had a reputation, a court and a kingdom to uphold.

Henry VIII: 5 places you (probably) didn’t know shaped his life

Any indiscretions — alleged or otherwise — had to be dealt with severely. For a queen, there was an etiquette to navigate between being attractive to courtiers, but definitely not available to them. Both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard fell foul of this and were executed because of their extra-marital activities. He turned to the Bible for answers.

His argument rested on his belief that Catherine was not a virgin when they married.

Henry VIII & the Tudors | The Mary Rose

Her steadfastness made it frustratingly difficult for Henry to convince others of his logic. The unsuccessful negotiations to secure an annulment of the marriage from Pope Clement VII ultimately led to Henry making the momentous decision to break from the church in Rome. Catherine and Arthur had been married for six months — is it possible they had not had sex during that time?

Would the pious Catherine have jeopardised her soul by maintaining a lie even on her deathbed? As a result they had a very close relationship.

12 Odd Details History Books Don’t Tell You about the Life and Reign of the Infamous Henry VIII

It was here that Henry first met and impressed the scholar Erasmus, introduced to him by Thomas More. The relative peace that the country enjoyed under Henry VII can be attributed in part to his marriage to Elizabeth of York, which had effectively joined the warring Houses of York and Lancaster. That stability was threatened with the unexpected death of Arthur Prince of Wales in With only one male child, Elizabeth of York was expected to perform her royal duty once again; this time, though, there were to be tragic consequences.

Elizabeth fell pregnant but, following the premature birth of a baby girl within the White Tower at the Tower of London, she died on 11 February , her 37th birthday. Henry was aged old enough to be fully aware of events, young enough to truly feel the loss of a mother.

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In , an incredible discovery at the National Library of Wales revealed an illustrated manuscript containing a painting showing the year-old Henry crying at the empty bedside of his dead mother. Was he subconsciously, maybe even consciously, looking for the perfect wife to emulate his mother? The palace fell into decline after the reign of James I and suffered grave damage when occupied by parliamentary troops during the Civil War in the 17th century.

The ruined great hall, once splendid for court occasions, was even used as a cattle barn during the 18th century. She was built in around , two years after Henry became king, and sank on 19 July , two years before Henry died, thus her service spanned almost his entire reign. Henry spent a fortune on ships and a series of land-based coastal defences to protect England from attack.


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  2. Letters to my Mother (but really for my father);
  3. Accession to the throne.
  4. Biography of Catherine Parr, Sixth Wife of Henry VIII.
  5. Henry VIII of England - New World Encyclopedia;
  6. His fears were realised in July when a French invasion force intent on landing on the English mainland gathered off the Isle of Wight. Henry travelled to Portsmouth to inspect his fleet, which included the year-old Mary Rose. On 19 July the wind turned in favour of the English and the Mary Rose went into battle with the rest of the fleet.

    There are a number of theories as to how the ship sank, one of which is that after firing at the French galleys she made a quick turn, at which point the wind caught her sails, causing her to bank so far over that water entered the gun ports which had not yet been closed. Whatever the cause, her demise was swift.

    Within minutes she was below the waves, taking the lives of the majority of her crew with her. From his vantage point on the battlements of Southsea Castle, where he was gathered with a land army, Henry saw all. Oh, my gallant men! Henry went on regular pilgrimages to see the miraculous black cross at Waltham Abbey, an Augustine monastery north of London. According to records, he was here in ; again when sweating sickness ravaged London in ; in July and August , when he was accompanied by Anne Boleyn during their summer progress.