Tudors & Stuarts

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Lived: 1491-1547
Reigned: 1509-1547

Henry VIII

King Henry VIII
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Born: 28 June 1491
Place: Placentia Palace, Greenwich
Reigned: 1509-1547
Coronation: 24 June 1509
Father: King Henry VII (1457-1509)
Mother: Elizabeth Of York (1466-1503)
1. Catherine Of Aragon (1485-1536)
2. Anne Boleyn (c.1504-1536)
3. Jane Seymour (c.1507-1537)
4. Anne Of Cleves (1515-1557)
5. Katherine Howard (c.1522-1542)
6. Katherine Parr (c.1512-1548)
Mary I (1516-1558)
Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
Edward VI (1537-1553)
1. Roman Catholic
2. Protestant
Died: 28 January 1547
Place Whitehall Palace
Buried: Windsor Castle
Successor: Edward VI

King Henry VIII was the second son of King Henry VII and his wife Elizabeth of York. Henry had planned on following a career in the Church, but when his elder brother, Arthur, died in 1502, Henry became first in line to the throne and had to prepare for a future as King. His father died in 1509, and at eighteen years of age, Henry became King of England. Soon after his accession, he married his brother's widow, Catherine of Aragon. For many years the couple hoped for a son and heir, but the only child that survived infancy was a daughter, Mary. For most of his life, Henry was a devoted Roman Catholic, and a book he wrote against Protestant leader Martin Luther earned him the title of Defender of the Faith from the Pope.

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
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However, Henry's desire for a son forced him to embrace the "new religion" when the Pope would not give him a divorce from Catherine. Henry was aware that his wife was unlikely to have any more children, and he felt he had to marry again to sire a legitimate son to succeed him. After separating the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church, Henry got his divorce, and married the woman he had been in love with for some years, Anne Boleyn. It is uncertain when exactly they married, but sometime between late autumn 1532 and the first few weeks of 1533. Anne may have been already pregnant when they married, but was certainly pregnant by the time she was crowned in the summer of 1533. Both she and Henry were sure that the child they were expecting was a boy, but to their disappointment, the baby born on the 7th of September 1533 was a girl: the future Queen Elizabeth I.

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