Henry VIII of England

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Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was also Lord of Ireland (later King of Ireland) and claimant to the Kingdom of France. Henry was the second monarch of the House of Tudor, succeeding his father, Henry VII.

Besides his six marriages, Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry's struggles with Rome led to the separation of the Church of England from papal authority, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and establishing himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. He changed religious ceremonies and rituals and suppressed the monasteries, while remaining a believer in core Catholic theological teachings, even after his excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.[1] Henry also oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542.

Henry was an attractive and charismatic man in his prime, educated and accomplished.[2] He ruled with absolute power. His desire to provide England with a male heir—which stemmed partly from personal vanity and partly because he believed a daughter would be unable to consolidate the Tudor Dynasty and the fragile peace that existed following the Wars of the Roses—led to the two things that Henry is remembered for today: his wives, and the English Reformation that made England a Protestant nation. In later life he became morbidly obese and his health suffered; his public image is frequently depicted as one of a lustful, egotistical, harsh and insecure king.[3]

Henry is famously remembered for having six wives—two of whom he had beheaded—which helped to make him a cultural icon, with many books, films, plays, and television series based around him and his wives.


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