Henry VIII

Henry VIII , the King of England , who was known for having married six times and for playing a critical role within the English Reformation , turning his country into a Protestant nation . Son of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth York, Henry became King of England after the death of his father. He married six times, beheaded two of his wives, and was the main instigator of the English Reformation. His only surviving son, Edward VI , succeeded him after his death.

Personal information

  • When was he born:  06/28/1491
  • Where he was born:  London, England
  • When he died:  01/28/1547
  • Where he died:  London, England

Who was Henry VIII?

Henry VIII was King of England known more for all his weddings and wives than for ruling his country. He had his romantic side but was regarded as a womanizing , cruel and stubborn king , who in the end turned his country into a Protestant nation .

  • What did
  • Biography
  • Death
  • Characteristics of the reign of Henry VIII
  • Conflict with the Church and the Anglican Reformation
  • Parents of Henry VIII
  • Wives of Henry VIII
  • Sons
  • Brothers
  • Importance
  • Phrases
  • Who happened it
  • Books and films about Henry VIII

What did

Henry VIII was the King of England who managed to break all relations that existed with the Catholic Church, thus establishing a new cult: Anglicanism . He was also in charge of managing the consolidation of Parliament as a body in charge of representing the kingdom and with his reforms and ideals , he achieved the growth of maritime power .

He was able to increase royal power by reducing ecclesiastical power, made a series of complicated and contradictory pacts with France and Spain , and managed to make himself seen at the European level, achieving the creation of a great war fleet .

He signed the Treaty of Westminster in which he provided aid to Spain in its fight against France . He acted as a mediator between the two countries seeking to end hostilities at the meeting at the Field of the Cloth of Gold and at the meetings in Kent.


He was born on June 28, 1491 in London , England, and was the son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York . In his youth he was interested in the sports of the time, being a great athlete and in the arts such as music or poetry . He was the second monarch of the Tudor house , and in 1511 he was a member of the Holy League that fought against France. He participated in the war with Scotland and France , in which his army managed to defeat the Scots.

In 1501, his brother Arturo, the prince of Wales and heir to the throne, married Catherine of Aragon, daughter of the Catholic Monarchs , creating an alliance between England and Spain. However, Prince Arthur passed away making Henry his heir . His father, seeking the alliance with Spain not destroyed, decided that Henry should get married to the widow Catalina. On June 11, 1509, Henry married Catherine and they were crowned kings on June 24 at Westminster Abbey .

In 1510, Catherine gave birth to a boy, Henry, who died a few weeks later. The queen could not finish her pregnancies until her daughter Maria Tudor was born , however, the king wanted an heir, and not getting it with Catalina, he began to look for other women to achieve his purpose.

He wanted a divorce and asked the Pope , but he did not accept so, influenced by Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell and Anne Boleyn herself and broke his relations with the Catholic Church, naming himself head of the new Anglican religion . After this, he married Ana Bolena on January 25, 1533


His last days were filled with physical and emotional pain . She suffered from gout , which prevented her from mobilizing on many occasions, and she died expecting her son. Henry VIII died on January 28, 1547 in London . He was buried in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, along with his third wife, Jane Seymour .

Characteristics of the reign of Henry VIII

Among the main characteristics of his reign we can mention the following:

  • He implemented the naval administration.
  • He founded the Casa Trinidad , improved ports, built shipyards and warehouses.
  • He was appointed as Defender of the Faith by Pope Leo X.
  • His reign was selfish and energetically nationalistic .
  • His foreign policy remained subject to England , but he changed sides at his convenience.
  • He proclaimed the old medieval law of the Praemunire , in which anyone who defended interests contrary to those of the king was condemned as a traitor.
  • Henry VIII went from fiscal to judicial independence .
  • He placed a ban on English clergy from resorting to foreign ecclesiastical courts such as The Curia through the approval of the Appeal Act of 1533

Conflict with the Church and the Anglican Reformation

The conflict that was generated between the Catholic Church and Henry VIII had its origin in his marriage to Catherine of Aragon . Enrique wanted to have a male child and when Catherine was unable to give it to him, he began a struggle to be able to divorce her and marry María de Bolena . In his eagerness to achieve this, he sent his secretary to the Holy See to try to convince Pope Clement VII to dissolve the marriage, as it was a hoax, however, the Pope did not accept the divorce.

For this reason, Henry VIII founded his own Anglican Church , with his own priests and eliminated the Catholic Church of England, which is why the Pope excommunicated Henry VIII. Enrique in his place, put a law that said that anyone who was against him, would go to jail for life for treason against England .

Parents of Henry VIII

His father was Henry VII , who married the heir to the House of York , Elizabeth who was the eldest daughter of Edward IV, thus uniting the houses of York and Lancaster and ending the War of the Two Roses.

Wives of Henry VIII

In his life, Henry VIII had six wives who were:

  • Catherine of Aragon : she was the first wife of Henry VIII, daughter of the Catholic kings of Spain and who had become a widow shortly after marrying Henry VIII’s brother. Together they had Maria Tudor , who reigned for a short time. Enrique requested the annulment of their marriage because they could not have any more children. This conflict gave rise to the Anglican church .
  • Ana Bolena : belonged to the court of Catalina and made him think that she could give him a male child, which is why he annulled his marriage with Catalina. Nor could he give her a male child, so the king lost interest. She was executed because she planned to get pregnant by her brother in order to have a child.
  • Ana de Cleves : this marriage was very short because they were only married for six months and it was never consummated. They apparently maintained a friendly relationship after their separation.
  • Jane Seymour : third wife who was able to bear a male child even though she passed away a few days after giving birth. And his son, Henry VI, died at the age of 15 .
  • Catherine Howard : Ana Bolena’s cousin and her marriage was annulled and she was executed .
  • Catherine Parr : was the sixth and the last wife that Henry VIII had.


Henry VIII had three children and they all enjoyed their father’s throne, in his time. The first who ascended to the throne Eduardo V I who at that time was just 9 years old. María I, who was the daughter of Catalina de Aragón, sought a way to revoke all religious measures since she was fervently Catholic. His death ruined his efforts because his stepsister Elizabeth I, reestablished Anglicanism and became head of the Anglican Church. For her refusal to marry and have children, Elizabeth I was the last of the Tudors.


Henry VIII’s brother was Arturo , who was the eldest son of the first king of the Tudor dynasty , Henry VII and his wife Elizabeth of York, and was chosen to achieve consolidate the alliance of England with Castile and Aragon .


The importance that Henry VIII had was the separation that he caused between the Catholic Church and the new Anglican Church that he himself founded, thus breaking the ties that existed with Catholicism.


Some of his most famous phrases were the following:

  • Pleasant company will be the best against squeamish thoughts , for indolence is the mother of vices.
  • He who likes to be flattered is worthy of the flatterer .
  • God bless the bastards , because while the legitimate are the fruit of marriage, the illegitimate are the fruit of passionate love.

Who happened it

Henry VIII was succeeded after his death by his son Edward King Edward VI , who was only 9 years old when the king died and who was Henry VIII’s only male child .

Books and films about Henry VIII

Some of the books that tell his story are the following:

  • The six wives of Henry VIII (Antonia Fraser)
  • Henry VIII, King of the Court The Tudors (Alison Weir)
  • Henry VIII (Felix Grayeff)
  • Henry VIII, All is Truth (W. Shakespeare)

Movies have also been made that tell their story, such as:

  • The Private Life of Henry VIII
  • A Man for Eternity
  • The Six Wives of Henry VIII
  • The Tudors

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