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Henry the Eighth, the Famous Tudor King Who Had Many Wives

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					                                The King and His Many Wives




 The Tudor era is perhaps the most familiar age in British history and its heritage lives on in the
guise of books and historical papers to read and works of art, monuments and buildings that we
may still see and enjoy to this day. Though not the only Tudor ruler, what appears now is a potted
history of the eighth Henry and his queens.


Henry was a clever and energetic person who could speak Latin and French confidently. He also
performed and composed music. He was good at sports and even got enormous satisfaction from
hunting and jousting.


Henry was the 2nd son and consequently wasn’t expected to be king of England. Destiny deemed
it differently as due to the death of Arthur, his brother, he was to become successor to his crown
and husband to his widow, Catherine of Aragon. They wed in 1509 after getting a special
dispensation from the Pope.


Henry and Catherine's only surviving child was Mary I, who was a staunch catholic and though
she was sovereign for a brief while she was able to establish her own unique status in history. In
her efforts to return Britain to the catholic faith she put to death many protestants which did
nothing to support her in this pursuit, apart from to earn her the nickname of ‘Bloody Mary’ that is!


Religion was an important part in Tudor history, particularly for Henry. Catherine had failed to
produce a living male heir and Henry assumed that God was punishing him for getting married to
his brother’s wife. Henry believed that their relationship wasn’t valid and should therefore be null
and void. The Pope was never to have the same opinion.


The main reason for the Church of England’s break with the roman catholic church was Henry
VIII's desire to divorce Catherine and wed Anne Boleyn, who was then expecting Henry's child.
Without the blessing of the Pope Henry ordered the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer,
to proclaim his marriage to Catherine was illegal as she was his brother’s widow. In a secret
ceremony Henry married Anne Boleyn soon following this.


He soon tired of her too as she was also unable to bear him a male heir. Unbeknown to him at this
time, their only surviving child, a daughter, would become just as skilled a ruler as any male
sovereign might have been, most may say better - Elizabeth I.
In an effort to get rid of Anne he had her arrested on somewhat doubtful charges of betrayal,
treason and incest. She was found to be guilty and executed in the Tower of London. Not long
following the execution Henry the eighth wed Jane Seymour. She bore his only legit son to survive
childhood and settled the crisis surrounding the successor to the throne. Henry VIII was
devastated by Jane's death shortly following Edward's birth. In his last will and testament he
directed that on his death he was buried with her at Windsor.


Not forgetting his other 3 wives: Anne of Cleves was next whom he divorced, Katherine Howard
was executed for adultery and his 6th wife, Katherine Parr, survived him.


Whether Henry actually loved any of these women is not that well known or written about in books
on history, while it's alluded to that Jane Seymour was the only one he cared for - however since
she was the only woman to bear him a living male heir that question still remains a mystery!


The Tudors are the most immediately recognisable of England’s kings and queens, particularly
Henry VIII as there is no mistaking him in the great Holbein portrait. However, despite Henry’s
many different accomplishments throughout his reign he will until the end of time be remembered
as the ruler and his many wives.


The Tudor time, as described in various history books to read, introduces you to the thriving
monarchs which ruled during this era.

				
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