Henry VIII is remembered for his six wives and philandering ways. Born Henry Tudor in 1491 at Greenwich Palace, he was the youngest son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Not quite 18 when he became king, Henry was never expected to rule England. But Arthur died, and Henry married his widow. He probably did so out of faithful duty... but history shows that was about it.
At the time of Arthur's death, Henry VIII was just a kid who did 'the right thing.' But life would prove less than straight-forward.
In contrast to the fanfare of his late brother's marriage, Henry VIII married this older Catherine behind closed doors, shut away ... in a closet. It was a bad omen from day one. But it was the Spanish Infanta who had the stronger claim to the throne, and the love of the English people.
The truth was ... Ferdinand was cheap, and Henry VII was greedy. For years, they had haggled over her dowry, leaving the princess destitute and stuck in a far off foreign land ... stripped of her home-town advisors.
The sovereigns didn't care if they threw her under the bus (or Henry VIII for that matter), so long as the Infanta did her state duties as an international pawn, and her status shored up the English bank. So her second marriage was as much -- if not moreso -- out of convenience for the state, as the first. And the new Prince of Wales went along with the program (supposedly with a smile).
Sadly, Catherine and Henry VIII only had one surviving child Mary I in 1516, throughout their marriage. And eventually, the young, athletic, but not-so-virile king ... left.
Divorcing Catherine, Henry married Anne Boleyn, who had Elizabeth I. But after her showdown with Cromwell, she was promptly executed in 1536, and Henry got to marry his new girlfriend, Jane Seymour ... who died giving birth to Edward VI, the first Protestant English monarch.
Inevitably, Henry took three more wives throughout his life. None of them gave him kids:
m.4 Anne of Cleves 06 Jan 1540 - 09 Jul 1540
m.5 Catherine Howard 28 July 1540 - 13 Feb 1542
"Henry VIII, by the Grace of God, King of England, France and Lord of Ireland". Then he was given a title by the Pope making him "Henry VIII, by the Grace of God, King of England, France and Lord of Ireland".
After breaking from English Catholic Church:
"Henry VIII, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, Defender of the Faith, Lord of Ireland and of the Church of England, on Earth the Supreme Head".
After taking over Irish Catholic Church:
"Henry VIII, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, Defender of the Faith, Lord of Ireland and of the Church of England, and also of Ireland, on Earth the Supreme Head".
From 35th year of reign, promoted from Lord of Ireland to King of Ireland:
"Henry the eighth, by the Grace of God, King of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith and of the Church of England, and also of Ireland, on Earth the Supreme Head".
p. Henry VII Tudor and Elizabeth of York
m.1 Catarina de Aragón, Infanta de Aragón 11 Jun 1509 Queen's Closet, Grey Friars Church, Greenwich, London. 23 May 1533: Annulled Issue:
Henry Tudor, Duke of Cornwall (01 Jan 1511 - 22 Feb 1511)
Mary I (18 Feb 1516 - 17 Nov 1558)
m.2 Anne Boleyn Marchioness of Pembroke 25 Jan 1533 Westminster Palace. Annulled: 17 May 1536. Issue:
Elizabeth I (07 Sep 1533 - 24 Mar 1603)
m.3 Jane Seymour 30 May 1536 Whitehall Palace, Whitehall, London. Issue:
Edward VI (12 Oct 1537 - 06 Jul 1553)
mistress: Elizabeth Blount. Issue:
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond b. 1519, d. 22 Jul 1536.
mistress: Mary Boleyn. Issue: possible but unproven
Catherine was a fine state administrator. She was also good with his kids. Her downfall was in loving shady Seymour, who she had a crush on before Henry wanted to marry her. After Henry died, she promptly went after him, instead of mourning her sovereign. This was culturally unacceptable, so her power came to an abrupt end.
Although cute, the biography is a bit irreverent, and omits the very important factor of conflict over his divorce with the Catholic Church and the founding of the Church of England. Anne's "showdown with Cromwell" needs elaboration. The religious wars of the day are of critical importance and should be mentioned.
'Inevitably Henry took three more wives throughout his life. None of them gave him kids'........Is using the slang term 'kids' really appropriate? .......This man was a King of England. 'With whom he had no issue', sounds a lot better.
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