Born on 28th of June 1491
Died on 28th of January 1547
British hero of the week April 13th 2009
Henry VIII was born on the 28th June 1491 in Greenwich Palace, London. He was the third child of his father Henry VII and Elizabeth, he became heir apparent on the death of his elder brother Arthur in 1502 at Ludlow Castle. Henry was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, he was very well educated, and became an accomplished musician, author, and poet. His strong athletic build lent itself well to his pursuits of hunting, jousting and tennis. His father Henry VII died in 1509, Henry was crowned on June 24th 1509 at Westminster Abbey. He married his brothers wife Katherine of Aragon, a Spanish princess, Henry was 18 years old. He had many mistresses and fell in love with Anne Boleyn, they had one child which survived, Mary who was born in 1516.
He repeatedly asked the Pope to annul his marriage when Katherine failed to provide an heir, stating that the marriage had been illegal as she had been married to his late brother. He sent cardinal Wolsey to negotiate the annulment, but he failed, this angered Henry who ordered that Wolsey should be arrested, however Wolsey died before he ever got to trial, Henry then stated that she should be executed in the Tower of London in 1536. He was now free to marry Anne Boleyn and she was crowned as Queen. Henry's next advisor after Wolsey continued in his quest, Thomas Cromwell used the power of Parliament to curtail the powers of the Catholic Church and the Pope, which resulted in the reformation of the church. Closely followed by the dissolution of the Monasteries. Anne and Henry's alliance produced a daughter, Elizabeth. Anne was also unable to produce the all important male heir, and Henry's frustration came to a head, she was accused of Treason and was executed in 1536.
Henry's third wife Jane Seymour provided the much longed for son and male heir. Edward V1 was born at Hampton Court Palace and was destined to reign. Unfortunately for Henry Jane died soon after childbirth, she was buried in Windsor Castle.
Anne of Cleves became Henrys fourth wife, after much persuasion in order to secure an alliance between England and Germany. Henry however, became dissatisfied with his bride and they divorced just six months later.
Katherine Howard was young and just nineteen years old when she married Henry who was nearing fifty, she was accused of adultery and was executed in 1542 at the Tower of London. Henry was then to marry Catherine Parr, who became nurse and companion to the ailing king, Henry died in London on the 28th January 1547. During his reign he built many sea defences and castles such as Southsea castle built to defend portsmouth, St Catherines Castle in Fowey, Sandown, Camber, Deal, Walmer. Portland, Pendennis, St Mawes, Sandgate, Calshot and Hurst. St James' Palace, Hampton Court Palace, and although started by William the Conqueror Henry completed the building of Windsor Castle, which is where he is buried in St Georges Chapel.
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