Profession: King of England
Biography: Henry was the second Tudor monarch after his father, Henry VII. During his forty-year reign he led England through a series of intense changes, most notably the English Reformation, England's separation from the Roman Catholic Church.
The reformation began when Henry requested from the Pope, an annulment from his first wife Catherine of Aragon. This was refused, as Catherine was the Aunt of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, the most powerful man in Europe. Spurred on by his infatuation with Anne Boleyn Henry then broke with the Catholic Church by marrying his mistress, who would later give birth to Elizabeth I. Pope Clement VII excommunicated Henry.
Henry's marriage did not prosper, Anne's miscarriages and unpopularity at court led him to accuse her of adultery and have her beheaded. A third wife Jane Seymour did present him with a son, the future Edward VI, before dying of childbirth complications. His fourth wife, Anne of Cleves barely lasted a few months before an annulment.
History repeated itself when Henry accused his fifth wife Catherine Howard of adultery, this time there was some truth to it before having her beheaded. His last wife Catherine Parr survived Henry by acting as nurse to an increasingly unwell King.
Outside his notorious marriages Henry is remembered as the "Father of the Royal Navy", increasing the navy from 5 to 50 ships. As part of his split from the Catholic Church Henry dissolved English monasteries, with their land and wealth taken by the crown and changing the make-up of English society forever.
Born: June 28, 1491
Birthplace: London, England
Star Sign: Cancer
Died: January 28, 1547 (aged 55)
Articles and Photos
A Son, A Son – My Wife For A Son!Henry VIII, who became King of England on this day in history, disposed of two wives in his quest for a son and heir – and was to marry four others.
April 21, 1509
Defender of the Faith Henry Rejects RomeA Pope awarded the title Defender of the Faith to King Henry VIII on this day for staunchly defending the Pontiff’s values. But there was to be an ironic twist.
October 11, 1521
Execution of Anne BoleynAnne Boleyn is beheaded after a four day show trial
May 19, 1536
Thomas Cromwell Backs The Wrong HorseThomas Cromwell became chief advisor to King Henry VIII and led the hunt for a new royal wife. Unfortunately for him he championed the cause of Anne of Cleves.
August 22, 1540
Bloody Mary, England’s Most Hated QueenQueen Mary I, the first woman to rule England in her own right, lost respect and was called Bloody Mary by burning hundreds of religious opponents at the stake.
November 17, 1558
Globe Theatre FireShakespeare's Globe Theatre on fire
June 29, 1613
- 1509-06-11 King Henry VIII (17) of England marries first wife Catherine of Aragon (23), widow of his brother Arthur
- 1531-01-05 Pope Clemens VII forbids English King Henry VIII to remarry
- 1532-11-14 King Henry VIII of England secretly marries Anne Boleyn (officially married January 25, 1533)
- 1533-01-25 England's King Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn, his 2nd wife
- 1533-05-23 King Henry VIII of England & Catherine of Aragon's marriage declared null & void by authority English clergy not the Pope
- 1533-05-28 The Archbishop of Canterbury voids the marriage of King Henry VIII of England and Anne Boleyn
- 1536-05-30 England's King Henry VIII marries Jane Seymour, his 3rd wife
- 1539-10-04 English King Henry VIII marries Anne of Cleves, his 4th wife
- 1540-07-09 English King Henry VIII annuls his 6 month marriage to his 4th wife Anne of Cleves, on the grounds of non-consummation and her pre-contract to Francis of Lorraine
- 1540-07-28 English King Henry VIII (49) marries Catherine Howard (16 or 17), his 5th wife
- 1543-07-12 England's King Henry VIII weds Catherine Parr (6th & last wife)
- 1503-02-18 Henry Tudor (later Henry VIII) appointed Prince of Wales, heir apparent to the English throne
- 1509-04-22 Henry VIII, 2nd Tudor king of England ascends to the throne at age 17, after the death of his father, Henry VII
- 1509-06-24 Henry VIII is crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey, London
- 1513-08-16 Battle of the Spurs at Guinegate (now Eguinegatte): Henry VIII of England and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I beat France
- 1520-06-07 Field of the Cloth of Gold; meeting begins between English Henry VIII and King Francis I of France at Balinghem, France
- 1520-07-10 King Charles V France and King Henry VIII of England sign Treaty of Calais
- 1520-10-15 King Henry VIII of England orders bowling lanes at Whitehall
- 1521-10-11 Pope Leo X titles King Henry VIII of England "Defender of the Faith"
- 1527-04-30 Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France sign the Treaty of Westminster, pledging to combine their forces against Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in attempt to win War of the League of Cognac
- 1529-06-21 Queen Catherine Of England [Catherine of Aragon] speaks against her marriage's annulment at the Blackfriars Legatine Court
- 1530-03-07 English King Henry VIII's divorce request is denied by the Pope
- 1531-03-08 Henry VIII recognised as supreme head of Church in England by the Convocation of Canterbury
- 1532-06-23 Henry VIII of England & Francois I of France sign secret treaty against Emperor Charles V
- 1533-07-11 Pope Clement VII excommunicates England's King Henry VIII
- 1534-04-15 Thomas Cromwell is appointed Chief Secretary to King Henry VIII of England
- 1534-11-03 English parliament passes the Act of Supremacy making Henry VIII and all subsequent monarchs the Head of the Church of England
- 1535-01-15 King Henry VIII declares himself head of the Church in England
- 1535-05-04 Five Carthusian monks from London Charterhouse monastery hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, London, for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as head of the Church of England
- 1535-06-22 Cardinal John Fisher is beheaded on Tower Hill, London, for refusing to acknowledge King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England
- 1536-04-14 English King Henry VIII expropriates minor monasteries
- 1536-05-19 Anne Boleyn, second wife of English King Henry VIII, is beheaded at the Tower of London on charges of adultery, incest and treason
- 1536-07-11 The Convocation of the clergy subscribe to the Ten Articles, beliefs of the English Church under Henry VIII
- 1536-10-13 Pilgrimage of Grace begins in Northern England, protest against King Henry VIII's break with the Pope
- 1538-12-17 Pope Paul II excommunicates King Henry VIII of England
- 1540-06-24 English King Henry VIII commands his 4th wife, Anne of Cleves, to leave the court
- 1541-05-06 King Henry VIII orders a bible in English be placed in every church in England
- 1541-06-18 Irish parliament selects Henry VIII of England as King of Ireland
- 1541-11-09 Queen Catherine Howard (Henry VIII's fifth wife) confined in Tower of London
- 1543-02-11 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and English King Henry VIII sign anti-French covenant
- 1544-05-17 Scot Earl Matthew Lennox signs secret treaty with Henry VIII
- 1544-09-18 English King Henry VIII's troops occupy Boulogne
- 1544-09-30 King Henry VIII draws his armies out of France
- 1545-07-19 King Henry VIII's flagship Mary Rose sinks at Portsmouth; 73 die
- 1547-01-28 9-year-old Edward VI succeeds Henry VIII as King of England
- 1935-05-19 English Cardinal John Fisher and statesman Thomas More, executed by Henry VIII, canonized as saints by Pope Pius XI