Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France. Henry was the second monarch of the House of Tudor, succeeding his father, Henry VII.
Besides his six marriages, Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry's struggles with Rome led to the separation of the Church of England from papal authority, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and establishing himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Yet he remained a believer in core Catholic theological teachings, even after his excommunication from the Catholic Church. Henry oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542.
Henry was considered an attractive, educated and accomplished king in his prime and has a reputation as "one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne". Besides ruling with absolute power, he also engaged himself as an author and composer. His desire to provide England with a male heir—which stemmed partly from personal vanity and partly because he believed a daughter would be unable to consolidate the Tudor Dynasty and the fragile peace that existed following the Wars of the Roses—led to the two things for which Henry is remembered: His six marriages, and the English Reformation (making England a mostly Protestant nation). In later life, he became morbidly obese and his health suffered; his public image is frequently depicted as one of a lustful, egotistical, harsh, and insecure king.
Read more about Henry VIII: Early Years: 1491–1509, Early Reign: 1509–1525, King's Great Matter: 1525–1534, Later Life: 1534–1540, Final Years: 1540–1547, Death and Succession, Public Image, Legacy, Style and Arms, Ancestry, Marriages and Issue
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“There is no alleviation for the sufferings of mankind except veracity of thought and of action, and the resolute facing of the world as it is when the garment of make-believe by which pious hands have hidden its uglier features is stripped off.”
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“I see and hear daily that you of the Clergy preach one against another, teach one contrary to another, inveigh one against another without charity or discretion. Some be too stiff in their old mumpsimus, others be too busy and curious in their new sumpsimus. Thus all men almost be in variety and discord.”
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