The story

Henry VIII

Henry VIII

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English monarch (1491-1547). He challenged the pope's authority and eventually founded the Anglican Church in England.

The most famous English king since William the Conqueror, and probably also the most controversial, Henry VIII was born in Greenwich and was the second son of Henry VII (1457-1509), the first English monarch of the Tudor house. Henry came to power at a time of great conflict between England and France. But even so, she was able to seal the peace between the two nations, even getting her sister to marry the French king Louis XII (1462-1515). Henry VIII assumed the English throne in 1509 and in the same year married Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536), widow of his brother Arthur.

After twenty years of marriage without getting a male heir, Henry wanted to end his union with Catherine. This was not allowed by Pope Clement VII (1478-1534), because the Catholic Church did not accept divorce. In 1533,

Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), a friend of Henry, became archbishop of Canterbury, the highest ecclesiastical office in England. So the two friends made an agreement to annul Henry's marriage, making Parliament declare that the Divine Right of Kings had replaced the authority of the Church. That same year Cranmer and Henry removed the English wing of Catholicism and created the Anglican Church.

After Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon was annulled, he promptly joined Anne Boleyn (1507-1536). In fact, the two already had a relationship on the sly, but she wanted a legal marriage. For three years Anne Boleyn remained Queen of England and during that time they had a daughter, Elizabeth I (1533-1603), who would later become one of England's most important monarchs. When Henry grew tired of Ana, he accused her of adultery and beheaded her on May 19, 1536. He then married Jane Seymour (1509-1537), who died shortly after the birth of his son, Edward VI (1537). -1553).

Three years later, in 1540, to create a political alliance with the Protestant princes of northern Germany, Henry married Anne de Clèves (1515-1557). But the union lasted less than a year. Henry VIII then chose Catherine Howard (1521-1542), daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. But, as with Anne Boleyn, Catherine was also beheaded for her supposed "immorality." Henry's sixth and last wife was Catherine Parr (1512-1548), daughter of a nobleman named Thomas Parr. A loyal Protestant, she had fully supported Henry's then controversial break with the Catholic Church. Catherine lived five years after Henry's death.

Leaving aside his inclination to dispose of unwanted wives, Henry marked his biography for creating the Anglican Church, the second largest Protestant faith after Lutheranism, founded by Martin Luther. Another important point was that it incorporated Wales into the British kingdom and gave it representation in the English Parliament.