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Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later assumed the Kingship, of Ireland, and continued the nominal claim by English monarchs to the Kingdom of France. Henry was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, 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 Pope and 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 his own establishment 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 Roman Catholic Church.[1] Henry oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. He is also well known for a long personal rivalry with both Francis I of France and the Habsburg monarch Charles V and I of the Holy Roman Empire and Spain, his contemporaries with whom he frequently warred.

Domestically, he is known for his radical changes to the English Constitution, ushering in the theory of the divine right of kings to England. Besides asserting supremacy over the Church of England in its break from Rome in initiating the English Reformation, he also greatly expanded Royal power. Charges of treason and heresy were commonly used to quash dissent, those accused were often executed without a formal trial, by means of bills of attainder instead. He achieved much of his political aims through the work of his chief ministers, many of whom were banished or executed when they fell out of his favor. Figures such as Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, and Thomas Cranmer figured prominently in Henry's administration. An extravagant spender, he depended on spoils from the Dissolution of the Monasteries as well as various acts of the Reformation Parliament to divert money formerly bound for Rome to greatly increase the Royal income. Despite the massive influx of money from these acts, Henry was always on the verge of financial ruin, due to his personal extravagance, as well as his numerous costly, and ultimately fruitless, continental wars. ...more

Panel #87
Henry VIII of England (1491-1547)
King of England; Lord/King of Ireland

Reign 21 April 1509 – 28 January 1547

King of Kings - by Lewis Lavoie