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Henry VIII

Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his six marriages. During his efforts to marry Anne Boleyn he disagreed with Pope Clement VII about an annulment. This led to Henry initiating the English reformation separating the English Church from the authority of the Pope. He is also known as the “father of the English navy” as he invested heavily in it and increased the size to more than 50 ships.


He made radical changes to the English constitution and created theory of the divine right of Kings. His political aims were achieved through the work of his ministers, some of whom fell out of favour. Thomas Wolsey Thomas More. Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich and Thomas Cranmer were all central to his administration. He dissolved the monasteries and used these proceeds, as well as other income sources, to spend extravagantly. However, this income was not enough to put him to near financial ruin and his unsuccessful wars with France, Rome and Scotland were very costly. Henry’s contemporaries considered him an attractive, educated, and accomplished king. He has been described as “one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne” and his reign has been described as the “most important” in English history.