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Henry Viii Essay, Research Paper

On June 28, 1491 Henry the VIII of England was born. This young man will form his own church. He will succeed to the throne in 1509. He will also marry six women! Something good will happen when he is king, he will unite England and Wales and will also do some bad things like executing people who would not follow his rules. In 1539, the Act of Supremacy declared Henry to be the head of the Church of England.

King Henry the VIII of England had a good side and a bad side. Though popular with the people of England, and also very talented, he had many bad times and many good times for himself. Henry was not only selfish but, , handsome and had a hearty personality. He was also a gifted scholar, linguist, composer, and a musician. He was talented at many sports and was also good with the ladies. Henry was the second son and the third child of his father. Henry the VIII died in 1509. The only reason Henry would become king is because of his brothers, Arthur, death in April of 1502. Soon after that, Henry would marry his first wife, his brother (Arthur?s) widow, Catherine of Aragon. Many wives would follow after her.

During most of his early reign, Henry relied on Thomas Cardinal Wosley to do much of the political and religious activities. Henry soon got tired of his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, so he decides that he doesn?t want to be married to her anymore. One of his underlying reasons is that Catherine fails to bare a male heir. He tells Thomas Wosley to talk to the pope so he can divorce Catherine. But, Cardinal Wosley wasn?t able to convince the Pope. Thus, in 1529 Henry took Wesley?s authority away from him. Henry then appointed Sir Thomas More. Through Thomas Cramner, Henry got the divorce that he wanted with Catherine of Aragon and then married Anne Boleyn. Cramner now the Arch Bishop of Canterbury, made Henry?s marriage with Catherine void and his marriage with Anne valid. This made the Pope furious. So in 1534, King Henry had the parliament pass a law saying that the king, not the Pope, would from now on be the supreme head of the Church of England. “Thus, ….. the entry if England into the Reformation movement was an accident, the result of a side issue… the desire of King Henry VIII to get an annulment of the marriage between himself and his legitimate wife Catherine….” (Belloc, ibid., pp.22-23) Since Henry was now in charge of the Church , he was going to make some changes. He had all the bibles translated into English. He then had all the people take an oath for this law. But Sir Thomas More, Cardinal, and John Fisher wouldn?t accept the religious supremacy of the English monarch, so they were then executed. These changes gradually led to the formation of the Church of England

In 1536, Henry accused his second wife, Anne Boleyn of adultery. Then, Henry executed her. A few days after that, he married a young woman by the name of Jane Seymour. Jane Seymour, Henry?s third wife, was the mother of Henry?s only legitimate son. Jane Seymour died after bearing the child. Edward the VI was Henry?s only legitimate son. A couple of years after Jane Seymour had died, Henry decided to marry once again. He married a German princess by the name of Anne of Cleaves. In 1540, Henry was told that Anne of Cleaves was a beautiful and pretty young woman. However, when Henry finally saw her, he found her to be quite unnactractive. Therefore, he then divorced Anne of Cleaves and then beheaded Thomas Cromwell for having tricked him. Being unloyal to God as much as Henry possibly could, he made the decision to marry his fifth wife by the name of Catherine Howard. Catherine Howard was then summarily executed in 1542 for being unchaste prior to marriage with Henry the VIII and for committing adultery. Henry had only one more wife to go. In 1543 Henry married his sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr. Catherine then survived Henry and then lived on to marry fourth husband.

In 1536, during Henry the VIII?s reign, England and Wales were finally united as one country. During the 1280?s, after Edward the I had conquer Wales, the Welsh people had revolted several times against the English people, due to Edward?s conquer. But, the Welsh people finally accepted the idea of unity with the English people. In the acts of 1536 and 1543, Henry joined both Wales and England under one system of government. When Ireland was made a nation or kingdom in 1541, King Henry then became the king of Ireland. Henry, now the king, had many wars with Scotland and France. During 1542 King Henry?s troops defeated the Scots at Solway Moss. In 1544, Henry?s troops also captured Boulogne-sun-Mer from the French, and then a peace treaty was made when Henry received an indemnity from France in 1546. Henry?s wars with Scotland remained indecisive in spite of some small victories. Though he opposed the Reformation, his very own creation of a national church started the real beginning of the English Reformation. On January 28 1547, Henry the VIII of England died in the city of London. Henry was buried in Saint Georges Chapel in the famous Windsor Castle. During the reign of Edward the VI, Henry the VIII?s only legitimate son, the parliament passed many more church reforms. But, then in 1553, Edward?s half sister, Mary, the daughter of Catherine of Aragon, re established Catholicism as the state religion.

Even though Henry altered the Church, he did not even wish to introduce Protestant doctrine. Those people who refused to accept the Church of England and its teachings were executed. “On 30 July, 1540, of six victims who were dragged to Smithfield, three were reformers burnt for heretical doctrine, and the other three Catholics, hanged and quartered for denying the king?s supremacy. Of all the numerous miserable beings whom Henry sent to execution, Cromwell, perhaps, is the only one who fully deserved his fate. Looking at the last fifteen years of Henry?s life, it is hard to find one single feature which does not evoke repulsion, and the attempts made by some writers to whitewash his misdeeds only give proof of the extraordinary prejudice with which they approach the subject.” (catholic Encyclopedia: Henry VIII) The only important religious changes made during his reign were the licensing of an English translation of the Bible, the issuance of Cramner?s litany and the translation of English of certain parts of the traditional service.

In conclusion, Henry the VIII of England was not only a talented and rich fellow, but he was also disloyal to God and made many mistakes . Making the Church of England was probably his greatest achievement as the King of England. Forcing people to follow a certain religion and do what he told them to do was one of his lowest achievements. “Apart form the two queens ?with their accomplices,? Henry VIII?s list of kills compromised cardinals, bishops, abbots, priests, scholars, peers, knights, middle-class citizens and many women of gentle birth: the sum total ran into hundreds….” (ibid.,p.256) Henry the VIII was not only a selfish, wealthy man but a horrible ruler and a big sinner.

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