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Henry VIII / Heinrich VIII - Referat

The House of Tudor
Henry Tudor or Henry VII, father of Henry VIII, ended the War of the Roses (the war between the House of York and the House of Lancester which divided the entire country) by getting married to Elizabeth of York. They had four children, Arthur, Magaret, Henry and Mary.

Henry VII entered the throne after having won the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 and founded the Tudor dynasty.

His oldest son Arthur was destined to become king, but he died early at the age of 16 in 1502. This is because Henry became king in 1509.

The reign of Henry VIII
Henry VIII wasn’t much interested in affairs of the state. But he loved all kinds of sports, especially horse riding and having fun in general. He was very tall, over 1 meter 90. We know that, because of his skeleton which is in Windsor Castle.

Marriage to Katherine of Aragorn
After his father’s death, Henry decided to marry Katherine of Aragorn. At this time, however, it wasn’t allowed by the church to get married to your brother’s widow. This fact would be important many years later.
Henry and Katherine had a daughter, Mary, but they never had a son which was important for the dynasty.
After 18 years of marriage Henry tried to get a divorce from Katherine because he was in love with Anne Boleyn. But the Pope in Rome did not agree.
After many years of trouble Henry finally decided to separate England from the Church of Rome and become head of the Church of England himself.
This way he was able to divorce Katherine.

Marriage to Anne Boleyn
After the divorce he married Anne Boleyn and together they had a daughter, Elizabeth, but Anne could not have any more children. But he still wanted a son. So he said she cheated on him and because it was absolutely forbidden to cheat on the king, Anne Boleyn was executed.

At this time Protestantism became more and more popular in England. This would cause a lot of trouble in the next 50 years.

Marriage to Jane Seymour
Very soon after Anne’s death, Henry married Jane Seymour and they finally had a son, Edward. Henry was very sad when Jane died in childbirth and he didn’t get married for 2 and a half years.

Marriage to Anne of Cleves
In 1540 Henry decided to get married to Anne of Cleves because of political reasons without ever having met her in person. This marriage, however, lasted only seven months and was annulled.
The reason was that Henry found Anne ugly and she didn’t smell nice. When Henry saw Anne for the very first time, he said: “I like her not!”

Marriage to Katherine Howard
Only three weeks after the annulment Henry got married to Katherine Howard. At this time Henry was 49 years old and already very fat and Katherine Howard was 15 years old. She was caught cheating on him and was executed 1542.

Henry had always spent a lot of money. When there was nothing left, Henry started to take the money from the church by destroying monastries all over the county.

Marriage to Katherine Parr
One year later in 1543 Henry married for the last time. His wife Katherine Parr was the only one to survive him.

Death of Henry VIII
On 28th of January 1547 Henry VIII died.
His son Edward became Edward VI of England and was the first protestant king of the county.

The history of the House of Tudor continues
Edward died in 1553 of tuberculosis at the age of 17.
In the middle ages women could not become ruling queens and he didn’t want neither Mary nor Elizabeth to rule, because Mary was catholic and Elizabeth was said to be a bastard. So Edward left the kingdom to his cousin Lady Jane Grey. She was queen for only five days and then executed. This is when Mary became queen of England. Being catholic she killed hundreds of protestants and became known as Bloody Mary. After Mary’s death Henry’s second daughter Elizabeth became queen and ruled for 43 years. Her reign became known as the ‘Golden Age’.

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