King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII was one of the most important kings of England because during his time, the English Reformation took place. To understand why the English Reformation happened in the first place, we need to understand King Henry first.

King Henry's older brother, Arthur, was betrothed to Catherine of Aragon at the age of 2. In that day, it was a good idea for a king to marry his son to another king's daughter so that the two kingdoms would be friendly.

Arthur's wife was the daughter of one of the most powerful kings in Europe, so Arthur's dad knew that it was a good idea for the future King of England to marry Catherine.

All went well, when suddenly disaster struck!  A few months into the marriage, Arthur died, so Henry VIII married his brother's widow.

In that day, it was also important that you had a successor to the throne. If you didn't your kingdom was in serious trouble, because an inevitable civil war would spring up, plunging your kingdom into chaos over who would be the next king.

Catherine gave King Henry three sons and three daughters, but unfortunately only one daughter survived (Mary I). He feared that the English nation would revolt if a woman ruled them, so he had to get another wife.

The Catholic Church would not let him divorce his wife, so he created the English Church, which had the same practices and celebrations as the Catholic Church, but it allowed divorce and the king was the head of it.

After divorcing his first wife, he married Anne Boleyn, who also didn't give him a son that lived long enough, so he had her executed.

He then married Jane Seymour, who gave him Edward VI. After Jane died, he married Anne of Cleves, whom he divorced a few days after marriage.

He married Catherine Howard, who was executed for treason. Finally, he married Catherine Parr in 1543.

King Henry VIII died in 1547, and his son Edward VI succeeded him, but died six years later. After Edward died, Mary I became queen.