Archive for August 10th, 2011


I shall not be able to blog as I was used to at least for some time. Here is wishing all my readers everything that I can wish for myself and lastly but not the least my thanks go to the movers and shakers of WordPress without whose help I would have been speechless.

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HENRY VIII (1491-1547)

Prince Henry the son of Henry VII became a king(1509) by chance. A gifted man and larger than life in appetites he was determined to leave his mark on the history of England. His father had found Catherine of Aragon for Prince Arthur, as the means of diplomatic alliance between England and Spain. On his untimely death his father by special permission from the Pope arranged marriage for his other surviving son. Much of Henry VIII troubles would stem from his decision to be his own man and rule by his counsel alone. As a gesture of how his reign would proceed, one of Henry’s first decisions was to order the arrest of Sir Richard Empson and Edward Dudley – the two men who had been responsible for implementing Henry VII’s financial measures.

King Henry VIII was not the “universal genius” that Erasmus labelled him but he was a shrewd judge of merit in people and Thomas More and Cardinal Wolsey were of exceptional gifts to guide the kingdom from the troubled times his father had inherited. In outthinking some of Europe’s monarchs, Francis I of France for example he required them.
It was very important to Henry that his wife should give birth for the continuation of the House of Tudor. Catherine gave birth to six children but five died within a few weeks of being born. Only one child, Mary, survived into adulthood. Ever since 1524 Henry had been planning to divorce Katherine. It was inevitable that he developed intimacy with Anne Boleyn (1526) Katherine’s maid of honour. Anne’s biographer, Eric Ives, has argued: “At first, however, Henry had no thought of marriage. He saw Anne as someone to replace her sister, Mary (wife of one of the privy chamber staff, William Carey), who had just ceased to be the royal mistress… Henry decided by the spring of 1527 that he had never validly been married and that his first marriage must be annulled…. However, Anne continued to refuse his advances, and the king realized that by marrying her he could kill two birds with one stone, possess Anne and gain a new wife.” From a simple equation of resolving a private domestic quarrel it was blown into the proportions that neither the king nor Pope Clement II had foreseen.
When Katherine discovered Henry’s plans she informed King Charles (Carlos) of Spain and Emperor Charles (Karl) V of the Holy Roman Empire. Unwilling to upset any one of these two powerful monarchs the Pope put off making a decision about Henry’s marriage.
In March 1534 he eventually made his decision. He announced that Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was invalid. Henry reacted by declaring that the Pope no longer had authority in England. In November 1534, Parliament passed an act that stated that Henry VIII was now the Head of the Church of England. Thomas More did not support the king that led him to the Tower and execution. Anne would later be beheaded but it was she who introduced Henry to the books of Protestant writers such as William Tyndale.( She pointed out that in Obedience of a Christian Man, Tyndale had argued that kings had authority over the church.) Through her Thomas Cromwell who supported the ideas of Tyndale would supplant Sir. Thomas More.

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