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Henry Viii

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Henry The Eighth

Henry the VIII became heir to the throne after his brother Arthur died. He received little training for his future role as king, and relied on his counselors during his early reign. Henry is remembered for his tyrancy, but most of all for his six wives. The first of Henry's wives was Catherine of Aragon. She was the widow of Henry's brother, Arthur. After Arthur's death Catherine's future was the responsibility of her parents and father-in law. They decided that the Anglo-Spanish alliance must be maintained. After the death of his father, Henry married Catherine of Aragon in 1509. Henry was greatly taken with his bride. She was intelligent, accomplished and spirited, a more than suitable companion for a young and energetic king. The prime duty of any queen was to bear children, preferably males, so that the dynasty would continue after the king's demise. Although Catherine was pregnant many times, only Princess Mary survived. Henry became increasingly frustrated and disappointed; he still didn't have an heir to the throne. The " King's great Matter "became public knowledge. He remained a devoted husband to Catherine until Henry met the woman who was to be his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Bewitched by Anne's sparkling looks and vivacious personality. The king began scheming to end his marriage to Catherine. He claimed that it had never really been a marriage because she had been his brother's wife. Catherine claimed her first marriage was never consummated and therefore wasn't valid; Church authorities agreed with Catherine. For six years Henry struggled unsuccessfully to have his marriage annulled. In the end, determined to have his way, he broke free of the Catholic Church, established the church of England, banished Catherine from court, had his first marriage declared invalid and married Anne Boleyn. Anne was crowned queen in 1533,later that year she gave birth to her only child, Elizabeth. The years of waiting made Anne moody and sharpen tongued; Henry was falling out of love with her. Anne had made many enemies during her reign; she brought about the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey and plotted against Henry's first wife and daughter, Mary. In 1536, Catherine died and Anne was pregnant again; she knows if she gave birth to a healthy son her position, as queen would be secure. On the day of Catherine's funeral Anne found Henry with Jane Seymour one of Anne's maids of honor and had a miscarriage. Six months later Anne was arrested and charged with having several affairs. She was convicted and sentenced to death. Anne Boleyn was beheaded. Henry the eighth married his third wife, Jane Seymour. Jane was a very gentlewoman who also rejected the king's advances and again Henry was in love with someone he couldn't have. Henry and Jane were married two weeks after Anne's beheading. In 1537, Jane gave birth to a son Edward. Twelve days later she died. Henry grieved for her, but was already looking for a new wife. This



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