Henry Tudor was born on 28th June 1491 at Greenwich Palace. Henry was the sixth child of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.
Henry was all set for a life in the Church until the death of his older brother Arthur in 1502. Upon his brothers death Henry became Prince of Wales and Heir to the Throne.
Henry became King on 21st April 1509, following his fathers death. He was the second monarch of the House of Tudor.
Henry’s reign lasted 27 years and 282 days.
During King Henry VIII’s reign he was desperate for a male heir to ensure that the throne was passed on to a member of the house of Tudor. In attempting to produce a male heir he married a total of six times; only one of his marriages resulted in the production of a male heir. This was his marriage to his third wife Jane Seymour.
The Six Wives of Henry VIII:
Anne of Cleeves (m 1540 – 1540)
Katherine Howard (m 1540 – 1541)
Catherine Parr (m 1543 – 1547)
Henry is probably best know for his Six Marriages, but he is also known for his break from the Roman Catholic Church and creation of the Church of England in 1534 which then lead to the Dissolution of the Monastries between 1536-1541 in which Henry took possession of the numerous religious houses in England (this accounted to a fifth of Englands landed wealth).
The Legal Union of England and Wales was overseen by King Henry VIII in the creation of Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542, thus creating a single legal jurisdiction and single state to be referred to as England and Wales.
King Henry VIII’s reign was considered financially to be a disaster. Despite inheriting a prosperous ecomony and also obtaining many of the church lands. During his reign Henry – unlike his frugal father – spent heavily which resulted in higher taxes which in turn damaged the economy. Much of his wealth was spent on expanding the Royal Navy from 5 ships to 53 ships, maintaining his court and household and building of Royal Palaces. Henry owned 55 palaces when he died.
In the later part of his reign Henry was plaugued with ill health, probably due to a jousting accident in 1536 which resulted in a leg injury. It is believed that this then led to his obesity, gout and the painful boils that he suffered from.
Henry died at The Palace of Whitehall on 28th January 1547. He was 55 years old when he died. Henry was suceeded by his only son Edward VI. Despite being left with a huge fortune from his father and obtaining approximately £120,000 per year (£36 million on 2011) from the monastic lands which were obtained during the Dissolution of the Monastries, Henry died in debt.
Titles held by King Henry VIII:
Duke of York – From 1494 to 1509
Earl Marshal of England – From 1497 to 1509
Duke of Cornwall – From 2nd April 1502 to 21st April 1509
Prince of Wales. Heir to the English Throne – From 2nd April 1502 to 21st April 1509
His Highness The King of England and France, Lord of Ireland (Later King of Ireland) – From 21 April 1509 to 28th January 1547.
NB: In 1541 the Irish Parliament passed the Crown of Ireland Act which declared that the title of Lord of Ireland would become King of Ireland.
Henry had 3 full titles as King:
1521 – 1535 “Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England, France and Lord of Ireland”.
1535 – 1536 “Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, Defender of the Faith, Lord of Ireland, and of the Church of England in Earth Supreme Head”.
1536 – 1542 “Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, Defender of the Faith, Lord of Ireland, and of the Church of England and of Ireland in Earth Supreme Head”.