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Henry VIII

In the history of all countries there are some rulers whom people can remember better than others. Sometimes these rulers become famous not only in their home country but also abroad. An exampe of such a king in Britain was Henry VIII. People in many countries know his name because of his six wives.

Henry VIII ruled Britain from 1509 to 1547. His first wife Catherine was from Spain and although the marriage was a diplomatic act, as was usual in those days, they lived quite happily for many years. But there was a problem because Henry wanted to have a son to rule the country after his death, but from all children only a girl, the princess Mary, born in 1516, survived.

After 18 years of marriage, the king became impatient and decided to divorce Catherine. But in those days this was not usually done and Henry had to ask the Pope for permission to divorce. Catherine was from a very powerful family and so it was not easy for the Pope to decice.

Finally, after six years, king Henry lost his patience and asked for a decree of annulment from his own archbishop, Thomas Cranmer. He got it, then separated the Church of England from Rome, proclaimed himself the head of the Church of England and closed a lot of monasteries all over the country. Of course their properties were confiscated. You can see the ruins of many of the monasteries even today.

Henry's second wife was Anne Boleyn. Together they tried to have a son, but just like Catherine, she gave him "only" a daughter, the princess Elizabeth, in 1533. Anne Boleyn was executed in the Tower in 1536.

Henry's third wife, Jane Seymour, finally gave Henry a son, in 1537, but the died a few days later. Jane is the only one of Henry's wives to share his grave at Windsor.

Henry married his next wife, Anne of Cleves from Germany, for diplomatic reasons, and for the same reasons the marriage was proclaimed invalid soon after.

His fifth wife, Catherine Howard, was about 30 years younger, than the king was beheaded in the Tower in 1542 because of her close relationships with some young men in the court.

His last wife, Catherine Parr, lived with the old king until his death in 1547.

Přidal: esko 1. 4. 2008
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