Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord of Ireland (later King of Ireland) and pretender to the Kingdom of France. Henry was the second monarch of the House of Tudor, succeeding his father, Henry VII.
Henry VIII was quite unlike his father. He was a cruel, wasteful with money, and interested in pleasing himself.
He attended tournaments, royal games, balls and entertainments and invited to his court outstanding people of the Renaissance.
He is best known for his obsession to have a male heir. He divorced his first wife Catherine of Aragon, when 5 of their babies died and only one princess Mary survived infancy.
His second wife Ann Boleyn gave birth to a girl Elizabeth. Disappointed, the king accused her of adultery and sentenced her to be beheaded.
Henry’s third wife, Jane Seymour, was the woman of his dream. She provided for him a son and heir, prince Edward, but she died soon afterwards.
The match with German Ann of Cleves was annulled the same year when Henry declared she was so unattractive that he couldn’t consummate their marriage.
Henry’s fifth wife Catherine Howard was bored by her husband and affaired elsewhere and like her cousin Anne Boleyn was accused of adultery and beheaded. Henry’s sixth wife, Catherine Parr, outlived him.
Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church .
Henry VIII established himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England.
He did this and suppressed the monasteries, while however remaining a believer in core Catholic theological teachings, even after his excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.
Other important changes
Strengthening the navy with pastor ships and better trained crews
The unification of Wales and England in 1536 by the First Act of Union
Henry made England a mostly Protestant nation
Although Henry VIII was a gross and selfish tyrant, he left his country more united and more confident than before.