Henry viii 1509 1547
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Henry VIII (1509-1547). Dynasty, Deity, & Diplomacy in Henrecian England. The Six Wives. Anne Boleyn. Jane Seymour. Catherine of Aragon. Katherine Parr. Anne of Cleves. Katherine Howard. Major Thrusts of Henry’s Reign. Need to secure dynastic succession

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Henry VIII (1509-1547)

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Henry viii 1509 1547

Henry VIII (1509-1547)

Dynasty, Deity, & Diplomacy in Henrecian England


The six wives

The Six Wives

Anne Boleyn

Jane Seymour

Catherine of Aragon

Katherine Parr

Anne of Cleves

Katherine Howard


Major thrusts of henry s reign

Major Thrusts of Henry’s Reign

  • Need to secure dynastic succession

  • Dynastic succession question led to break with Papacy and emergence of a peculiar English Reformation

  • “Diplomacy” toward France, Spain, Scotland, and Wales provide Henry a place to earn “honor.”


Other features of henry s reign

Other Features of Henry’s reign

  • Renaissance Ideas came to England

  • Sacking and distribution of church lands

  • Continued evolution of the landed gentry

  • Continued dislocation of the peasantry—both in terms of economics and religion


Henry s quest for an heir

Henry VIII married Catherine, Arthur of Brittany’s widow via papal dispensation

Their daughter Mary, but no sons, survived to adulthood

Henry lusted after Anne Boleyn and also believed his marriage was cursed by God

Pope Clement VII’s fear of Catherine’s nephew Charles V kept him from granting divorce

Henry fired both Thomas, Cardinal Wolsey, and Thomas More as chancellor, because they would not cooperate with Henry

Henry’s quest for an heir


Dynastic divorce and a new divinity

Henry worked through parliament to get the divorce

Act of Supremacy, Act of Succession, Treason Act, Act of Annates

Henrecian Church essentially the Catholic Church without the Pope

Dissenting churchmen were executed in 1535

Pilgrimage of Grace was quashed in 1536

Monastic lands were plundered—560 by 1539

Act of the Six Articles (1539)

Dynastic Divorce and a New Divinity


Henry s diplomacy

Henry’s Diplomacy

  • Persistent Medieval honor made Henry’s diplomacy a sometimes personal rivalry with Francis I of France and Charles V (Carlos I) of the Holy Roman Empire and France

  • Henry’s wars with France ended inconsequentially in 1527

  • England’s continental diplomacy was ineffectual as Charles V came to dominate most of Europe and England was rendered a second rate power.


Henry s diplomacy in the isles

Henry’s Diplomacy in the Isles

  • Welsh lands were placed under an English model of local government and Wales was required to send members to Parliament

  • In 1535, Henry began to rule Ireland directly and assumed title of King of Ireland in 1541

  • Henry pacified Scotland—long a pro-French sore spot—with a victory at Solway Moss in 1542.

  • But Henry’s attempt to build a pro-English party in Scotland backfired and the Auld Alliance was resurrected by 1546.


Royal administration

Royal Administration

  • Thomas, Cardinal Wolsey, effected policy in Henry’s name from 1515 to 1529

  • Wolsey influenced the king, controlled the court, and the King’s council.

  • Under Thomas Cromwell (1534-1540), Henry ruled more directly, but used Cromwell for the dirty work such as sacking the monasteries.

  • Royal Council becomes a smaller PRIVY COUNCIL under Cromwell of 19 members in 1536. It oversaw all executive administration including the Exchequer.


Wolsey more cromwell

Wolsey, More, & Cromwell


Henry s achievements

Henry’s Achievements

  • Due to destruction of institutional Catholic Power via the break with Rome, Henry VIII faced no internal rival with spiritual and legal authority.

  • He appeared to rule through Parliament (“Tudor Revolution in Government”) and with the assistance of a more bureaucratic administration (replacing independent Feudal nobles).


The succession according to henry s will

The Succession according to Henry’s Will

  • Son Edward (Jane Seymour) would inherit throne first.

  • Mary (Catherine of Aragon) had next claim.

  • Elizabeth (Anne Boleyn) had the third claim.

  • Edward’s youth and ill-health did not bode well for a long-term stable succession.


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