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Henry VIII. Speech by Valentine PEN. I was King Henry VIII of England and Ireland, son of Henry VII, born on the 28th of June 1491 at Greenwich Palace.

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henry viii

Henry VIII

Speech by Valentine PEN


I wasKing Henry VIII of England and Ireland, son of Henry VII, born on the 28th of June 1491 at Greenwich Palace.

As it was not expected of me to become king, I became an accomplished scholar, musician and athlete. I wasalso fluent in French and in Latin and I’ve learnt a bit of Italian.

I rose to the throne in 1509 after the death of my elder brother prince Arthur who died 20 weeks into his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. His duties were thrust upon me and I ascended the throne as you would say “untrained in the exacting art of Kingship”. Catherine and I were betrothed two days later.

In 1516, Mary was born. When I met Anne Boleyn, Catherine could no longer conceive a child therefor I configured a plan to abandon my marriage. In 1533, my dear Anne Boleyn became pregnant and we married secretly. In August of that year, Anne gave birth to yet another girl, Elizabeth. In 1534, I declared myself supreme head of the Church of England.


Later, I met Jane Seymour, Anne’s lady in waiting. To leave this unfruitful marriage, I concocted an elaborate story that Anne had incestuous relations and she was beheaded. Jane and I formally wed and she was my only “true” wife. She produced my long-hoped-for son, Edward. Jane died 9 days later from a pregnancy related infection. Three years later I was ready to marry again. Hans Holbein, my official painter, was sent to paint a portrait of Anne of Cleves. Pleased by the painting I decided to marry her. But then I met the German horse and refused her in flesh. We divorced 6 months later.

Within a few weeks I met Anne Boleyn’s first cousin, Catherine Howard. By then I put on a bit of weight due to a jousting incident and I got a bad leg. We were happy until Catherine began seeking men her own age and was deemed guilty of adultery. She suffered the same death as her cousin. I married Catherine Parr in 1543. She survived my death on January 28, 1547. My only surviving son, Edward, inherited the throne, becoming Edward VI. Princesses Elizabeth and Mary waited in succession.

key elements
Key Elements
  • Born the 28th of June 1491 at Greenwich Palace.
  • Son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.
  • rose to the throne in 1509 after the death of prince Arthur
  • marriage to Catherine of Aragon
  • Had a daughter called Mary in 1516.
  • In 1533, Anne Boleyn married Henry VIII and gives birth to Elizabeth I.
  • In 1534, he declared himself supreme head of the Church of England.
  • Married Jane Seymour who gave him a son, Edward.
  • Married Anne of Cleves for 6 months.
  • Married Anne Boleyn’s cousin, Catherine Howard.
  • Married his last wife Catherine Parr in 1543.
  • Henry VIII died in 1547 in London.

Divorce, beheaded, died, divorce, beheaded, survived