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A Man for All Seasons Robert Bolt. Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More. “The King’s good servant, but God’s servant first” -Sir Thomas More on himself. February 7, 1478 - Thomas More was born in London.

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a man for all seasons robert bolt

A Man for All SeasonsRobert Bolt

Henry VIII


Sir Thomas More

the king s good servant but god s servant first sir thomas more on himself

“The King’s good servant, but God’s servant first”-Sir Thomas More on himself

1491-1493 - More went to study at Oxford University. He wrote comedies and studied Latin Literature.
  • 1494 - He returned to London to study law.
1501 - He became a barrister. However, he did not follow his father's footsteps by becoming a judge. More was torn between a monastic calling and a life of civil service.
These habits stayed with him for the rest of his life. Finally, More sense of duty to serve his country in the field of politics took over and he entered Parliament.
1510 - More was appointed as one of the two undersheriffs of London. He gained a reputation for being impartial and a patron to the poor.
1509 - Henry VIII ascends to the throne. He marries his brother Arthur's widow, Catherine of Aragon.
catherine of aragon
Catherine of Aragon
  • Catherine of Aragon was the youngest surviving child of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain.
  • Married Henry’s older brother, Arthur, who died 6 months later.
The English king was interested in keeping Catherine's dowry, so 14 months after her husband's death, she was betrothed to the future Henry VIII, who was too young to marry at the time.
By 1505, Henry was old enough to wed.
  • However, Henry wasn't as keen on a Spanish alliance, but he was forced to repudiate the betrothal.
1517 - Placement of Martin Luther's "99 Theses" on Wittenberg Cathedral. These were stated grievance against the church. This starts the Reformation period.
1518 - More became a member of the Privy Council which is an executive advisory board for the King.1521 - More is knighted by Henry VIII.
  • 1523 - More was made Speaker of the House of Commons. As Speaker, More helped establish the privilege of free speech.
1522 - Anne Boleyn is introduced to the English court and meets Henry VIII. Anne refuses to become his mistress.
Anne also showed real interest in religious reform and may have introduced some of the 'new ideas' to Henry.
  • However, she gained the hatred of some members of the Court.
1527 - Henry consults More about divorce. More refused to endorse King Henry VIII's plan to divorce Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn.
1527- With the help of Thomas Wolsey, Henry VIII began the attempt to have his marriage annulled.
1529 - Catherine refused to acknowledge that her marriage to Henry was invalid or to retire to a convent.
1529 - The Pope authorized a commission consisting of Thomas Wolsey to decide the issue of Henry's divorce in England. Eventually, the committee adjourns to Rome.
1531 - Henry is declared Supreme Head of the Church in England.
  • 1531 - The clergy submits to Henry's threat of limiting their powers if they did not switch allegiance from Pope to him.
1532 - More resigned citing ill heath, but the reason was probably his disagreement with Henry's stance toward the church.
1532 - Thomas Cromwell had become the king's chief minister and was responsible for drafting most of the acts of Parliament.
Oath of Supremacy - Parliament confirms the Henry VIII is the Supreme Head of the Church of England. This cancels the Pope's authority in England and gives the king the right to reform the church.
Act of Succession - Parliament declares Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled and Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn to be lawful.
1534 - More refused to swear to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy and was jailed to the Tower of London.
Anne was soon convicted of adultery and beheaded. Two days before her death, her marriage was declared void.
jane seymour
Jane Seymour
  • Within 24 hours of Anne Boleyn's execution, Jane Seymour and Henry VIII were formally betrothed. On May 30th, they were married.
Henry does have a male heir with Jane Seymour.
  • Two weeks after Edward’s birth, she dies.
Henry declares Edward as his heir. However, Edward does die. Elizabeth I, eventually becomes the successor to Henry.
Henry marries 4 other wives.
  • He never has a male successor.
  • 1547 - Henry dies.