Henry_VIII - The Character of Tudor Monarchs Two of the...

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The Character of Tudor Monarchs Two of the most interesting characters of Tudor England were Henry VIII, and his daughter, Elizabeth I. These two great monarchs ruled England only a few years apart. From 1509 until his death in 1547, Henry VIII was king of England. He greatly influenced English history by separating the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry is most remembered for his six wives and his self-serving and cruel life style, although he was well-educated and a capable ruler. In the book, The Life and Times of Henry VIII , Robert Lacey writes about the events during Henry’s reign such as the strong fleet of fighting ships he built up. He also describes the major government reorganization that helped start England's development into a leading world power. This reform included the establishment of a bureaucracy that took over many government duties of the royal house. Lacey also includes Henry involving England in several expensive wars with France and Scotland. The book starts with Henry’s background. He was born in Greenwich, near London, where his father, Henry VII, was the first of the Tudor family of English rulers. Henry VIII was 17 years old when he came to the throne in 1509. One of his first acts as king was to marry his brother's widow, Catherine of Aragon. Catherine and Henry had six children, but only Mary lived. Henry wanted a male heir in order to help ensure that the Tudor family would continue to control the throne and to prevent any fighting over who would succeed him. He soon “turned his attentions to a maid of honor at court,” Anne Boleyn (Lacey, p. 22). 1
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The king denied that the pope had authority over England because he would not annul the marriage to Catherine. Henry secretly married Anne Boleyn in January 1533 (Lacey p. 22). Two months later, Parliament passed the Act in Restraint of Appeals, which declared that England was independent of all foreign authorities, including the pope, and that the king was England's highest judicial authority. With this, a church commission headed by Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, declared the marriage of Henry and Catherine to be void, and in June 1533, Anne became queen. In the book, This Realm of England, Lacey Baldwin Smith writes in segments about Henry. She starts chapter six with Henry VII’s death when his son takes the throne. She does not write much about his childhood, but goes into more detail when Parliament passed other acts that broke the English church with the Roman Catholic Church. In 1534, the Act of Supremacy acknowledged the Church of England as a separate institution and the king as its supreme leader. In the years that followed, Henry ended the monasteries in England, mostly to attain their wealth. The annulment to Catherine did not produce a stable married life for Henry,
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Henry_VIII - The Character of Tudor Monarchs Two of the...

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