By the mid - Bythemid1520s,...

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By the mid-1520s, King Henry VIII had grown very unhappy in his marriage to Catherine  of Aragon. She had, by then, borne him eight children, with only the Princess Mary  (born 1516) surviving infancy. Henry wished for a male heir to stabilize the future  succession of the Crown. For state and personal reasons, he sought a divorce from  Catherine so that he might marry Anne Boleyn, a young lady of the court with whom he  had fallen in love. Between 1527 and 1535, England was preoccupied with the political  and religious questions attendant to what was called "the King's great matter." Divorcing a queen in the early sixteenth century was very serious. Though there were  precedents, the reigning laws of the Catholic Church forbade divorce unless the couple  were granted a special dispensation from the Pope. Henry convinced himself, however, 
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