Henry VIII (1491-1547), king of England. He succeeded his father Henry VII in 1509. His reign is noted because of the separation of the English church from Rome in 1534, and the subsequent destruction of the monasteries, the great wealth thus obtained being used to create a new nobility dependent on the king. During his reign Parliament reached its lowest point of subserviency, and it was also a period of great economic distress. Henry is notorious for his numerous marriages, but of his six wives, only three are deserving of mention: Catherine of Aragon, the mother of Mary Tudor, whose divorce brought about the separation from Rome; Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth; and Jane Seymour, the mother of the future Edward VI.