Biography of Henry VIII


Henry VIII. Born in 1491. Son of Henry VII, whom he succeeded in 1509. Married Catherine of Aragon, wife of his deceased brother, his divorce from whom was the proximate cause of the Reformation. Papal jurisdiction was renounced, more especially by the Acts of Supremacy and of Appeals, but the king was strongly averse to doctrinal changes. The early years of the reign were marked by a war with France, in which Henry took part in person. Attempts at union with Scotland were made, but defeated by French and papal influence. A system of balance was maintained in foreign relations. A large amount of ecclesiastical property was annexed to the Crown, which gained complete control over the Church. The rising, called the Pilgrimage of Grace, was suppressed. The king became practically absolute, being granted by parliament the right of making laws by proclamation, and of settling the succession in his will. Henry VIII died in 1547.