King Henry VIII
Born the second son of a royal family, Henry Tudor lived a very interesting life. His future was intended to be the head of the Roman Catholic Church and that fate ended with the death of his brother, Prince Arthur. Henry’s majestic life was full of sports, women, and faith. The young King acceded his father to the throne, married six women, and began the English Reformation when he broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and created his own religion.
On the 28th day of June 1491 at Greenwich Palace, Elizabeth of York gave birth to her third child Henry Tudor. Henry was named after his father Henry VII and he was the couple’s second son, which meant that there was no chance for him to reign as King since he had an older brother, Arthur (“Henry VIII King of England” 1). Henry became the Duke of York in 1494 at age three. Since Henry was the second born son of the King of England, he was to take a secular role in the Catholic Church, probably being the Archbishop of Canterbury. Knowing his future of the role in the Catholic Church, Henry’s education was based on theology (Henry VIII Early Life 1). He received a good education and was very talented. Playing musical instruments, being a good linguist, and playing sports were just a few of his talents. Growing up Henry gradually increased his status and by age ten Henry became heir apparent when his older brother Arthur died from “sweating sickness” in 1502 (Henry VIII Early Life 1). Just a few months before Arthur’s death, Henry played a major role in the joining of marriage of Arthur, Prince of Wales, and Catherine of Aragon (Williamson 1). After the death of Arthur, the heir apparent, King Henry VII wanted to keep a marital alliance between England and Spain and a treaty was signed allowing Catherine of Aragon to marry the next heir apparent which was Prince Henry. A papal dispensation, or permission from the pope, needed to be issued in order for Prince Henry to marry his brother’s widow. According to the book of Leviticus, the marriage was prohibited and “if a brother is to marry the wife of a brother they will remain childless”. After the death of her husband, Catherine denied that her marriage had been consummated and that no dispensation was required. Both England and Spain agreed that a papal dispensation was needed to assure that the marriage was justifiable. However, even after the papal dispensation was granted, Prince Henry and his brother’s widow did not wed because King Henry VII failed to keep his end of the bargain (“Henry VIII King of England” 2).
In 1509, Henry VII died and Henry, heir apparent, became King of England at eighteen years old. After the death of Henry VII and the accession of the throne by his son, Henry became Henry VIII and his first assignment was to execute his father’s ministers. It wasn’t until a few months after the death of his father that Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon (“Henry VIII King of England” 2). ...