Why is Henry so famous?
1. He was a larger than life character whose extravagant lifestyle, ruthlessness and succession of wives have fascinated people for centuries.
2. During his reign, important political, economic and religious changes occurred which have shaped society ever since.
When did Henry live?
- He was born in 1491 and reigned from 1509-1547. He was 17 when he came to the throne and was king for 37 years, 6 months and 9 days.
- He was part of the Tudor dynasty who ruled England between 1485 and 1603
Did Henry have any brothers or sisters?
- He had seven siblings
What did Henry like doing?
- He liked horse riding, jousting and archery and as a young man he was very fit and energetic.
- He also liked music and holding feasts at his palaces including Hampton Court.
Henry’s six wives
- Henry married his first wife, a Spanish princess called Katherine of Aragon, in 1511. Katherine and Henry had a daughter, Mary, who would later grow up to be queen of England. However, Henry desperately wanted a son so in 1533 he decided to divorce Katherine so that he could marry someone else.
- Henry’s second wife was called Anne Boleyn. They had a daughter, Elizabeth, who was also destined to become queen. However, Anne didn’t provide Henry with the son that he wanted and she fell out of favour with him. She was beheaded in 1536.
- After Anne, Henry married Jane Seymour. In 1537, she gave birth to a son, Edward who would later become king of England after Henry died. Sadly Jane died only 2 weeks after Edward was born.
- Anne of Cleves who came from Belgium became Henry’s fourth wife in 1540. He divorced her after 6 months.
- Henry was keen to marry again and Catherine Howard became his fifth wife. She was 19 and he was 49 when they married. She was beheaded in 1542.
- Henry sixth wife was Kateryn Parr. They married at Hampton Court Palace in 1543.