King Henry was born in Greenwich Palace in 1491. He was the second son of Henry Vll and Elisabeth of York, and not expected to become King. His brother Arthur died, and when Henry Vll died, he became king 18 years old.
When Henry was young he was handsome, athletic, tall and had a bright red-gold cap of hair and beard. He wrote poetry and composed music. He liked to dress up in disguise and pretend to be someone else, and masquerades became very popular in his time. He was acomplex man, ruled by his conscience, which he conveniently flexed to suit his needs. He also wanted absolute power.
When he became older he was bald and unhealthy as most people remember him. His politic resulted in a break with the Catolic Church and the launch of the English Reformation, all motivated by his pursuit of a male heir. Henry`s reign saw relative stability and prosperity. With the exception of Scotland, England was never invaded by an outside force during Henry Vlll`s rule.
King Henry`s first wife was his brothers widow, Catherine of Aragon. She gave born to a daughter, Mary. They were married, mostly happy, for 23 years, then he wanted to get divorced from Queen Catherine to marry Anne Boleyn. The pope refused to annul the marriage, and Henry was forced to break with the Roman Catholic Church, and to declare himself Supreme head of the Church of England. Then he obtained a divorce from Catherine, and he married Anne Boleyn.
She gave birth to a daughter, Elisabeth, who would one day turn out to be one of the greatest monachs the world had ever known. Henry`s marriage with Anne were not happy, and she was not able to give him a son. To get rid of her, Anne was false accused of plotting against the King`s life. She was arrested and executed.
Some weeks later Henry married Jane Seymour, and she gave him a calm and peaceful home life. Best of all, she gave birth to a son, Edward. But, shortly after his birth, Jane died of childbed fever. Three years later he married Anne of Cleves, based on the desire to form an allianse with Protestant Germany. They didn`t got any children and agreed to divorce after a while. After the divorce they became close friends.
Then he married a pretty young lady, Katherine Howard. After a year Henry was told that she had a lover, and that she wasn`t pure and innocent when they got married either. Katherine was found guilty of treason against the King and was executed in 1542.
Henry`s sixth wife was young widow, Katherine Parr. They were married until Henry`s death in 1547. Some people remember King Henry Vlll as a King who was married 6 times, and accused for the murder of 2 of his wifes.