King Henry VIII
Henry Tudor was the King of England from 1509 to his death on January 28, 1547. He was in succession to the throne after the death of his father. His only male surviving child, Edward VI, from his marriage with Jane Seymour became the King after his death. Apart from this he also had two daughters Mary and Elizabeth who also became the Queen by chance.
Despite being most famous for his six wives, King Henry VIII greatest achievements were in the field of politics, religion and military campaigns. He is also famous for being the father of one of the greatest queens that England has ever known; Elizabeth I.
Henry VIII Accomplishments
Henry VIII Accomplishments Religiously
- In the early years of his life, around the year 1520, a book was written by King Henry VIII named as the ” Declaration of the Seven Sacraments Against Martin Luther” with Sir Thomas More.
- Henry was brought up in the Catholic faith, as such when he became king he was granted the title of ‘Defender of the Faith’ in 1521 by the then pope, Pope Leo X, a title which is still held by the monarch today.
- Henry was the major force behind the Reformation which saw the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 and saw the religion of the country being changed from Catholic to Protestant, with Henry being declared the Head of the Church of England.
- The dissolution of the monasteries saw all of the money and lands which had previously belonged to a number of religious orders being removed and given to the crown, making England a much wealthier country as a result.
Henry VIII Accomplishments Militarily
- Henry achieved many military successes one of the greatest being the biggest invasion of France since the reign of Henry V.
- He was also behind the commissioning of England’s first gunship the Mary Rose which was built between 1509 and 1511.
- Henry is also behind the establishment of the Royal Naval Dockyards at Woolwich and Deptford; all of which lead to him being regarded as being the ‘Father of the British Navy’.
- Under the Guidance of King Henry, a war against Scotland called as the Battle of Flodden that was started in 1513 was won resulting to its end in 1517.
- Henry increased the number of battleship to a huge number of 60 from just mere ships of 5 previously.
- He made many coastal fortresses in the years of 1540s to be prepared against the invasion and protect England.
- As a king, Henry renewed the warfare rules in 1542 with both the countries of France and Scotland.
- Under the reign of King Henry, the French armies who entered the English Coast between the years 1545 and 1546 were very badly defeated.
Henry VIII Accomplishments Politically
- As far as politics are concerned it was under Henry’s rule that the nobles of the land lost a lot of their power, it is transferred instead to Parliament and the monarchy instead.
- He brought the new Imperial Concepts in replacement of the Feudal concepts.
- King Henry also passed in 1553 The Act of Appeal that was in favor of the constitutional development
- The dissolution of the monasteries allowed for the creation of new lands and titles all of which were handed out by Henry.
- He was also king when the union of England and Wales took place as well as being granted the title of King of Ireland in 1541 by the Irish parliament.
- His political relations with Spain and Germany were also enhanced and both the sides took great advantage of the political marriages.
Henry VIII Accomplishments Personally
- It all depends on how you term ‘great’. All three of his children went on to take the throne, ensuring the Tudor Dynasty for another generation.
- In his youth, Henry was an energetic man, an accomplished sportsman, a keen musician and was known for having a great level of learning and intelligence.
- Henry embodied everything that a country wanted from their king; he was an experienced horseman, successful huntsman, and quite the athlete. It was only as he grew older and fell into ill health that he became known as a tyrannical king who struck fear into the hearts of the population.
- Henry also had a great sense in music and was desperately interested in it. He produced one of his best composing music called “Greensleeves” which is still famous as it was during that time.
Henry VIII Failures in his lifetime
The fact that he took six wives is enough to say that marriage was not his strong suit. His major setback can be considered as annulling his marriage to Catherine and then Setting his marriage to Anne Boleyn, the second time. But it was very difficult for him to get a divorce.
Pope Clement VII was against the divorce and so he sends Thomas Wolsey to fix this thing. Sir Thomas, Lord Chancellor of England, Archbishop of York was the cardinal of the Catholic Church and an English Bishop was not able to do anything in that matter.
So he decided to break up with the Roman Chruch and create the Church of England where he would be the head of the Church of England. Then later with the help of Thomas Cromwell who was a powerful proponent of the English reformation, his marriage to Catherine was annulled. After that under Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, marrying Anne Boleyn was possible.
His desire to have a son at practically any cost meant that he was cruel to his wives when they could not produce the heir to the throne that he so desired. In many ways he failed as a father, declaring his daughters both illegitimate which meant that they would be unable to claim the throne.
He spent little time with his daughters, leaving them in the care of a governess and protector until they came of age and could be married off. Only later changing his ways when he grew older and placing his daughters back in the line of succession.