Henry, the son of
Henry VII and Elizabeth
of York, was born at Greenwich Palace June 28 1491
Left: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, centre: right: Jane Seymour.
Left: Anne of Cleves, centre: Catherine Howard, right: Katherine Parr
On June 11th 1509, within weeks of succeeding his father, Henry VII to the throne, Henry VIII married Catherine, the widow of his brother, Arthur. She was a daughter of Fernando II, the King of the powerful Spanish Empire. Six feet tall, rich, handsome, talented and only eighteen-years-old, Henry VIII was crowned in Westminster Abbey a few days later.
When Prince Henry was born on January 1st 1511, guns were fired in salute, bonfires were lit in the streets and bells rang throughout the country to celebrate the birth of an heir to the English throne. Two months later the prince was dead.
The problems of succession were not helped when relations with
France broke down. In the summer of 1511 Henry VIII response was create an
alliance with Spain in preparation for war in Europe. He built up the army and
navy, constructing a fleet of more than 50 modern war ships. The resulting
battles with France and Scotland crippled England's finances. In 1536 Henry VIII
united Wales with England and attempted a union with Scotland when he betrothed
his son, Edward, to Mary, Queen of Scots. But the Scots were not willing to
accept the arrangement.
In March 1547 his widow, Katerine Parr, married Thomas Seyour. She died and was buried at Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, September 7 1548.
Whitehall Palace, where Henry VIII died.