Henry VIII was the King of England
from 1509 to 1547. He was one of England's most powerful
rulers. He was also one the most famous Tudor Kings.
During his reign, England became the center of Renaissance
Henry VIII was born in Greenwich
Place, England, on June 28, 1491. His birth name was
Henry Tudor. He was the second son of Henry VII (King
of England) and Elizabeth of York. Henry was not the
heir to the throne because he was the second son. However,
Henry's older brother, Arthur, died, and Henry became
War of the Roses
From 1455 to 1485, England was divided between two families
fighting for control of the throne. The two families
were the House of York and the House of Lancaster. Each
house was represented by a rose. The House of York used
a white rose, and the House of Lancaster used a red
rose. The division between the two families became known
as The War of the Roses.
The War of the Roses ended when
Henry VII (representing the Lancaster family) and Elizabeth
of York (representing the York family) were married.
This marriage united the two families, and Henry VII
became the first Tudor King of England.
The Tudor family is represented by the Tudor Rose. It
is a rose which combines both a red and a white rose.
The Tudor Rose symbolized the union between the red
rose of the House of Lancaster and the white rose of
the House of York.
The union of the two families
was reaffirmed when the son of Henry VII and Elizabeth
of York became King. This King was Henry VIII. Henry
VIII's coronation stabilized the throne in England.
He was a strong king and ruled for many years. Did
you know Henry VIII's coronation
took place at Westminster Abbey?
The Renaissance was spreading throughout Europe during
Henry's reign. Renaissance is a French word meaning
"rebirth." It was a time of great achievements in painting,
sculpture, literature, architecture, and science.
Henry had a strong interest in
culture and education. He was influential in bringing
the Renaissance to England. The Renaissance culture
continued in England through the reign of Elizabeth
I. Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII.
Changed the Monarchy
Henry founded the modern English nation. He was the
link between medieval and modern England.
Henry unified and centralized
the administrative power, increased the role of the
Parliament, and improved England's naval defenses. In
1536, the Act of Union between England and Wales brought
Wales into union with England.
Church of England
In 1533, Henry broke with the
Catholic Church in Rome. He established the Church of
England and became its Supreme Head. This led to a major
shift in the religious power in England and Europe.
The University of Cambridge
is made up of several Colleges. Two of these Colleges
were King's Hall and Michaelhouse. In 1546, Henry combined
these Colleges and founded Trinity College to produce
future leaders of the Church of England.
Henry chose King's Hall because
of its connection with the Royal Court and public service.
This royal connection remains today, and several members
of the royal family have been members of Trinity College.
During the first 100 years, Trinity
College grew in size and importance. Today, Trinity
College is the largest of the thirty-one Colleges which
make up the University of Cambridge. Also, the alumni
of Trinity College consists of many brilliant people,
including Sir Isaac Newton and 31 Nobel Prize winners.
you know the University of Cambridge is one
of the oldest universities in the world and one of the
largest in the United Kingdom? Did
you know the city of Cambridge took its name
from the bridge across the River Cam?
Henry had three children
named Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward. Mary was the daughter
of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Elizabeth was
the daughter of his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Edward
was the son of his third wife, Jane Seymour. (Henry
had a total of six wives.)
When Henry died, Edward became
King. His name was Edward VI. However, Edward died six
years later without any children, and his half-sister,
Mary, became Queen. Her name was Mary I. Mary also died
shortly after taking the throne, and Elizabeth became
Queen. Her name was Elizabeth I. She ruled England for
many years, and her reign is known as the Elizabethan
Henry died at Whitehall, England, on January 28, 1547.
He was 55 years old. He was buried next to his third
wife, Jane Seymour, in St. George's Chapel at Windsor
Trinity College erected a statue
of Henry at the Great Gate. As its founder, Henry's
name is strongly associated with Trinity College.
Henry was a powerful ruler and credited with bringing the Renaissance to England.