Henry VIII was born on June 28, 1491, in Greenwich Place,
England. He died on January 28, 1547, in Whitehall, England.
Shift in European Power
Before the 1400's, Europe had been centered around the Mediterranean
Sea. There had been strong governments in Greece and Rome.
During the 1400's, Europe was seeing
a shift in power from the Mediterranean nations to the nations
in Northern and Western Europe.
Christopher Columbus sailed for Spain.
In 1492, Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean and discovered
the New World. He was the first European to cross the Atlantic
Vasco da Gama sailed for Portugal.
In 1499, da Gama discovered a trade route around the tip of
Africa to the Indies. The tip of Africa is called the Cape
of Good Hope.
These explorations led to an expansion
of both Spain's and Portugal's economic power.
Europe was also experiencing a change
in political power. In France, Louis XII replaced Francis
I. In Spain, Charles of Ghent succeeded Ferdinand.
The Renaissance swept through Europe from the 1400's to the
Renaissance is a French word meaning
"rebirth." During this time, Europe was experiencing a "rebirth"
of painting, sculpting, literature, architecture, and science.
Europe was relearning the lessons of ancient Greece and Rome.
Florence, Italy was the center
of the Renaissance movement.
Two famous Renaissance artists are
Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
People did not have religious freedom. Each country decided
which religion to follow. The people had no choice and had
to follow the religion of their country.
During this time, however, people began
to question the authority of the Church. One of these people
was Martin Luther.
Martin Luther was a German theologian.
He thought the Catholic Church abused their power.
In 1517, Luther posted his 95 theses
to the door of the Wittenberg Castle in Germany. Luther then
formed the first Protestant congregation which broke off from
the Catholic Church in protest. This began the Protestant
The Protestant Reformation was a religious
movement which divided Christians into Catholics and Protestants.
Catholics followed the Pope who was the head of the Church
in Rome. Protestants left the Catholic Church.
of Cambridge & Trinity College
The University of Cambridge was founded
in 1209, in Cambridge, England. It has evolved over the years
to become the popular and well respected University that exists
today. In addition, the University of Cambridge is one of
the oldest universities in the world and one of the largest
in the United Kingdom.
In the beginning (early 1200s), scholars
migrated and settled in Cambridge. By 1226, there were enough
scholars in Cambridge to set up an organization represented
by a Chancellor and arrange a regular course study taught
by its own members.
It soon became necessary to distinguish
the scholars who had been granted a degree. This was marked
with a ceremony of admission to the different grades (known
as a graduation). The grades of the scholars were differentiated
by variations on the cap, gown, and hoods. Many of these practices
are prominent today.
The University of Cambridge was made
up of different Colleges. The first College, St. Peter's or
Peterhouse, was founded in 1284. King's Hall was founded in
1317. In the 1400s, the following Colleges were founded: Michaelhouse,
Clare, Pembroke, Gonville Hall, Trinity Hall (not the same
as Trinity College), Corpus Christi, King's, Queens', and
In 1546, Henry VIII founded Trinity
College from the existing Colleges of King's Hall and Michaelhouse.
Henry wanted this College to produce future leaders of the
reformed 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, it is the largest
of the thirty-one Colleges which make up the University of
Cambridge. Also, its alumni consists of brilliant people,
including Sir Isaac Newton and 31 Nobel Prize winners.
Did you know
the city of Cambridge took its name from the bridge
across the River Cam?