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British Monarchs: Henry VIII (Tudors) 1509-1547


Henry VIII


House: Tudors
Reign: 1509-1547

Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 22 April 1509 until his death. He was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, succeeding his father, Henry VII. Henry VIII is famous for having been married six times to have a son, "divorcing" two by execution, and ultimately breaking with Rome. He wielded perhaps the most untrammelled power of any English monarch, and brought about the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the union of England and Wales.
Several significant pieces of legislation were enacted during Henry VIII's reign. They included the several Acts which severed the English Church from the Roman Catholic Church and established Henry as the supreme head of the Church in England; the Laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542, which united England and Wales into one nation; the Buggery Act 1533, the first anti-sodomy enactment in England; and the Witchcraft Act 1542, which punished 'invoking or conjuring an evil spirit' with death.

Henry VIII is known to have been an avid gambler and dice player. In his youth, he excelled at sports, especially jousting, hunting, and royal tennis. He was also an accomplished musician, author, and poet; his best known piece of music is Pastyme With Good Company (The Kynges Ballade). Henry VIII was also involved in the original construction and improvement of several significant buildings, including Nonsuch Palace, King's College Chapel in Cambridge and Westminster Abbey in London - the existing buildings improved were often properties confiscated from Wolsey (such as Christ Church, Oxford, Hampton Court Palace, palace of Whitehall) and Trinity College, Cambridge.


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