|King Henry Viii
King Henry VIII
Henry VIII (born 1491, ruled 1509-1547). The second son of Henry VII
and Elizabeth of York was one of England's strongest and least popular
monarchs. He was born at Greenwich on June 28, 1491. The first English
ruler to be educated under the influence of the Renaissance, he was a
gifted scholar, linguist, composer, and musician. As a youth he was gay and
handsome, skilled in all manner of athletic games, but in later life he
became coarse and fat. When his elder brother, Arthur, died (1502), he
became heir apparent. He succeeded his father on the throne in 1509, and
soon thereafter he married Arthur's young widow, Catherine of Aragon.
During the first 20 years of his reign he left the shaping of policies
largely in the hands of his great counselor, Cardinal Wolsey (See Wolsey,
Cardinal). By 1527 Henry had made up his mind to get rid of his wife. The
only one of Catherine's six children who survived infancy was...