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Henry viii wives homework help

King Henry VIII

Henry VIII was a famous Tudor king. Most people remember him for having six different wives.

Henry VIII had many interests – he loved sports and music, he was a good fighter in a battle, and he was well educated. He began the English Reformation that established the Church of England, he united England and Wales and he had three children who each went on to rule England after he died.

Top 10 facts

  1. Henry VIII was born on 28 June 1491 in London, at Greenwich Palace.
  2. Henry became the King of England at age 17 in 1509, when his father, Henry VII, died.
  3. Just before Henry VIII became king, he married Catherine of Aragon.
  4. Henry VIII divorced Catherine of Aragon in 1533, and married Anne Boleyn.
  5. Henry VIII grew up as a Catholic, but established the Protestant Church of England when the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church, wouldn’t let him divorce Catherine of Aragon.
  6. Henry VIII married four more times – he had six wives in total.
  7. From his six marriages, Henry VIII only had three children who lived. Each of them (Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I), in turn, ruled England after he died.
  8. Henry VIII enjoyed being outdoors and getting exercise. He loved hunting, playing games like tennis, dancing and reading. He also loved eating, and became very fat as he got older and couldn’t exercise as much.
  9. Henry loved luxury – he was very well dressed, and wore velvet robes with gold trim and jewels, and rebuilt and redecorated his rooms at Hampton Court Palace at least six times! In 1540, Hampton Court was the most modern and magnificent palace in the world.
  10. He died in 1547, and is buried at Windsor Castle next to his favourite wife, Jane Seymour.

King Henry VIII timeline

The Pope gave Henry the title, ‘Defender of the Faith’, because of how much he supported the Catholic Church

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Did you know?

  • Henry was not born to be king – he became the heir to the throne at age 11 when his older brother Arthur died.
  • Described as ‘a golden prince’, Henry wrote music and poetry when he was a young man.
  • Henry VIII wanted people to be good at shooting a bow and arrow. In fact, he made it the law that no one age 24 or older could shoot at a target less than 200 metres away – that’s longer than a football pitch!
  • Henry was very tall for Tudor times: he was 1.87m tall (6ft 2in) at a time when the average man in London was 1.70m (5ft 5in).
  • Henry VIII’s favourite battleship was called the Mary Rose. It sank in 1545.
  • Henry got married six different times but only his sixth wife outlived him. Two of Henry VIII’s wives were beheaded on his command – Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.
  • Henry VIII met his second wife Anne Boleyn because she was one of his first wife Catherine of Aragon’s maids. He eventually divorced Catherine so he could marry Anne. Anne Boleyn was Queen Elizabeth I’s mum.
  • To help you remember about King Henry VIII’s six wives and what happened to them, learn this mnemonic: ‘Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived.’
  • Henry didn’t like it when other important people in his court disagreed with him. Sometimes he’d send them to the Tower of London to be executed!
  • One of Henry VIII’s hobbies was falconry, which is a kind of hunting using trained birds of prey called hawks. He also loved jousting, wrestling and playing tennis.
  • As well as establishing the Church of England, Henry allowed the Bible to be translated into English and published.

Henry VIII image gallery

  • An illustration of Henry VIII
  • King Henry’s six wives
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • The ceiling of the Chapel in Hampton Court
  • Henry VIII as a young man, around the time he was crowned king
  • Henry VIII around age 30
  • Henry VIII in later years
  • Catherine of Aragon
  • Anne Boleyn (and her signature)
  • Jane Seymour
  • Anne of Cleves
  • Catherine Howard
  • Catherine Parr
  • Thomas More
  • Thomas Cranmer
  • Thomas Cromwell



Henry VIII became king when his father, Henry VII, died in 1509. Henry had an older brother, Arthur, but he died in 1502 which meant that Henry was next in line to the throne.

Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, was first married to his brother Arthur. They’d only been married a few months when he died. Henry married Catherine seven years later.

Henry was given the title ‘Defender of the Faith’ by the Pope because of his support of the Catholic Church. Henry’s support only went so far, though – when the Church wouldn’t let him divorce Catherine of Aragon, he decided that he, not the Pope, was the Head of the Church in England. The First Act of Supremacy in November 1534 established Henry VIII as the head of the church, which meant the Pope didn’t have any say in religious matters in England. This time in history is also called the English Reformation.

One of the things Henry VIII did as the Head of the Church of England was to close monasteries, which were Catholic institutions. Some monastery ruins that we can see today are a result of this time, known as the dissolution of monasteries.

Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, only had one child who survived – a girl named Elizabeth, who would later become Queen Elizabeth I. Henry VIII really wanted a boy though, and became angry with Anne. Other people started to not like Anne either, and she was arrested and executed at the Tower of London.

Before Anne died, Henry VIII had met Jane Seymour, whom he married a few days after Anne’s execution. She gave birth to a boy (Edward), which is what Henry really wanted, but then died a few days after Edward was born.

Henry VIII’s fourth wife was Anne of Cleves, from Germany. They didn’t meet before deciding to get married, and by the time the King did see her he wasn’t very impressed. He thought the marriage was a mistake, so divorced her.

Henry VIII’s fifth wife was Catherine Howard. They got married a few days after Henry VIII divorced Anne of Cleves. Catherine was executed a couple of years later because Henry VIII thought she loved someone else.

Henry VIII got married one last time to Catherine Parr in 1543, and he remained married to her for the rest of his life (four years).

Henry VIII wanted a son so badly because it meant that when he died, there wouldn’t be anyone else who might try to claim that they should be king instead of Henry’s child. Even though princesses could be Queen, things were clearer when titles could pass from father to son.

Famous friends

Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536) – Catherine of Aragon was Henry VIII’s first wife. She had previously married Henry’s brother Arthur, who died a few months after the wedding. Catherine and Henry had just one child who lived – a daughter named Mary, who would later become Queen. Henry divorced Catherine so he could marry Anne Boleyn, but in order to do that he broke his ties with the Catholic Church (who wouldn’t let him get divorced) and became Protestant.

Anne Boleyn (c.1501-1536) – Anne Boleyn was a maid to Catherine of Aragon, and was one of the main reasons why Henry VIII wanted to divorce Catherine. The two were married in 1533, and Anne gave birth to Elizabeth later that year – Elizabeth would later become Queen. Like Catherine of Aragon, Anne didn’t give Henry VIII a son. She became very unpopular, and was executed in 1536.

Jane Seymour (c. 1509-1537) – Jane married Henry VIII a few days after Anne Boleyn was executed. She was Henry’s favourite wife, and was the only one to give birth to a son – Edward, who became king after Henry VIII died. Sadly, Jane died a few days after Edward was born. She and Henry VIII are buried together at Windsor Castle.

Anne of Cleves (1515-1557) – Anne of Cleves was born in Germany. Henry VIII chose to marry her after seeing a portrait of her, but then didn’t like her very much when they actually met. Their marriage only lasted a few months, but Anne stayed in England after they were divorced. She became friends with Henry VIII’s daughter Mary.

Catherine Howard (c.1518/24-1542) – Nobody really knows when Catherine Howard was born. She married Henry VIII in 1540, a few weeks after he divorced Anne of Cleves. They met because she had been one of Anne’s ladies in waiting. They were only married a couple of years – Catherine may have had a love affair with another man, and the King was so furious about the rumours that she was thrown into the Tower of London and later executed.

Catherine Parr (1512-1548) – Catherine Parr married Henry VIII in 1543, a little over a year after Catherine Howard was executed. She was good friends with all three of Henry VIII’s children. She married once more after Henry VIII died in 1547 (her fourth marriage), but then died herself after giving birth to a daughter in 1548.

Thomas Cromwell (c.1485-1540) – Thomas Cromwell was Henry VIII’s chief minister for eight years. He was very supportive of Henry’s plans to break ties with the Catholic Church, and he helped Henry legally divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. A few years later, Thomas also arranged Henry’s marriage with Anne of Cleves, which Henry wasn’t happy with. Thomas was sent to the Tower of London and executed in 1540.

Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) – Thomas Cranmer was the Archbishop of Canterbury during both Henry VIII’s and Edward VI’s reigns. He helped Thomas Cromwell in arranging for Henry to divorce Catherine of Aragon. When Mary I became Queen and changed the national religion of England to Catholicism, Thomas was in trouble because he was Protestant. He was put in prison, and executed in 1556.

Thomas More (1478-1535) – Thomas More was a trusted friend of Henry VIII and an important philosopher in Tudor times. But, he was also a devout Catholic which made things difficult when Henry wanted to break ties with the Catholic Church and the Pope. He also disagreed with Henry’s plans to divorce Catherine of Aragon. He was executed at the Tower of London in 1535, just under a year before Anne Boleyn was killed.

Henry viii wives homework help

Henry Vlll is probably the most well known of the Tudor kings. He was a very selfish person and by the end of his life everyone was afraid of him, mainly because of his ruthless behaviour toward anyone who didn’t agree with him.
See Henry Vlll timeline

Henry Vlll was born at Greenwich Palace, London on 28 June 1491 and was the second son of Henry Vll and Elizabeth of York (daughter of Edward lV). He became Prince of Wales and heir to the throne on the death of his elder brother, Prince Arthur, in 1502.

When did Henry become king?

He succeeded to the throne after his father’s death on 21 April 1509. He was 17 years old when he became king.

Henry built fine palaces, and fought wars against France and Scotland.


Tall and thickset, with blue-grey eyes, short auburn hair and a beard.

Henry Vll l was handsome in his youth, but became bloated and fat (he had a 54-inch waist when he was 50).

He dressed lavishly, wearing a gold collar with a diamond as big as a walnut and many jewelled rings.


Henry Vll l brought religious upheaval to England. When he became king, most people belonged to the Catholic Church, which was headed by the Pope, in Rome. In 1534, Henry broke away from the Catholic Church and proclaimed himself head of the Church of England. The land and riches of the church became Henry’s property and he sold off most of this land to dukes, barons and other noblemen.

Sport / Hobbies

Henry Vll l was a great athlete in his youth. Henry threw the javelin and enjoyed hunting, archery, jousting and tennis. He spoke French, Spanish, Latin and some Italian and was a good musician. Henry played the lute and harpsichord well and could sing from sight.


Henry Vlll lived at Hampton Court Palace in London.

Family Life

Henry Vll l wanted a son to rule after him. He first married his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon but divorced her when she did not produce a male heir to the throne. He married three times more before a son was born. In total he married six times!

How many children did Henry VIII have?

Henry Vlll had three children – Mary (by Catherine of Aragon), Elizabeth (by Anne Boleyn) and Edward (by Jane Seymour). Each became a monarch – Edward Vl, Mary l (or Mary Tudor) and Elizabeth l in that order.

His son, Edward Vl ruled for six years after Henry’s death, he became King at age 9 and died at age 15. Henry’s daughter Mary ruled for the next five years, but also died without children. Finally, Henry’s last surviving child, Elizabeth I became Queen, and ruled for 45 years.

Henry died in St James’s Palace, Westminster, around 2 am on Friday 28 January 1547, aged 55 years. His funeral procession to Windsor was four miles long. He was buried at Windsor Castle beside his third wife, Jane Seymour.

Important events during the reign of Henry Tudor (Henry Vlll)

  1. King Henry Vlll, Henry’s son, successfully united England and Wales under one system of government. The two countries were joined in 1536.
  2. Henry Vlll wanted a male heir, but his wife had not given birth to a son. Henry wanted to divorce her and take a new wife. The Roman Catholic Church refused to grant the divorce. In order to gain his divorce, Henry had to establish the Church of England and end Catholicism.
    Henry passed a law in 1534 making himself head of the Church of England. This act allowed him to divorce his wife and led to the formation of the Protestant Church of England. The Protestant movement was known as the Reformation .

King Henry VIII and the Tudors
An interactive site. It’s gruesome! There’s some great gory pictures on the ‘Wives’ page so beware! Why did Henry have so many wives? Who was Mary Rose?

Who was the next King or Queen?

Henry’s son, Edward became the next king.

Edward was the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour.
He was never a healthy King and died aged only 15 years.

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