HENRY VIII ACCESSION – 2009 FRACTIONAL SOVEREIGN SET OF 3
Henry VIII is one of the most famous monarchs in English history. He ruled with an iron fist, yet he was also a man of culture with an acute understanding of the politics and religious developments of his time. The second son of Henry VII, Henry was born in June 1491. His elder brother, Arthur, died aged sixteen and Henry married Arthur’s widow, Catherine of Aragon, as a sign of friendship between England and Spain.
The marriage was initially happy, but the failure to sire a male heir led him to seek an annulment from the Pope that would allow him to marry again. In the meantime, Henry had secretly married his new love, Anne Boleyn, and had declared the earlier marriage invalid. Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn produced no living male heir either, and she was executed following a trial for treason and adultery.
Following her death in 1536, he married one of Anne’s ladies-in-waiting, Jane Seymour, who gave birth to a son, Edward. Henry then entered into a marriage of convenience with Anne of Cleves, lasting only six months. He next wed Catherine Howard, who was executed for adultery a year later; and the last of his six marriages was to Catherine Parr in 1543.