“Well beloved subjects, wee thought that the clergie of our realme had been our subjectes wholy, but now we have well perceived that they bee but halfe our subjectes, yea, and scarce our subjectes: for all the prelates at their consecration make an othe to the pope, clene contrary to the the that they make to us, so that they seme to be his subjectes, and not ours.” -Henry VIII, to parliament in 1532
April 21, 1509- The eighteen year old Henry assumes the English throne as the second Tudor monarch, King Henry VIII. Possibly one of England’s most famous and notorious monarch due to his single minded pursuit of a male heir, a pursuit than would lead to multiple divorces, uxoricide, and a break from the Catholic church. These two things greatly overshadowed his active foreign policy and learned, artistic nature. Early on in life he was described as good looking, intelligent, and charismatic but the image that has come down to us stems from Henry later in life, obese, insecure, vain, lewd, and borderline tyrannical.
Picture- Portrait of Henry VIII, Hans Holbein the Younger, 1537-1547