King Henry The VIII And His Poor Six Wives: What unbelivable fear they must have lived with day to day.

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His elder brother Arthur, Prince of Wales was the first born son and heir to the throne. When he died after a short illness in 1502, Prince Henry became heir to the throne. A few years later, on April 22’ 1509 king Henry the Vll Prince Henry’s father died. On the same day Henry second son of Henry the Vll was proclaimed king and ascended to the throne, becoming King Henry the eighth, King of England and Ireland. He was crowned on the 24 of June 1509.

At first everyone was happy with the King; he married his Brother Prince Arthurs’ wife Lady Catherine of Aragon in 1509 which he was forced into doing. He was willing and the first years of the marriage were happy ones. Henry and His queen Catherine had many children but sadly only one went on to infancy and adult hood, Mary. By this time King Henry the eighth was becoming bored and impatient, he wanted a son and heir to the throne. Queen Catherine of Aragon was getting older, and Henry felt she could not give him the son he longed for.  When a young woman caught his eye he was smitten, the young woman was Anne Boleyn. She would not become one of King Henry many mistresses. Henry wrote love letters to Anne begging her to be his. But she played hard to get, and would not go to his bed. Henry became obsessed with her. He tried to get a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Saying that their marriage was illegal as Catharine was Prince Arthur’s wife and he Henry had been forced to marry her. The Pope Clement Vll head of the Roman Catholic Church threw out Henrys petition for divorce.  Henry would not let anyone stand against what he wanted. King Henry the eighth broke all bonds with Pope Clement Vll of Rome and the Catholic faith naming his self head of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith.

In 1533 he was able to divorce Catherine of Argon. And also marry in 1533 to Anne Boleyn. Anne gave Henry a boy who only lived for a few days, she also give birth to a girl name Elizabeth who was to become Queen Elizabeth the first. After so much had been sacrificed and so many of Henrys advisers put to death for not doing what Henry wanted, he grew bored with Anne. A trumped up charge of adultery and incest was made against Anne and her bother George. They were tried for treason and found guilty; both were beheaded in the tower of London grounds. Days later in 1536 Henry married Jane Seymour she bore him a son, Edward the first.  She sadly died a few days later from an infection in 1537. This time King Henry took his time it was just over two years before he married Anne of Cleves in January 1540 making her his fourth wife. But the marriage wasn’t to last long, within a few months Henry divorced Anne of Cleves, it was July 1540. Within days Henry married Kathryn Howard making her his fifth wife. She was accused of adultery and found guilty. And beheaded in 1542. Henry’s sixth and last wife was Katherine Parr they married in 1543 she became his widow in 1547. A year after the king died Katherine remarried.  An easy way to remember Henry the eighth’s six wives is DIVORCED, BEHEADED, DIED, DIVORCED, BEHEADED, SURVIVED.

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Viv Eckett


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