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'Overrated and oversexed' How accurate a portrayal is this of Henry VIII?

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'Overrated and oversexed' How accurate a portrayal is this of Henry VIII? Henry VIII probably had an 'overrated and oversexed' image following him. By 1547, the year of Henry's death and consequently the end of his reign, he had had six wives. He also went to great lengths to allow him to get rid of some of these women. For example, when it came to the point in his reign when he wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon he had to go to great lengths to allow this to happen. As a divorcement is not allowed in the Catholic Church, Henry needed to find evidence to support his statement that his marriage was illegal so he could annul Catherine. An annulment states the marriage was not valid in the first place, and only the pope has the right to grant such a process, this was just one of the causes of the break with Rome in 1533. To carry out the annulment Henry needed to be in charge of the English Church. ...read more.


The Truce of Nice signed by Charles V and Francis I brought a halt to the Habsburg - Valois war and created the real possibility of a joint invasion of England by the Catholic powers. This threat lasted up until 1540, and prompted Henry to rediscover the six articles. Also Henry's commitment to the Catholic belief was further confirmed with the trial and execution of John Lambert for his rejection of the transubstantiation. With the reformation came financial implications that would benefit Henry. The Act for first fruits and tenths meant that clerical taxes would now go to the King rather than the pope. Also the two acts for Dissolutions of the monasteries, first in 1536 and then in 1539 gave Henry access to more financial benefits. This was because after the dissolutions the crown inherited the land that they were on and the surroundings. Rich nobles would then purchase the land and the money would go to Henry. This helped him to recoup some of the money he had spent during his reign, the money that his father, Henry VII, had saved during his rule. ...read more.


Overall, Henry's relationships with the rest of Europe were rather good, although this was probably because England didn't really get too involved with the main battles of this time. This was never Henry's main priority; I feel he just wanted to keep England from getting attacked. His main achievement was in gaining a bloodless break from Rome. Henry's image by the end of his reign was slightly different to the one portrayed in the 1520's. He had done his best to fulfil his role as warrior - king. The victory at Boulogne would live on in popular memory for the rest of his life. However he had provoked real hostility in his personal life - his rejection of Catherine of Aragon and his series of new wives gave people a negative view on him as a person. Fortunately, given the time period and what was happening in central Europe, Henry kept England mainly at piece during his reign. I do think that Henry VIII was slightly overrated as a King. He didn't do anything drastically wrong but he didn't exactly do much to help the people. If a peasant at the time had been asked what has Henry done for you, I feel they might have been speechless. ...read more.

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