THE GREAT MATTER
THE GREAT MATTER
This was Henry's quest for a male heir as, at the time, women were seen as weak, and he was afraid that if a woman was in charge then England would go back to civil war.
1501 – it starts. Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Isabel of Catstile and Ferdinand of Aragon, marries Arthur Tudor, securing a long-lasting alliance between Spain and England.
1502 – Arthur dies, trapping Catherine in England as her dowry hadn't been paid.
1509 – The Pope grants a dispensation for Henry, Arthur's younger brother, and Catherine to marry. Henry is crowned King of England soon after their marriage.
1516 – Catherine gives birth to Mary. She has further miscarriages, a still born son and a son called Henry, Duke of Cornwall, who dies after 52 days.
1525 – Anne Bolyen is brought to court by her uncle, Duke of Norfolk, to try and influence the King to get rid of Wolsey. The King falls in love with her, even though her sister, Mary had been his mistress and had given him a daughter and a son.
The great matter 2
1527-9 – Henry starts to look for a way to annul his marriage with Catherine as, among other things, Anne Boleyn won't have sex with him until he's almost annulled it. The issue revolved around where Catherine and Arthur had consummated their marriage.
Wolsey tries to annul it quietly using his powers of legate a latere then confirm it through Rome after, Catherine hears of the meeting and appeals to Rome.
Then Henry starts to look for other ways. He finds Leviticus in the Bible, but, Deuteronomy, contradicts Leviticus.
Pope Clement VII was held captive and then was under the control of Charles V so he wouldn't annul it. He sent over his representative, Cardinal Campeggio, who, along with Wolsey, head the Court at Blackfriars.
Cardinal Campeggio suggests that Catherine could be sent to a nunnery where she would take the vows so leave Henry to marry whom he wants, but her stubbornness stops that from happening.
The Court at Blackfriar's ends without a decision being made as Campeggio was told by Clement to delay proceedings and take it to Rome. So, Henry starts to look for more radical ways to get the annulment.
The great matter 3
1530 – Henry, as suggested by Cranmer, gets the views of the finest universities in Europe about the verdict of the Great Matter.
7 favour it, though they probably had been bribed. Under the influence of Cromwell and Anne Boleyn, an act is passed that makes Henry Supreme Head as far as Christ's law allows (1531)
1532 – The Break with Rome is sealed. Cranmer is appointed Archbishop because Henry wants to show Rome that he supports an evangelical archbishop in a hope that the Pope will annul the marriage, also that he knows Cranmer will do any radical decision if that doesn't work. Cranmer annuls the marriage.
1533 – The Pope excommunicates Henry. Anne Boleyn is pregnant by now and her and Henry marry in secret.