Henry VIII Key Dates


Henry VIII Key Dates 1509-1513

1509- Henry VII dies and King Henry VIII succeeds to the throne, court is unaware of Henry VII’s death for three days to prevent any challenge to Henry VIII’s claim.

1511- Henry gets court’s approval to go to war with France, Henry is still very young at this point and  yearns for war a glory and looks to influences like Henry V and King Author the Great for inspiration in war and foreign policy, particularly wants to follow Henry V’s example at the Battle of Agincourt.

1512- In April England officially declares war on France and in June the campaign against the French begins in Southwest France.

1513- England invades Calais with an army of 35,000 men; Queen Catherine of Aragon (Henry VIII’s wife) plays regent in Henry’s departure. On the 9th of September while Henry is in France James IV;   King of Scotland and 30,000 men invade northern England and Catherine who is playing regent having been taught military principles by her father as a child dispatches men to defeat the Scottish, King James IV and 10,000 men are killed at the ‘Battle of Flodden’ leaving the 18 month old infant James V to succeed to the throne, with his mother Margaret; sister to Henry VIII and James V’s mother as protector. 

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Henry VIII Key Dates 1515-1520

1515- Cardinal Wolsey appointed as Lord Chancellor of England by King Henry VIII, he is now one of the most powerful men in England able to influence the King who doesn’t trust his nobles and is known throughout his reign for appointing commoners to do jobs that belong to people in the nobility who were ‘born to it’.

1516- Mary Tudor the future Mary I, the only surviving child of Catherine of Aragon is born much to Henry’s disappointment although he does show Mary a lot of affection until her bastardization following her mother’s divorce to Henry VIII.

1520- Henry meets Francis I at the ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold’. This was meeting between the Kings in a Field just outside of Calais and was followed by two weeks of extravagant entertainment, and the Kings trying to outdo each other with clothes jewels and other expenses, this shows the love-hate relationship England and France always had throughout Henry VIII’s reign. 

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Henry VIII Key Dates 1521-1525

1521- Henry VIII is granted with the title ‘Defender of the Faith’  Since 1516, the reforming ideas of German theologian Martin Luther had spread through Europe and were seen as a major threat by the Catholic Church. Protestantism reached England very quickly, but its growth was to be dramatically accelerated as a result of Henry's attempts to secure a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.   

1525- ‘The Amicable Grant’ is introduced by Thomas Wolsey; it was essentially a forced loan levied one third of the clergy’s and laity’s income. Henry needed an additional £800,000 to mount an invasion on France but knew he would not get the parliament’s approval because of the expense of a war and the long term unsuccessfulness and expense he suffered from previous campaigns against France. Tensions over the Amicable Grant boiled over and a rebellion broke out in Suffolk which resulted in a tax payers strike, Wolsey was forced to abandon the idea.

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Henry VIII Key Dates 1526-1529

1526- Henry VIII notices Anne at court, the sister of Mary Boleyn with whom he has a short term liaison, Henry becomes intrigued and almost obsessed by her and falls madly in love, he begins to make advances, although they turn out unsuccessful as Anne claims that she is still a ‘maid’ and will only give her ‘maidenhead’ to her husband.

1527- Henry VIII appeals to the pope to annul his marriage on the grounds that Catherine of Aragon was previously married to his brother and the bible forbids a man to marry his brother’s wife. He wanted the annulment so he could marry Anne Boleyn but the pope stalled in giving him the annulment in the fear that he may anger Charles V holy roman emperor; the most powerful ruler in Europe and Catherine’s nephew.

1529- Henry VIII removes Thomas Wolsey from all posts at court essentially sacking him and he is removed from the King’s favour and all his wealth is lost. This sudden fall from favour leads Thomas Wolsey to take his own life.

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Henry VIII Key Dates 1532-1534

1532- After tireless persuasion from Henry VIII parliament grants Henry title ‘Supreme Head of the Church of England as far as the law of Christ allows…’ later the ‘as far as the law of Christ allows’ is removed to give Henry ultimate freedom and to ensure that no one can ever challenge his supremacy in England, he uses this to grant himself a divorce and marry Anne Boleyn in 1533.

1533- Henry marries Anne in secret in January, and she is officially crowned as Queen of England in June, by then being heavily pregnant to the child Henry believes to be a son, but Anne gives birth to a baby girl on 7 Sept the future Elizabeth I at Greenwich, this is the only living child from the marriage. An act is passed in parliament that states that all children from his marriage to Anne will be first in line to the throne. 

1534- Henry is confirmed as ‘Supreme Head of the Church’ and an oath is produced that has to be signed by all subjects swearing that they acknowledge this, anyone who refuses to sign it are charged with treason and executed. 

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