The Great Matter

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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.

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…


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