Essay On King Henry Viii

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King Henry VIII is regarded as one of England’s most iconic and controversial kings. Henry assumed the throne in 1509, succeeding his father Henry VII, and reigning until his death in 1547. He ruled with considerable power and was viewed as an accomplished king and an intellectual, but although he claimed to be a believer in the Catholic theological teachings, Henry is most renowned for his six marriages and his role in the English Reformation and the separation of The Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. Shortly after Henry inherited the throne, he became betrothed to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Henry so desperately desired to give England a male heir, but Catherine was not able to provide him with one. Henry soon began to have affairs with many different women and wished to annul his marriage to Catherine in order to marry Anne Boleyn, a decision that would reject papal authority and ultimately initiate the English Reformation. Around the time of Henry’s early reign, Henry was a devout Catholic. It was during this time that Martin Luther posted his Ninety Five Theses, rejecting the practices of the Catholic Church. Henry responded to these Theses by writing a dissertation titled, Assertio Septem Sacramentorum, or the “Defense of the Seven Sacraments,” in 1521. It was this work, defending the papal supremacy and dedicated to Pope Leo X of Rome, that earned Henry the title of Fidei Defensor, or “Defender of the Faith,” (Betteridge). This title was soon questioned as Henry adamantly sought to annul his marriage from Catherine. He believed that by marrying his brother’s widow, he was going against the Bible, where in Leviticus Chapter 20 Verse 16 it states, “If a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an ... ... middle of paper ... responsible for the dissolution of the monasteries. By removing the legal authority of the Pope in England and Through the Act of Supremacy, Henry declared that he alone had the power of authority and reform in his church (Bowker). After separating from the Catholic Church during the Reformation, Henry instituted many decrees that dealt with the positions of the king and pope and ultimately laid the foundation for the Church of England (The Church of England). Acts such as the “Supplication Against the Ordinaries” and the “Submission of the Clergy” recognized Royal Supremacy over the church. The “Act of Supremacy” recognized Henry as "the only Supreme Head in Earth of the Church of England" and the “Treason Act” declared it treason and therefore punishable by death to refuse the “Oath of Supremacy” in which Henry’s subjects had to declare their loyalty to him.
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