The study of Henry VIII and the reformation in England continues to fascinate scholars and historians alike. Recent attention has even been given by Hollywood in the production of “The Other Boleyn Girl,” a major motion picture depicting the lives of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Obviously Hollywood isn’t a suitable source for a scholarly inspection of such a historical event, but the existence of this film does highlight the interest modern society has on the topic. This paper will examine the personal, political, and theological aspects of Henry VIII and the beginning of the English Reformation, and it will also explore the importance of
Henry VIII as one of the reformation’s principal figures.
Prince Henry VIII and His Character Development
Born June 28, 1491 at Greenwich Palace, Henry VIII was the second son and third child of King Henry VII by Elizabeth of York. His brothers were, Arthur (the Crown Prince) and Edmund, Duke of Somerset. His father also had several daughters. Only Henry VIII and his sisters Margaret and Mary survived. Margaret later became Queen of Scotland, while Mary became Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk. Henry VII was a “calculating, austere man who preferred to resolve conflicts by financial settlement.” According to Miles F. Shore,
The upbringing of royal children had a number of special features. Surrounded by adults whose livelihood and chances for lucrative gifts lay in ingratiating themselves with the King, royal children were subjected to a combination of extravagant adulation and brutal discipline that provided excellent preparation for the crown, for it fostered the grandiose sense of uniqueness which would become the psychological concomitant of royal status.
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... separate from Roman Catholicism in favor of their own church. Among these were the wider reformation movements in Europe, and the consolidation of power and the Divine right of the King under English Crown. However, a primary concern for Henry VIII was his need and desire for a male heir. Henry VIII had many character flaws and deficiencies. Through these movements and Henry VIII’s flaws, the English Reformation was born. Through his marriages and his queens, he sought to solidify the Tudor line on the throne. In the end, Henry VIII achieved his goals. His separation from the Roman Catholic Church allowed his multiple marriages, finally leading to the son he wanted. In the process, his reformation movement allowed the creation of a new church. To England, Henry VIII was Christ’s representative, the head of the Church of England, the supreme monarch, the King.
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