Why did Henry VIII break via Rome?

King Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church is one of the a lot of far-getting to events in English background. Throughout the Reformation, the King reinserted the Pope as the Head of the Church in England, causing a bitter divide in between Catholics and also Protestants. But why did Henry make such a drastic split?

Why did Henry VIII break through Rome?

In 1509 Henry married his initially wife Catherine of Aragon. Catherine of Aragon had actually been the wife of Henry’s older brother, Arthur, who had actually passed away aged 15. When Arthur died Henry came to be first in line to the throne. Henry’s father, Henry VII died in 1509. A few months later, Henry was married and had been crowned King Henry VIII.

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Although Catherine was pregnant salso times in the time of her marriage to Henry, only one baby made it through past infanthood – their daughter Mary. This was negative news for Henry, that wanted a male heir to carry on the Tudor line. Henry did not watch his daughter as an heir at all.

For a Tudor king, having a strong line of succession and also a male heir to the throne was imperative. After Henry VII beat Rictough III in 1485 he became the first Tudor king.

Although he had actually secured the throne, the truth that he had actually done so with violence fairly than lineage made his place unsteady. This supposed that for his boy Henry VIII, a male heir was vital to steustatiushistory.orgntinuing the line of Tudor emperors. Having a male heir would certainly stabilise Henry’s power. 

After Catherine’s ‘failure’ to develop an heir, Henry came to be interested in one of Catherine’s ladies-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn.


Anne Boleyn, by an unresteustatiushistory.orggnized artist, (c) National Portrait Gallery, London
This loss of interemainder in Catherine was partly because Henry thought that his absence of heir was punishment from God for marrying his brother’s wife.

Henry wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, and also thought she might produce an heir, but he was still married to Catherine.

When he unsteustatiushistory.orgvered that Anne Boleyn was pregnant, Henry arranged to marry her in secret at Whitehall Palace - this marked the start of the break with Rome.

Henry had asked Pope Clement VII for his marriage to Catherine to be dissolved, yet the Pope would not agree.

Part of the reason that the Pope refused was because Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, had actually taken manage of Rome - and also Charles V was Catherine’s nephew.

When Henry privately married Anne, he was exinteracted from the Catholic Church.

In 1534 yet, Henry pumelted through the Act of Supremacy. The Act made him, and also all of his heirs, Supreme Head of the Church of England. This intended that the Pope no longer hosted religious authority in England also, and Henry was totally free to divorce Catherine.

Henry and also Anne did have a kid, however it was another girl. She would certainly end up being Elizabeth I.


Queen Elizabeth I ("The Ditchley portrait"), by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (c) National Portrait Gallery, London
Henry went on to marry 4 more times in his search for an heir.

Find out even more around Henry VIII"s wives

Dissolution of the monasteries

This break with Rome not only intended that Henry can divorce Catherine of Aragon. It additionally made him rich.

The Crown seized the land that monasteries were stood on, and also the items and also wide range inside them were offered off. The monasteries were disbanded, Henry declared their earnings, and the money was supplied to money wars awide and pay off debts.

This was well-known as the dissolution of the abbeys.

Was Henry a Protestant?

Despite breaking through Rome and overthrowing the authority of the Pope, Henry never before became a Protestant himself. However before, Edward VI, the kid he eventually had via this 3rd wife Jane Seymour, was raised Protestant.


Edward VI, by an unresteustatiushistory.orggnized artist after William Scrots, (c) National Portrait Gallery, London

What taken place after Henry VIII?

After Henry passed away, his child Edward VI ruled as a Protestant king through the aid of his ‘protectors’ - he was only 15 years old. Laws were passed to enforce Protestant doctrine, and also Catholic bishops were imprisoned in the Tower of London.

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After Edward passed away, his sister Mary became Queen, repealed the Act of Supremacy and also brought back Catholicism in England. Her persecution of Protestants earned her the nickname ‘Bloody Mary’.

When Elizabeth I became Queen she attempted to please both sides. She brought back the Act of Supremacy yet named herself the ‘Supreme Governor’ fairly than the Head of the Church of England. Elizabeth did not desire international powers involved in the church or state, yet also did not want to anger or upset either side.