Henry VIII (28 June 1491–28 January 1547) was King of England and Lord of Ireland (later King of Ireland) from 22 April 1509 until his death. He was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, succeeding his father, Henry VII. He is famous for having been married six times and for wielding the most untrammelled power of any British monarch. Notable events during his reign included the break with Rome, and the subsequent establishment of the independent Church of England, the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the union of England and Wales.
Several significant pieces of legislation were enacted during Henry VIII’s reign. They included the several Acts which severed the English Church from the Roman Catholic Church and established Henry as the head of the Church in England, the Acts of Union 1536-1543 (which united England and Wales into one nation), the Buggery Act 1533 (the first anti-sodomy enactment in England), and the Witchcraft Act 1542 (which punished «invoking or conjuring an evil spirit» with death).
Henry is known to have been an avid gambler and dice player. He excelled at sport—especially royal tennis—during his youth. He was also an accomplished musician, author, and poet; according to legend, he wrote the popular folk song Greensleeves. He was also involved in the construction and improvement of several buildings, including King’s College Chapel, Christ Church, Oxford, Hampton Court Palace, Nonsuch Palace and Westminster Abbey.
Questions about the text
1. Henry VIII was born in 1491.
We don’t know.
2. How many wives did Henry VIII have?
3. Henry VIII established
the Church of England.
4. Who was the head of the Church of England?
Queen Elizabeth II.
5. What game did Henry like playing?
6. What was Henry’s favourite sport when he was young?
7. Was Henry a good musician?
We don’t know.