Henry VIII. Reformer of England for good? Or an old fashioned king motivated by his own interest who created more problems in the long term?
Henry VIII inherited a secure throne from his father, Henry VII.
A strong throne
The Tudor Rose. Henry VII, Henry VIII's father, was a brilliant king. He ended the Wars of the Roses and established the Tudor dynasty. This means a family of monarchs that ruled the nation.
Henry VII built up the money in the Royal Treasury making the nation's Government wealthier and saved it from bankruptcy (having no money).
Henry VIII was a glamorous and powerful Renaissance prince - a prince who had a broad education in such things as arts, maths and languages, beyond being a strong fighter and protector of his lands.
Tudor musicians playing instruments. Henry VIII was handsome and vain. He was brilliant at all sport, wrote music, and spoke four languages.
Henry and King Francis I of France held a meeting in France in 1520. Each king spent so much money that it was called 'the Field of the Cloth of Gold'.
Execution of Sir Thomas More. Later in his life Henry grew bitter and vicious, and executed anyone who got in his way.
Defence of the Seven Sacraments. Written by Henry as a defence of Papal authority, it earned him the title "Defender of the Faith", bestowed by Pope Leo X.
Henry and his wife Catherine of Aragon only had one surviving child, Mary, so Henry did not have a male heir. About 1525 Henry decided he wanted to marry Anne Boleyn.
When the Pope refused to give Henry a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, Henry used Parliament to pass a number of laws allowing him to divorce Catherine. This caused a split with Rome.