Henrys Six Wives

Tudor monarch Henry VII was the King of England from 1509 to 1547.

He was initially married to Catherine of Aragorn and this marriage lasted for 24 years. He tried to have his marriage with Catherin annulled but his attempts were blocked by the Pope.

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He responded by supporting the independence of the Church of England from the papacy and using the Church to his own ends, including the annulling of his marriage. He subsequently married Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr.

Catherine of Aragon

Henry’s first wife was Catherine of Aragon to whom he was married in 1509. Henry professed his love to Catherine frequently and remained married to her for a period of 24 years. During this period, Catherine conceived many times but most of her children were stillborn. She gave birth to one healthy child, her daughter Mary.

By 1531, Henry had an affair with Anne Boleyn and sought an annulment of his marriage with Catherine. When the Pope refused to do so, Henry sought the approval from the Archbishop of Canterbury, effectively laying the foundations of an independent Church of England. The annulment of her marriage with Henry came in 1533. She spent the rest of her years more or less in solitude at The More and Kimbolton castles and died in 1536.

Anne Boleyn

Henry fell in love with Anne Boleyn in 1531 and married her in opposition to the Papacy in 1533. She was granted the title of Queen Consort of England and gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth. However, within two years of her marriage with Henry, the King apparently grew tired of her. After an unconvincing trial accusing her of adultery, Anne Boleyn was executed in 1536.

Jane Seymour

Henry married Jane Seymour in May 1536, mere days after the execution of Anne Boleyn. She was able to provide Henry with a male heir in 1537, Edward, but died soon after due to childbirth complications.

Anne of Cleves

Henry’s fourth wife was Anne of Cleves who was a German princess and remained joined with Henry in marriage for a mere six months in 1540. The marriage was annulled after six months on the grounds of Anne’s pre-contract with Francis I of Lorraine. She agreed to the annulment and remained on friendly ties with Henry and his family until his death.

Catherine Howard

Catherine Howard was Henry’s fifth wife. Henry remained married to her from July 1540 to November 1541. She married Henry at a time when he was suffering from a severe pain in leg and successful failures in marriage.

Thanks to her youth and jovial nature, Catherine significantly lifted Henry’s spirits. However, she soon sought the company of younger men and her infidelity led to an investigation against her. After her illicit affairs were confirmed, she was executed in February 1452.

Catherine Parr

Catherine Parr was Henry’s sixth wife. She managed to knit together Henry’s household securely, despite many failed marriages and the children born of them. As a result of this, Henry passed an act that his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, would both be in line for succession of the throne. She remained married to Henry until his death.