In the time of Henry VII, two Royal Houses were united and they were the Royal Houses of Lancaster and York. this joining settled long standing disputes of land and succession and enable England to become a much more stable country both politically and as far as the monarchy was concerned.
King Henry’s reign was affected by three main factors. - the influence of certain people, his inability to produce a living male heir and
The roles of individuals and Henry VIII were all about individuals. The general population did not matter a great deal to Henry. Only three parts, of Henry’s life, did external forces exert influence, and they were his reign, his marriages and of course religion.
The main cause that led Catherine of Aragon to create great change in the religion of England was that she was she could not produce a living male child. That failure mean that King Henry had to negotiate with the Pope - to try to get conditions favourable for an annulment. It didn't work.
The changes made by Henry created as a result gave him power and Supremacy in the Church, which became the Church of England rather than the church of Rome.
Anne Boleyn introduced the idea of Lutheran religious interpretation to Henry VIII. But these ideas, new to Henry, didn't just happen on their own nor in isolation, there were many other changes happening at the same time. The two things about Anne Boleyn which had the greatest impact on Henry VIII were
Anne herself and her religious ideas. They were new ideas, and quite revolutionary.
When Henry VIII died, he was buried next to his third wife, who was acknowledged to be the most important and perhaps the most loved of his wives - Jane Seymour. Jane was the only wife able to produce a living male heir who became the next King, Edward VI, although only for short time. He died when he was about 16.
Anne of Cleves was the fourth wife of Henry VIII. She came from the modern country of Germany. Upon sight of her, Henry was not at all impressed, although later they became close friends and Anne of Cleves was one of the few people who Henry trusted.
Although Anne of Cleves had become a great friend and trusted advisor, Henry at first had not been at all attracted to her physically. This was because although one of the best portrait painters of the time had been sent to make a likeness of her, the painter over-did the beauty of his subject and reality and her portrait differed.
It is well-known that the most distinctive feature of King Henry’s reign was his many marriages; which showed his people that his courage in the face of being expelled by the Pope from heaven could be something of value to them. Divorce did not become frequent, however, until hundreds of years later.
King Henry made changes not only to the religion of England. Other changes he made to the every-day life of Englishmen were to the succession and religious policy. We might not think that who the next monarch will be, or how the churches are run these days makes much difference to the normal population, but in the days of Henry, both were critically important features of the lives of all people.
Henry had a long-lasting injury, which made his become very grumpy, ill-tempered and unstable. His leg had become injured in a jousting tournament, and the wound never healed. In fact, it became infected and it is said that you could smell the king coming from a good few metres way. Until the crippling effects of the injury, Henry had been a keen and good athlete.
A game, still played in modern times, was invented during the reign of Henry VII - playing cards. So popular was this game that for at least 50o years, the King’s wife Elizabeth
appeared on the pack of cards eight times in every pack.
After the death of Henry VIII, his son was under-age to become monarch succeeding to the throne, and so a ‘Regency’ is declared, wherein a royal advisor runs the country until coronation.
But even during the very short reign of Edward VI, important things were happening in the Churches of the world. The Book of Common Prayer was by Thomas Cranmer and in English. this meant that the 'common people' had access to prayers written in their own language or the first time.
Mind you, not many could read (or write) but the creation of a Holy Book was an important step forward.
After the early death of Edward VI, Lady Jane Grey became Queen of England. her accession to the throne was a process full of legal and royal-prerogative issues, and after only 9 days, she was removed, and executed. She was replaced by the eldest daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon - Mary.
Queen Mary known as ‘Bloody Mary’ because she purged the Protestant, Church of England clergy (priests) and burnt many of them - and others - at the stake. Queen Mary definitely had been brought up a Roman Catholic and wanted England to return to the Church of Rome (Roman Catholicism).
Again, Queen Mary did not live long. She died of cancer, a horrible and painful death in those days. After Mary came another Queen, known as 'the Virgin Queen' or even 'Good Queen Bess'. This Queen was Elizabeth I - Elizabeth Tudor.
Queen Elizabeth was noted for
her game-playing and dancing skills, coupled with political intelligence. Elizabeth was also noted for being popular in the country but a poor selector of advisors. She was often led astray by the advice of good-hearted people whose advice had bad results.
When the Spanish tried to invade England in their armada (a fleet of ships), Elizabeth had been advised that they were no real threat. In fact, they were a great threat and had the weather in the English Channel, coupled with the might of the British Royal Navy not caused the armada to break up, there would have been a major problem of a Spanish invasion.
As a point of interest, a famous writer was also doing his work at the time of Elizabeth I. William Shakespeare was writing his best - and worst - and most incomprehensible - plays, sonnets (poems) at the time and has become known as the greatest writer in the whole of British history.