What was the historical significance of Henry VIII’s reign?

Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:

Thank you for the A2A.

I am honored that I was asked for an answer. The Tudors and their reign has been, by far, the most ‘happening’ period of the British monarchy. And it reached its zenith during the life and times of Henry VIII and his immediate successors.

Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was the King of England from 1509 until his death. Although I have a general idea about the revolutionary changes he brought about during his reign, I thought it would be better to refer to a British historian’s website where they have neatly chronicled the data. Here are the details (the link to the website is at the bottom of the post)…


King Henry VIII is famous for his six wives and his cruel behavior towards them. Loyal Catherine of Aragon was divorced and he agreed to the execution of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard by beheading. He was also famous for his children; Queen Mary Tudor, Queen Elizabeth I and King Edward VI who continued the Tudor dynasty. But the accomplishments of King Henry VIII went much further and covered military, religious and political accomplishments.

Military Accomplishments of Henry VIII

The Military Accomplishments of Henry VIII included:

  • Henry VIII mounted the biggest invasions of France since the reign of King Henry V
  • The Mary Rose was built in 1509 / 1511 as the first English gunship
  • Henry VIII established Deptford and Woolwich as the Royal Dockyards 1511 / 1512
  • King Henry VIII was known as the “Father of the English Navy”
  • Beginning wars with France and Scotland in 1514
  • Battle of Flodden English victory over Scotland in 1513 which ended in 1517
  • In 1522 England invaded France but abandons attempt in 1523
  • The English navy increased under Henry VIII from just 5 ships at the beginning of his reign to about 60 ships
  • Henry VIII created a great chain of coastal fortresses in the 1540s to defend England against the threat of invasion
  • Renewed warfare with France and Scotland in 1542
  • French landings on the English coast between1545 and 1546 which were defeated

Religious Accomplishments of Henry VIII

The Religious Accomplishments of Henry VIII included:

  • During his early years Henry VIII was a devout Catholic and with Sir Thomas More wrote the book called the ‘Declaration of the Seven Sacraments Against Martin Luther’ in 1520
  • In 1521 Henry VIII was given the title ‘Defender of the Faith’ by Pope Leo X which is still used as  part of the English monarch’s titles
  • Led the religious reformation in England and changed the religion of England from the Roman Catholic faith to the Protestant religion
  • Establishing the Church of England in 1534 and the Act of Supremacy
  • Dissolution of the monasteries starting in 1536 and increasing the wealth of England

Political Accomplishments of Henry VIII

The Political Accomplishments of Henry VIII included:

  • King Henry VIII added Imperial concepts of Kingship to existing Feudal concepts
  • Henry VIII decreased the power of the nobles and increased the power of Parliament and the monarchy
  • New lands and positions were created due to the dissolution of the monasteries – all granted by King Henry VIII
  • The Act of Appeals in 1533 aided the constitutional development of England
  • The Union of England and Wales which was legally accomplished by Parliament in 1536 and 1543
  • He was accorded the title King of Ireland by the Irish Parliament in 1541
  • Henry VIII entered politically advantageous marriages with Spain and Germany

Personal Accomplishments of Henry VIII

The Personal Accomplishments of Henry VIII included:

  • Produced three children who all ruled as the King or Queens of England continuing the Tudor Dynasty: King Edward VI, Bloody Mary and Queen Elizabeth I
  • Henry VIII was a keen musician and reputed to have composed ‘Greensleeves’ and ‘Helas Madame’
  • In his younger years King Henry VIII was fine horseman and athlete who excelled in the joust and also playing sports such as tennis

Source of data – Tudors (A wonderful site I had bookmarked a long time ago for reading and quick reference)

 

 

What was the historical significance of Henry VIII’s reign?

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