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Life and Times of King Henry VIII

"A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him" (Proverbs 17:25).

". . . and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death" (Matthew 10:21).


King Henry VII (1457-1509). A victim of the poison cup!!

During the kingship of Henry VII, the New World was discovered by Venetian John Cabot.

Pope Alexander VI claimed the New World for Spain in order the stop the English colonization of the continent.

That fact alone explains the sudden death of King Henry VI and the 6 wives of King Henry VIII.

 

King Henry VIII (1491-1547).

The future King Henry VIII just turned 18 on June 28, 1509. This was the age of majority for the royal succession. The timing of the death of his father was impeccable!!

Henry's father, in his last will and testament, never mentioned his son succeeding him or marrying Catherine of Aragon.

He never mentioned any Dispensation from the Pope to marry Catherine of Aragon either!!

Henry Tudor—the founder of the Tudor dynasty— was born in Pembroke Castle in the South-West of Wales in the year 1457. He was of Celtic origin and became king in 1485 after winning the famous battle of Bosworth Field in which his rival, King Richard III, was slain.

His only interest was the welfare of his people. He inherited a war-weary impoverished country, and did his utmost to put an end to wars and foreign conflicts.

In 1486, he married the beautiful princess Elizabeth of York, who belonged to a rival dynasty. Henry sought to heal ancient rifts and end dynastic wars.

Elizabeth of York (1466-1503), wife of King Henry VII.

The royal happy couple believed in making love . . . and not war!!

They had a total of 8 children. However, only 4 survived: 2 boys Arthur and Henry, and 2 girls: Margaret and Mary.

Margaret married King James IV of Scotland and established a peaceful alliance with that country.

Arthur was the oldest surviving son and was next in line for the throne. As such his title was Prince of Wales while his brother Henry was Prince of York.

A medallion struck to commemorate the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York in January 1496, which unified the rival houses of York and Lancaster

Discovery of the New World during the reign of King Henry VII

One of the greatest events in the history of the world happened during the reign of King Henry. That was the Discovery of the New World by John Cabot in 1494.

John Cabot explaining his great Discovery of the New World to King Henry VII of England. King Henry defied Rome and granted Cabot a Royal Charter on March 5, 1496, in the 11th year of his reign.

 

After his return from the Discovery of the New World in 1494, the Papal Bull of Pope Alexander VI was proclaimed in England. John Cabot realized that the Spanish Inquisition was trying to supplant him with Christopher Columbus!!

He went to King Henry to obtain a Royal Charter for his Discovery. The king took a great risk in defying Rome, nevertheless he went ahead and issued the Charter to Cabot.

Throughout history, kings had been toppled from their thrones by the dreaded Papal thunder called the Interdict. In this case, the Pope withheld his excommunication because he did not want to alert the world to what was happening with the substitution of Columbus for Cabot!!


Prince Arthur (1486-1502, oldest son of King Henry, was married to Catherine of Aragon in 1501.

 

 

Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536), was wife of Prince Arthur for 5 months until he died of a mysterious disease!!

To cement an alliance between Spain and England, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, was betrothed to Prince Arthur, the oldest son of King Henry.

Catherine of Aragon arrived in England in October 1501, and was married to Prince Arthur on Nov. 4, 1501.

5 months later, on April 2, 1502, Prince Arthur was dead of a mysterious disease....King Henry's wife, Elizabeth died in childbirth after delivering a baby just 10 months later. She was just 37 years old.

The battle for control of the New World!!

At this point in time, Catherine should have packed her bags and returned to Spain, but control of an entire New World was at stake and she was forbidden to return.... She was told to set her eyes on Henry—the younger brother of Arthur— and later to become the infamous King Henry VIII.

Prince Henry (1491-1547), when he was Duke of York.

 

With Catherine married to the king of England, she would make sure that the Bull of Pope Alexander VI was obeyed and that England would not challenge Spain for possession of the New World.

Both King Henry and his last surviving son were against a marriage to the widow of Arthur. In a superstitious age, people saw the young prince's death as a bad omen.

To make matters worse, Isabella of Castile died in 1504 at the young age of 53. From a purely political perspective that meant that Aragon and Castile would once more break up into two separate kingdoms thus weakening them both. King Henry was too astute not to see this alliance with Spain in a lot less satisfactory light.

"On June 27, 1505, the eve of his fourteenth birthday, Henry, Prince of Wales, appearing before Richard, Bishop of Winchester, and a committee of the privy council, solemnly protested against his betrothal to Catherine, contracted upon his minority, declared he would not ratify it, and denounced it as null and void" (Mattingly, Catherine of Aragon, p. 65).

Enter the Franciscans!!

At this time all hope was lost of a marriage between Catherine and Henry. Catherine was actually preparing to return to Spain . . . when out of the blue everything changed.... A RASPUTIN like Franciscan monk appeared named Fray Diego Fernandez:

"For a long time her repeated appeals for a Spanish-speaking confessor went unheeded in Spain. Then, sometime before April, 1507, she found Fray Diego Fernandez. He was a member of the very order to which she, like her mother, was most attached, the Observant Franciscans. Like most of the Observants he was of humble birth, but he was a Spaniard of the Spaniards, a native of Old Castile, and he had studied at Salamanca, and was able to share her intellectual interests. He had been long enough in England to speak English and knew something of the islanders. And whatever his motives—and we know nothing of the motives of Fray Diego—he proved himself loyal and devoted. Before long he was the only person in her household on whom Catherine felt she could rely" (Mattingly, Catherine of Aragon, p.107).

And again:

"Fray Diego became not only her confessor, but her chancellor as well. He advised her about worldly matters as well as spiritual ones. He became a figure of great controversy in England. Katharine was devoted to him, too devoted. Deeply religious as she was, she needed spiritual guidance; lonely as she was, she needed a friend. He became that friend and she did everything he said. She even had the courage to sell some of her plate in order to buy him books. Unfortunately for her, he took advantage of his position. Because of him she sometimes behaved in a way that neither Isabella nor Donna Elvira would have approved of. He was a young man and did not apparently have a very good reputation. Katharine, however, was so attached to him she would hear no wrong of him. There was a certain amount of scandal. The new ambassador, Fuensalida, was shocked" (Roll, The Pomegranate and the Rose).

King Henry kept a tight rein on his rambunctious son. He knew that Henry had no kingly qualities. Never were a father and son more different in personality. He was not allowed to see Catherine. The ONLY people with access to Catherine and Henry were the Franciscans monks. Only the DEATH of the king would place Catherine on the throne and that is exactly what happened.

King Henry VII was about to remarry!!

After the death of his beloved wife Elizabeth in 1503, King Henry was searching for a new wife. This is what an Italian historian wrote about the king in 1506:

"His body was slender but well built and strong; his height above the average. His appearance was remarkably attractive and his face was cheerful, especially when speaking; his eyes were small and blue, his teeth few, poor and blackish ; his hair was thin and white; his complexion sallow. His spirit was distinguished, wise and prudent; his mind was brave and resolute and never, even at moments of the greatest danger, deserted him" (Vergil, Anglica Historia, p. 145).

Margaret of Austria (1480-1530), Duchess of Savoy was one of the young prospective brides for Henry VII.

King Henry's health was fine up to the year 1507. After the death of his wife Elizabeth in 1503, several young ladies were considered as prospective brides. One of them was Margaret of Austria, eldest daughter of the Emperor Maximilian I. She was only 24 years old. Another bride was Joan, queen of Naples, niece of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain.

The marriage never took place because the king died suddenly in 1509, at the young age of 52.

Immediately upon the death of his father, Henry became king and reversed all the policies of his father. He had his father's closest advisers sent to the Tower and executed. It was a political coup d'état.

Never were father and son more different in personality than King Henry and his son. With his father and mother now dead there was nobody to restrain the folly and madness of the young king.

King Henry VII was poisoned!!

King Henry VII was given some of the cantarella of Borgia so that his son could marry Catherine of Aragon and maintain the Spanish alliance:

"This marriage with Margaret was protracted from time to time, in respect of the infirmity of the King, who now in the two and twentieth of his reign (1507) began to be troubled with the gout: but the defluxion taking also into his breast, wasted his lungs, so that thrice in a year (in a kind of return, and especially in the spring) he had great fits and labours of the tissick [consumption]. Nevertheless he continued to intend business with as great diligence as before in his health: yet so, as upon this warning he did likewise now more seriously think of the world to come, and of making himself a saint, as well as King Henry the Sixth, by treasure better employed than to be given to Pope Julius " (Bacon, History of the Reign of Henry VII, p.237).

Henry was married by the Franciscans after the murder of his father:

"As soon as the funeral was over, they went, she and her youthful lover, to Greenwich, whose sunlit windows, pleached alleys, and broad lawns stretching down to the Thames were dear to Catherine ever after, and there, Henry's impatience having contained itself for quite six weeks, they were quietly married at the oratory of the Franciscan Observants just by the palace wall. It was time, for Henry was determined that his bride would share his coronation, set for Midsummer's Day, and to keep custom the King and Queen must lie the night before at the Tower. So the Londoners first saw their new Queen borne from the Tower to Westminster, sitting in a litter of cloth of gold slung between white palfreys, clad, herself, all in white satin, the costume of a virgin bride, with her gleaming hair 'hanging down her back, at a very great length, beautiful and goodly to behold'"(Mattingly, Catherine of Aragon, p. 119).

Coronation of Henry and Catherine on June 24, 1509. The union of the pomegranate and the rose united the Tudors to the Spanish royal house.

 

After the poisoning of his father, Henry married Catherine and was crowned on June 24, 1509. Like Ahab and Jezebel in the Old Testament who killed Naboth and stole his vineyard (I Kings 21:15), they did evil in the sight of the Lord because they believed that nobody was watching them and that their sins would never be found out.

Henry was the exact opposite of his father. He was a PARTY ANIMAL and cared nothing for his kingdom. He left the running of the country to fanatical papists like Cardinal Wolsey and Sir Thomas More.

Henry hadn't counted on one thing: "and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death" (PS. 68:20). Catherine could not produce a male heir.

The end of the Babylonian Captivity of the Congregation!!

During the reign of Henry VIII, the blessed Reformation began when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses to the church door in 1517. Henry immediately opposed the Reformation. In 1521, he knighted Thomas More for holding his hand as he wrote a book entitled A Defense of the Seven Sacraments. This was supposed to refute The Babylonian Captivity of the Church written by Martin Luther in 1520. Luther called him a CROWNED ASS!!

Medal of Henry as Defender of the Faith issued in 1545.

 

It was God's plan to prolong the life of King Henry VII until the end of the Babylonian Captivity of the Congregation in 1517.

The wise sagacious king would have realized that the Pope was the counterfeit "christ" and that he had no authority to give the New World to Spain.

He would have realized that because of John Cabot's Discovery, God gave the New World to him and the heirs of the Reformation.

King Henry would have challenged Spain and thereby saved the lives of millions of New World natives from the rapacious Spanish Inquisition.

Henry's Divorce from Catherine of Aragon

Anne Boleyn (1500-1536) as a young lady of 25.

 

As we stated before, Henry was a PARTY ANIMAL and had an eye for beautiful ladies. Anne Boleyn was one such beautiful and brainy lady. She was educated in France at the court of Marguerite of Valois, the sister of Francis I.

Since Catherine could not produce a male heir, Henry grew tired of her and wanted to divorce her and marry a beautiful and intelligent lady-in-waiting named Anne Boleyn. Henry and Anne first met around the year 1521.

By divorcing Catherine, Henry would be breaking the alliance between Spain and England at a crucial time when the Spanish Inquisition had a free hand in conquering and enslaving the New World.

This divorce had to prevented at all cost. The Pope procrastinated and equivocated until the king grew tired of Rome and declared himself Supreme Head of the Church. Anybody who did not accept his new status as head of the Church was sent to the chopping block.

Henry and Anne were married on Jan. 25, 1533.

Henry's love letters to Anne Boleyn were sent to Rome!!

"Anne kept Henry in suspense for over a year. He cajoled and pleaded. He made promises and gave gifts. Above all, he wrote letters. Anne, whether out of sentiment or prudence, kept his letters. But she was betrayed: somehow, seventeen of the letters, belonging to two widely different periods, were purloined and sent to Rome, no doubt to serve as evidence against Henry's Divorce from Catherine. And there, in the Vatican Library, they remain. Henry almost certainly kept Anne's letters to him. But they have vanished - probably because he destroyed them years later, when his love for Anne had turned to hate and he tried to eradicate every memory of her. The result of this asymmetric survival of evidence is that our knowledge of their courtship is one-sided also. Henry's letters document each fluctuation of his feelings. Anne's emotions, on the other hand, can only be glimpsed, refracted and perhaps distorted, in Henry's replies to her letters" (Starkey, Six Wives, p. 278).

The Sack of Rome in 1527 in order to prevent the divorce!!

Every move that Henry made to annul the marriage to Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn were viewed with alarm at the Vatican. When news of the intended divorce of King Henry from Catherine of Aragon reached the Emperor Charles V, he decided to act immediately. His troops invaded and sacked Rome. Pope Clement VII was made his prisoner in the Castle of St. Angelo:

On May 5, 1527, the Imperialists invaded and sacked the city of Rome destroying priceless treasures. The Pope was made a prisoner and a vassal of the Emperor Charles V.

 

Charles V was not about to let Henry divorce his aunt, Catherine of Aragon. He knew that Henry would need a Dispensation from the Pope to annul the marriage so his troops invaded Rome in 1527. The Pope took refuge in the Castle of St. Angelo and became a virtual prisoner of the Emperor.

As a prisoner of the Emperor, the Pope could not grant the divorce to Henry and so the king just decided to make himself pope . . . in England!!

The Pope procrastinated and equivocated until the king grew tired of Rome and declared himself Supreme HEAD of the Church. Anybody who did not accept his new status as HEAD of the Church of England was sent to the chopping block.

Rome's own Defender of the Faith now turned against his former master and proclaimed himself Pope in England. Henry's break with Rome eventually paved the way for the triumph of the Reformation in England. Their evil schemes backfired on them:

"He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own HEAD, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own (head) pate" (Psalm 7:15-17).

From the year 1527 onward, the Papacy was completely controlled by Spain and the Italian "Popes" were mere figureheads. When the Jesuits were established in 1540, the real Pope was the Jesuit general. The Jesuit general is also called the Black Pope because he always dresses in black!!

A Queen in Heaven!!

Saint Anne Boleyn was Queen for 1,000 days only. She was unjustly condemned and beheaded. She went to Heaven to reign with Christ for 1,000 years!!

 

Queen Anne was known as Anne of the 1,000 days because she reigned for only 1,000 days from 1533 to 1536. She made powerful enemies among the Roman Catholic hierarchy by favoring the Reformation.

She gave Henry a copy of a book by William Tyndale entitled The Obedience of a Christian Man. Tyndale was persona non grata in England because of his translation of the New Testament into English. This act aroused the wrath of the powerful papists at the Court of Henry.

All Saint Anne had to do to make her position as Queen secure was to produce a male heir. She had several miscarriages, no doubt produced by the cantarella of Borgia. Saint Anne had only one surviving daughter who later became the glorious Queen Elizabeth I.

Saint Anne was beheaded at the Tower on Friday, May 19, 1536. She became a martyr for Jesus and a Queen in Heaven and went to reign with Christ in Heaven.

Her only surviving daughter Elizabeth, went on to become England's greatest Queen.

Saint Anne Boleyn traded a corruptible earthly crown for an eternal throne and went immediately to reign with Christ in Heaven:

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Rev. 20:4).

Henry VIII, King of Ireland!!!!

Henry VIII proclaimed himself KING of Ireland in June, 1541.

 

The LORDSHIP of Hibernia (Ireland) was given by Pope Hadrian IV to the Normans (Vikings) in 1155, by the Papal Bull Laudabiliter.

The Popes claimed ownership of ALL islands due to a forged document called the Donation of Constantine.

From that time, the English kings always referred to themselves as LORDS of Ireland and NEVER by the title of KINGS of Ireland. That is until the time of Henry VIII.

In June 1541, the rubber stamp Irish Parliament gave Henry the title KING of Ireland. That was because the Irish always HATED Rome especially since the Pope banned them from attending St. Patrick's Cathedral!!

"The papal grant, made in 1155, was kept a secret until after Henry II landed in Ireland in 1172. Thus the English received dominion over Ireland on the grounds that the pontiffs were feudal lords of all islands of the ocean, thanks to the Donation of Constantine.
The Irish conquest, ordered by Pope Hadrian IV, is authenticated by a document popularly called the "Bull Laudabiliter," found only in the Roman Bullarium (1739) and in the Annals of Baronius, but its authenticity has been accepted by Roman Catholic and Protestant historians alike.The "Bull Laudabiliter" is inserted in the Expugnatio Hibernica of Giraldus Cambrensis, published in or about 1188, wherein he asserts it to be the document brought from Rome by John of Salisbury in 1155. He also gives with it a confirmation by Alexander II, obtained, he states, by Henry II after his visit to Ireland. John of Salisbury, the intimate friend and confidant of Pope Hadrian, quotes also the Donation of Constantine, on the grounds of this right of St. Peter over all islands.
In addition to these two documents, there are three letters from Alexander III, which are similarly known to us only at second hand, being transcribed in what is known as the Black Book of the Exchequer. In them, the pope expresses his warm approval of Henry's conquest of Ireland, calling his expedition a missionary enterprise, praising him as a champion of the Church and particularly of St. Peter and of his rights, which rights St. Peter passed on to the popes. Especially significant is the fact that the rights claimed by the popes under the Donation of Constantine, over all islands, are here asserted, not so much as justifying the grant of Ireland to Henry, but as entitling the papal see to claim those rights for itself" (Manhattan, Vatican Billions, pp. 47-48).

Bloody Mary

It's always darkest before the dawn so England experienced the darkest days of her history when Bloody Mary—the daughter of Catherine of Aragon—became Queen.

Bloody Mary (1516-1553) was the daughter of Catharine of Aragon and Henry VIII.

 

Bloody Mary reigned for 5 years only (1553-1558) but these years were the bloodiest in English history. Over 500 people were burned at the stake for refusing to convert to Catholicism. These included Archbishop Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, and Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of Rochester.

Bloody Mary had Lady Jane Grey and her husband sent to the Tower and beheaded.

Elizabeth, the daughter of Anne Boleyn was arrested and sent to the Tower. Only a miracle saved her from death.

Bloody Mary married Philip II of Spain but was unable to produce an hair and died childless.

Elizabeth, her step-sister, then became Queen and reigned for 45 years.

Gloriana—The Virgin Queen!!

Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), daughter of Anne Boleyn.

 

Gloriana—the virgin Queen Elizabeth I—became Queen on Nov. 17, 1558. She reigned for 45 years and those years were the most momentous in world history.

Those were the years when Spain and England were locked in a titanic struggle for world supremacy.

Gloriana was excommunicated by Pope Pius in 1570, and her kingdom was put under the dreaded Interdict.

Elizabeth's reign saw the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in France, the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the discovery of California by Sir France Drake during his circumnavigation of the world.

The Queen's Translation of the Bible into Gaelic!!

Queen Elizabeth I was fluent in several languages and she paid for the translating of the Bible into the Gaelic language of Ireland:

"In 1570 Pope Pius V. issued his Bull excommunicating Elizabeth and deposing her, a proceeding to which according to Mr. Richey, may be traced the subsequent misfortunes of the Roman Catholics of England and Ireland. From that time to the end of her reign the national party began more and more to put forward the religious side of the quarrel, and to connect themselves with the Roman Catholic party on the Continent. Meanwhile a movement was taking place which, if followed up, would have had important results. John Kearney, treasurer of St. Patrick's, who had been educated at Cambridge, and Nicholas Walsh, chancellor of the cathedral, got an order made that the Church services should be printed in the Irish language, and a church set apart in the chief town of every diocese where they were to be read and a sermon preached to the common people. The Queen was warmly interested in the design, and provided at her own expense a printing press and Irish type, "in hope that God in His mercy would raise up some to translate the New Testament" into their mother tongue. She even set about learning the language herself, and there is in existence a small elegantly written volume prepared for her by Lord Delvin, containing the Irish alphabet, with instructions for reading the language. 'Proceed, therefore, proceed, most gracious sovereign, in your holy intent,' Lord Delvin says; and he tells the Queen that 'in this generous act she will excel all her ancestors.' The first book printed with the type provided by the Queen for the instruction of the native Irish was a catechism and primer, the title of which was : "Alphabetum et ratio legendi Hibernicum et Catechismus in eadem lingua" (Olden, History of the Church of Ireland, pp. 332-333.


Vital Links

The Will of King Henry VII

Oration to Saint Anne Boleyn from John Foxe, martyrologist

Secrets of the Bank of "England" Revealed at Last!!

British Monarchs

Tudor History

John Dee Society

British Monarchs

Pope Bans Irish from attending St. Patrick's Cathedral!!


References

Busch, Wilhelm, Dr. England under the Tudors, King Henry VII. Burt Franklin, New York, 1895.

Chrimes, S. B. Henry VII. University of California Press, 1972.

Eusebius Pamphili. (260 — 340). Oration to Constantine. Grand Rapids, Baker Book House, 1981.

Fraser, Antonia. The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1992.

Loades, David. Chronicles of the Tudor Kings. Bramley Books, Surrey, England, 1996.

Mattingly, Garrett. Catherine of Aragon. Vintage Books, New York, 1941.

Manhattan, Avro. The Vatican Billions, Chick Publication, Chino, California, 1983.

Olden, Thomas. History of the Church of Ireland. Wells, Gardner, Darton and Co, London, 1892.

Roll, Winifred. The Pomegranate & The Rose: The Story of Katherine of Aragon. Prentice-Hall, Inc., New Jersey, 1970.

Starkey, David. Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII. HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2003.

Storey, R. L. The Reign of Henry VII. Walker & Co., New York, 1968.

Scarisbrick, J.J. Henry VIII. University of California Press, 1968.

Sergeant, Philip W. The Life of Anne Boleyn. D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1924.

Thacher, John Boyd. The Cabotian Discovery. Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, 1897.

Vergil, Polydore. The Anglica Historia of Polydore Vergil, A.D. 1485-1537 .(translated by Denys Hay), Office of the Royal Historical Society, Camden Series, London, 1950.

Warnicke, Retha M. The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1989.


Copyright © 2007 by Niall Kilkenny


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