Henry VIII (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Through administrative changes and his break with the Roman Catholic Church, and the subsequent establishment of the Church of England, Henry VIII strengthened the position of the monarch in English society.
Henry VIII was born on June 28, 1491, in Greenwich, England. He was the second son of the first Tudor king and the Lancastrian claimant to the throne, Henry VII, and Elizabeth, the daughter of the Yorkist Edward IV. Henry VII gained the Crown by defeating Richard III at Bosworth Field in 1485; Richard III was killed in the battle, and Henry Tudor, a Welshman, immediately assumed the throne. During his early years, Prince Henry was overshadowed by his older brother, Arthur, who was his father’s heir. Little is known of Henry’s education except that the poet John Skelton was involved; Skelton wrote Speculum Principis in 1501 as a guidebook for Henry. It is also believed that Lady Margaret Beaufort, Henry VII’s mother, was involved with her grandson’s education. Whatever the nature and source of his education, Henry later demonstrated that he had a firm grasp of the classics, a limited knowledge of music, and fluency in three languages. Young Henry was interested in most forms of contemporary sport and was recognized for his athletic abilities.
Henry remained a secondary figure as long as his brother was alive. His father never assigned him any responsibility or...
(The entire section is 2072 words.)
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