What was King Henry Viii famous for?

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Henry VIII served as King of England from 1509-1547. He is most known for his six marriages and his changes to the Church of England. After taking the throne in 1509, Henry married Catherine of Aragon, who was the widow of his brother. Catherine bore Henry three sons and three...

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Henry VIII served as King of England from 1509-1547. He is most known for his six marriages and his changes to the Church of England. After taking the throne in 1509, Henry married Catherine of Aragon, who was the widow of his brother. Catherine bore Henry three sons and three daughters, but all of his children except for one, Mary, died in infancy. Believing his marriage was cursed, worrying Catherine could not bear him a son to succeed him as king, and having become infatuated with another woman, Anne Boleyn, Henry sought an annulment of his marriage from the pope, which would allow him to end his marriage to Catherine and marry Anne. Catherine's nephew, however, was Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and he held considerable influence over the pope. The pope therefore refused Henry's request for an annulment at the request of Charles V and due to the fact that marriages were considered sacred contracts in the Catholic Church.

Frustrated, Henry decided that he did not need the pope's permission to make religious decisions. In 1534 he signed the Act of Supremacy, which established him as head of the Church of England (now called the Anglican Church) and required English subjects to recognize his marriage to Anne Boleyn. The Act of Supremacy therefore severed English ties with the Roman Catholic Church. The act also meant that the pope no longer served as head of the English church. Henry went on to marry four more women in his quest to have a male heir to the throne, and he had two of these women beheaded. His son Edward VI eventually succeeded him in 1547.

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