The Six Wives of Henry VIII

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The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Wife Number One.Catherine of Aragon

Wife Number Two…Anne Boleyn

Catherine was the youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. She was married to Henry’s brother Arthur but he died in 1501. Catherine married Henry in 1509 but only one child, a girl, Mary, survived. Henry believed that he did not have a male heir because he had married his brother’s wife. He had found a passage in the Bible to back his belief. Henry had also fallen in love with Anne Boleyn. Catherine refused to give Henry a divorce, so he began the Reformation in England. This meant he could divorce Catherine in 1533. She died three years later.

Anne Boleyn was born in 1501. At the age of fourteen she was sent to the French Court. When she returned to England she caught the King’s attention. Henry married Anne in 1533 after she became pregnant. Henry was annoyed when she gave birth to Elizabeth in September 1533. Anne became pregnant twice more but the babies were born dead. She was charged and found guilty of adultery in 1536 and beheaded the same year.

Wife Number Three..Jane Seymour

Wife Number Four…Anne of Cleves

Jane Seymour was a quiet shy girl who Henry married just 11 days after the death of Anne Boleyn. He was 45 years old, Jane was 28. Henry was delighted when she gave birth to a son, Edward, in October 1538. Henry was very upset when Jane died a month later. On his deathbed, Henry requested to be buried next to Jane.  

Anne was the 24 year old daughter of the Duke of Cleves. Henry agreed to marry her having only seen her painting. When he saw her face to face he was horrified and tried to find a way out of the marriage but could not. He married Anne in 1540 and divorced her the same year.

Wife Number Five...Kathryn Howard

Wife Number Six…Katherine Parr

Henry married 15 year old Kathryn in 1540, he was 49. Kathryn found life with Henry boring and had many younger friends. Katherine's actions led to her being accused of adultery and subsequently executed in 1542.

Henry married twice widowed Katherine Parr in 1543. She was a good stepmother to the King's three children. She was also an excellent nursemaid and looked after Henry when he was sick. After Henry's death she married Edward's uncle, Thomas Seymour. Katherine Parr died in childbirth in 1548.  


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