Brazen by Katherine Longshore: 8 Fun Facts About Henry VIII & the Tudors

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Our July Book of the Month, Brazen by Katherine Longshore, takes place during the reign of Henry VIII. So for today’s post, we’re diving into history for 8 fun facts about Henry VIII and the Tudor dynasty.

tudor rose1. Henry VIII was the second member of the Tudor dynasty to rule England, and one of only five Tudor monarchs to rule. He took the throne following the death of his father, Henry VII.

tudor dynasty2. The Tudors ruled England from 1485 (following the War of the Roses) until 1603, when Elizabeth I died without any heirs.

henry viii
3. Henry VIII famously had 6 wives over his lifetime:

  1. Catherine of Aragon
  2. Anne Boleyn
  3. Jane Seymour
  4. Anne of Cleaves
  5. Catherine Howard
  6. Catherine Parr

catherine of aragon anne boleyn jane seymour anne of cleaves catherine howard  catherine parr

4. Of his 6 wives, Henry had two put to death: Anne Boleyn (over allegations of infidelity and conspiracy, supposedly) and Catherine Howard (for adultery). Jane Seymour died after complications from childbirth. The king’s marriage to Anne of Cleaves was annulled. And the king ended his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon through divorce – a lengthy and messy scenario that had major political and social consequences.

catherine of aragon
5. Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon prompted England’s break from the Roman Catholic Church, and initiated the English Reformation.

6. Upon his death, Henry VIII was succeeded by Edward VI, his son by Jane Seymour. Edward was nine at the time of his succession. However, he fell ill and died from Tuberculosis at age 15.

7. Though they were considered illegitmate, before his death, Henry VIII returned his daughters Mary and Elizabeth to the line of succession. After Edward’s death, Mary rose to power, becoming known as “Bloody Mary” for her extreme executions of Protestants.

8. Known as “The Virgin Queen,” Elizabeth I took the throne after Mary’s death and marked the end of the Tudor monarchy, as she never married or produced an heir.

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