Video appunto: Henry VII and Henry VIII
Henry VII was the first Tudor King of England. He created a new family emblem, by combining Lancaster with York. Henry VII introduced high taxes and banned nobles from raising their own armies. During his reign, Erasmus of Rotterdam brought the Humanism to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, while with Thomas More starts the Protestantism. Henry VII’s foreign policy was very cautious. He married his son and heir to the Aragonese heiress Catherine and two of his daughters equally well to the Kings of France and Scotland. He died in 1509, and left England economically stable and at peace.
Henry VIII succeeded his father at the age of 18. He was good-looking and skilled at sports, music and poetry. He married Catherine of Aragon, and when Martin Luther nailed his anti-Catholic theses to the door of Wittenberg Castle Church, Henry wrote an attack on Luther which won him the title of ‘defender of the faith’ from the pope. However, things changed when Henry asked the pope to declare his first marriage invalid, as Catherine failed to deliver a male heir. The pope refused, so the king broke with Rome, and married Anne Boleyn, who gave birth to Elizabeth. With the Act of Supremacy Henry was declared ‘the Supreme Head of the Church of England’. Cromwell, the king’s chancellor, suppressed 400 monasteries and confiscated their lands and money. Monastic chapels became parish churches and the land of the monasteries was sold, so the new merchant class had access to a landed status that had previously been a privilege of the nobility. The king married also Jane Seymour, who gave him a son, Edward, but died in childbirth. Henry had three more wives.