Henry VIII in 1520

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Henry VIII is best-known for his six wives (and how he treated them). But Dr. David Starkey, one of Britain’s historians, remind us that Henry’s most-important legacy is not his personal life:

Henry is not only England's best-known king - with his wives, his girth and his bloodthirstiness - he is also our most important single ruler.

When he came to the throne, Henry was the pious prince who ruled an England at the heart of Catholic Europe.

When he died, he was the great schismatic, who had created a national church and an insular, xenophobic politics that shaped the development of England for the next 500 years.

In this image, depicting a portrait by an unknown artist, we see Henry VIII as he appeared circa 1520, when he was around 29 or 30 years old.

At this stage in his life, he was married to Catherine of Aragon and had been on the throne for about eleven years.

His two living children, at the time, were Princess Mary (then around 3 or 4 years old who would  later became Queen Mary I) and Henry FitzRoy (an illegitimate son, then still an infant, whose invented last name means “Son of the King”).

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Image online via Wikimedia Commons. The original portait is maintained at the National Portrait Gallery.


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"Henry VIII in 1520" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 11, 2015. Jul 20, 2018.
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