England's notorious King Henry VIII was born in 1491. When his older brother, Arthur, died in 1502, Henry became heir to the throne. He was actually crowned King Of England seven years later and wasted no time in marrying his brother's widow, Catharine of Aragon. Catharine never had a male heir during their many years of marriage but she did have a female child who later became Queen for a short time.
In his younger days, Henry was tall and athletic. He liked to hunt, he liked to dance but most of all, he liked to wage war. Henry wasn't a soldier but his minister, Wolsey, was able to mount a successful first French campaign.
The French campaigns proved to be very costly and unproductive in the end.
To obtain the male heir Henry so deeply desired, he had to divorce Catharine of Aragon. Henry wanted to marry Anne Boleyn but Catharine resisted his effort to divorce her. Finally, Henry broke away from the Catholic Church and created the Church of England making himself the head of the newly formed Protestant Church. In this way, he rid himself of Catarine and finally married Anne Boleyn. Anne failed to give Henry his male heir although she did have one female heir who later became Elizabeth I. Three years after their marriage, Henry had Anne beheaded for adultery and treason.
Jane Seymour became Henry's next wife and in 1537 gave birth to his only male heir, Edward VI. The birth cost Jane her life and Edward was a frail child. Edward ruled for only a short time after his father's death before he also died.
After Jane Seymour, Henry married Anne of Cleves, whom he never found attractive. He soon divorced her and married Anne Boleyn's very young cousin, Catharine Howard, who suffered the same fate as Anne had suffered years before. Next, Henry married Catharine Parr who simply outlived him. Her strong religious beliefs could have very easily cost her her life had Henry not died first.
Henry VIII was obsessed with women and with power. He left his kingdom in chaos upon his death in 1547 due to the lack of clear instruction concerning the rule of his son, Edward, who died without an heir. England's treasuries were empty because of costly wars and his subjects were left bewildered by his seemingly insane actions.