Sunday, 13 November 2011

Henry VIII

Henry VIII - in Ireland

King Henry VIII of England

Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII played a huge influence on Irish History.  He was the second son of Henry VII and came to power when his older brother died in 1502. Henry believed himself to be the king of God's choice and took the English throne in 1509.

This was the final affirmation of the union of the Houses of York and Lancaster. The influence of Henry VIII in Ireland is one that is vital to understand, as this brought religious divide into Ireland.

This was the first time that religion entered into the already complex politics of Ireland.

There had only been one faith in Ireland even though the way the church was organised varied between the Normans and the Gaels. In 1521, Henry VIII demanded the allegiance of Ireland and sent the Earl of Surrey to make an assessment.

He recommended that troops would be needed to invade, build castles and strongholds and then follow that up with a colonisation of English people. Cardinal Wolsey also recommended that the Irish Church should come under the control of the English church and become anglicised. At that particular time Henry VIII took no action as he considered both options to be too expensive.

Henry VIII Rejection of the Pope

Henry VIII in Ireland then went on to reject the Pope Clement VII, as he refused to grant him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Henry wanted to marry Anne Boleyn and when he was refused this divorce he declared that the Roman Catholic Church was no longer acceptable in England. He took the opinion that anyone who supported or had loyalty with Rome was showing disloyalty to his royal authority.

Henry VIII Wives

Just for information Henry VIII did marry Anne Boleyn in 1533 and she was executed three years later. He then married Jane Seymour who died within the year. After that he married Anne of Cleves and divorced her six months later.

He then married Kathryn Howard in the same year 1540 and she was executed in 1542 and then he married Katherine Parr who became a widow. So as you can see, his divorce and execution rate were very high.

This period of Henry VIII in Ireland must have been a time of tumultuous change for the Irish people and this was a turning point in Irish History.  I would now recommend reading about the reign of Irish History Mary Tudor Bloody Mary in Ireland.