Catherine Parr: Henry VIII’s Sixth Wife

Catherine Parr was a loyal and sympathetic companion who nursed an increasingly irritable Henry VIII in his declining years by creating a domestic family life at court. Henry’s sixth wife was born in 1512, the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Parr and Maud Green of Kendal. Catherine was married twice before and recently widowed. Catherine…

William Tyndale: English Protestant Reformer and Bible Translator

William Tyndale believed English Bibles would enable people to come to faith in God. His prayers were answered as the first English Bible was published in 1535. Erasmus expressed the hope that the New Testament would be translated into all languages and made accessible to everyone, including women. The printing press made books more readily…

Thomas More: The King’s Good Servant

Thomas More is best remembered for his refusal to acknowledge Henry VIII supremacy over the Church and later executed. More was considered a genius by his contemporaries. Thomas was born in London on 7 February 1478, the son of Judge John More. He was taken into the Archbishop of Canterbury John Morton’s household as a…

Katherine Howard: Rose Without A Thorn

Henry VIII thought his fifth wife, Katherine Howard, was perfect. Katherine Howard was a woman with a past when she came to court in 1539, as a maid-of-honour. Katherine’s uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, used his influence to find a place for her in anticipation of the King’s marriage to Anne of Cleves. Henry was…

Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII’s Fourth Wife

Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves to form a new alliance after relations between England, France and the Holy Roman Empire deteriorated. They divorced six months later. Anne was born on 22 September 1515 in Düsseldorf, Cleves. She was the second of four children born to John III ‘the Pacific’, Duke of Cleves, and Maria…

Jane Seymour: Henry VIII’s Third Queen

Henry VIII declared Jane Seymour was the most beloved of all his wives—she provided the desired heir. Jane’s quiet dignity hid a strong will and determination to succeed. Her father, Sir John Seymour, was knighted at the Battle of Blackheath in 1497 by Henry VII. He enjoyed royal favour during the next reign. Her mother,…

Margaret Tudor: James IV of Scotland’s Queen

Margaret Tudor led a very turbulent life, causing scandal. She married three times, and, like her brother Henry VIII, had trouble obtaining divorces. She “had the faults of the Tudors without their brains”! Margaret was born on 28 November 1489—“a sturdy, healthy child”—the eldest daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. She was a…

Henry Fitzroy Duke of Richmond: Henry VIII’s Illegitimate Son By Elizabeth Blount

Henry VIII regarded the birth of Henry Fitzroy as a sign from God he could hire a healthy living son. Fitzroy was illegitimate but he was also considered as an heir. Henry VIII’s affair with his teenage mistress, Elizabeth Blount, led to the birth of his only acknowledged illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. Henry took an…

James IV of Scotland (1488-1513): Scotland’s Renaissance King

James IV brought unity, international status and the Renaissance to Scotland but his foreign policies proved his downfall. James encouraged artists, musicians and writers at his court. The first printing press was established in 1507.  His reign was also a time of peace and prosperity. His parliament passed the first compulsory education act in 1496.…

The Magna Carta: England’s First Written Constitution

The Magna Carta was originally intended as a peace treaty between the king and his barons, but it became the cornerstone of liberty in the English-speaking world. English kings became more powerful and influential after 1066, through the Norman system of centralised government and the acquisition of Normandy. King John of England King John was…