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Henry Viii to Mary I, 1509-1558

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F961A3: Henry VIII to Mary I, 1509-1558

A: What were Henry VIII's aims as king from 1509-1529?

Henry VIII's personality and role in government

▪ Henry VIII was a confident and energetic monarch. He had a much stronger claim to the throne than his father and there were no threats to his throne from pretenders.

▪ Henry VIII wanted to achieve glory for himself, his Court and for England. He would attempt to achieve this mainly through his foreign policy.

▪ Henry VIII was not, unlike his father, interested in the day to day administration of English government.

▪ He played a very important role at Court and he had the final say in all matters, but the running of the government and administration, he left to Wolsey - his chief minister from 1514-1529.

▪ Henry VIII was always the centre of attention but he hated writing and debating. Instead he preferred the thrill of hunting and sportsmanship and the excitement of diplomacy.

▪ Although Henry and Wolsey had their disagreements in the period up to 1527, none was serious enough to cause serious problems.

▪ Wolsey was brilliant at managing Henry's overdeveloped ego and Henry may have seen Wolsey as a surrogate father.

▪ After 1527, Henry VIII's energies were focused on the gravest crisis of his reign, the attempt by Henry to have his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled. This problem would lead eventually to Wolsey's fall from power.

Henry VIII and foreign policy

Introduction

▪ Henry VIII was an aggressive monarch. He wanted to raise England’s profile in Europe and was prepared to go to war to capture French territory.

▪ Wolsey, the humanist, wanted the glory of international diplomacy but wished to avoid the waste of war. His quest for peace, helped to dampen Henry’s martial ambitions.

Relations with France

1513: War with France; Why?

▪ Henry VIII...

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