I’ve always found Henry VIII fascinating. This was a dangerous time, especially for those who married this King!

It was 1509 when Henry VIII became King of England. When his wife, Catherine of Aragon, did not conceive a son, Henry VIII sought an annulment. He had to get permission from the pope. But in 1527, the Holy Roman Emperor conquered Rome, which prevented Henry VIII from getting his way.

At the same time, starting in 1517, the reformation was going on in England. This caused a religious schism where Europe became divided. The reformation was heavily influenced by humanist thinking.

When Henry the VIII could not get an anullment, he essentially cut ties with the Roman Catholic Church and became the leader of a new religion: Anglicanism or the Church of England.

He put Catharine of Aragon aside and married Anne Bolyn. As most of you know, he ended up beheading his new queen after their daughter Elizabeth was born.

There’s so much more to the history of Henry VIII and all the wives he married. Dig into the history and find out how many wives he had, how many he had executed, and how many died of illness, and how many just didn’t work out.

Then after Henry VIII’s death, there’s even more fascinating history, including Lady Jane Grey and the infamous Bloody Mary.

During this time, in 1543, Copernicus, an astronomer, wrote “Revolutions of the Celestial Orbits.” He was the first to theorize that the earth revolved around the sun which didn’t sit well with church leadership and European astronomers who said the Earth was the center of the universe. He died the year his work was pubilshed, which saved him much outrage from other astronomers and church leaders who did not hold with this heliocentric idea.

Later, in the early part of the 17th century, Galileo and Johanes Kepler developed Copernicus’ ideas and popularized it. This resulted in a trial and Galileo was convicted of heresy.

In the later part of the 17th century, Isaac Newton worked on theories of celestial mechanics and so the Copernican view of the universe became even more popular and spread to non catholic countries. It became the universal view.

Other leaders during that time period:

1503—Julius II appointed pope. Brought about Roman golden age.

1515—Francis I succeeded French throne.

1516—Charles V took power in Spain.

1520—Süleyman “the Magnificent” takes power in the Ottoman Empire

1530—Charles V becomes Holy Roman Emperor

Famous artists and writers and cartographers:

Printmaker Albrecht Dürer
Leonardo Da Vinci
Desiderius Erasmus
Niccolò Machiavelli
Thomas More
Diogo Ribeiro
Andreas Vesalius
Matteo Bandello