King Henry VIII(1491-1547), Reigned 1509-47
Sitter associated with 95 portraits
Henry VIII succeeded his father Henry VII to the throne in 1509. He is well known for his six marriages, and for ordering the dissolution of religious houses which took place between 1535-39. Aided by his ministers, Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell, his reign was characterised by ambition abroad and ruthlessness at home, firmly establishing the Tudor family as the ruling dynasty in England. His quest for a male heir and a divorce from his first wife Katherine of Aragon, led to his establishing himself as head of the Church in England in place of the Pope in 1535.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
by George Vertue, after Remigius van Leemput, after Hans Holbein the Younger
line engraving, 1737
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