Henry viii

Henry VIII and the Break with Rome Timeline

  • 1509

    Henry marries Catherine of Aragon

    Henry marries Catherine of Aragon
    Henry came to the throne following the death of his father, Henry VII. He married his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon.
  • 1517

    Martin Luther 95 thesis

    Martin Luther 95 thesis
    Luther made a protest against the Catholic practice of Indulgences. Luther gained support for his ideas and Europe became split between Luther’s supporters (Protestants) and the Catholics.
  • 1521

    Fidei Defensor

    A book, ‘Septum Sacramentorum’, written by Henry VIII which spoke in defence of the Catholic religion was presented to the Pope. The Pope gave Henry the title, Fidei Defensor [Defender of the Faith] which was hereditary and is still used by the monarchy today.
  • 1524

    Henry first doubts validity of marriage. Concern about succession

    Henry first doubts validity of marriage. Concern about succession
    Henry stopped having sexual relations with Catherine. He no longer found his wife desirable and was beginning to have serious doubts regarding the validity of his marriage. He believed that God was punishing him for marrying his brother’s wife by not giving him a son.
    Henry was very concerned about who should succeed him to the throne. The heir to the throne was his daughter, Mary. However, there had not been a Queen of England since Matilda in 1136 and there had been civil war as a result.
  • 1525

    Anne Boleyn

    Anne Boleyn
    Henry became infatuated with Anne Boleyn.
  • 1527

    Separation

    Henry told Catherine that they must separate because they had been living in sin. He asked her to co-operate and to choose a house to retire to until the matter was resolved. Catherine was stunned and upset and made it quite plain that she would resist any divorce.
  • 1529

    Legatine Court

    Legatine Court
    Henry and Catherine appeared before the court on 18th June. Catherine stated her wish for the case to be heard in Rome, but this was denied. On 21st June Henry told the court of his fears that his lack of a male heir was due to his marrying his brother’s wife. Catherine, in reply made a very moving speech asserting the validity of her present marriage. On 16th July the Pope decided that the divorce case should not be heard in England but should be heard in Rome.
  • 1529

    Henry summoned to Rome

    Henry summoned to Rome
    Henry received a summons from Rome to appear before the papal curia. He was furious. His anger with Rome was growing as was the awareness that the Pope may never grant him a divorce. He realised that he needed to find another solution.
  • 1529

    Thomas Cranmer

    Thomas Cranmer told Henry that it was his opinion that the marriage should be tried by the Doctors of Divinity in the Universities for it was them that studied the Bible and were therefore better qualified to discuss its meaning. If the marriage were found to be invalid then all that would be necessary would be for the Archbishop of Canterbury to pronounce the King a free man. Henry ordered Cranmer to devote all his time to the divorce.
  • 1529

    Church Reform

    Acts were passed by Parliament to remedy abuses by the church. The fees to be charged for probate and mortuary were limited. the procedures for dealing with murderers and felons who sought sanctuary were made more severe. Lands leased by spiritual men were to be regulated. The number of offices to be held by any one man was reduced to four. the measures were not well received by the clergy.
  • 1530

    Universities decide on King’s marriage

    The King’s advisors began consulting the universities as to their opinions on the King’s marriage. At Cambridge University there was quite strong opposition to the divorce so they had to be careful which Doctors were picked to make the decision. The University declared that it was against divine law for a man to marry his brother’s widow.
    At Oxford university opposition to the divorce was stronger and more care was needed in the selection of Doctors to make the decision.
  • 1530

    Divorce

    A massive campaign was launched to declare that the relevant passage in Leviticus was subject to Canon law and libraries across Europe were searched for information that would help prove the King’s case. All those scholars deciding that Henry had a good case were sent a sum of money.
  • 1530

    Henry ordered to Rome

    Henry received a citation ordering him to appear in Rome to state his case. His anger with Rome was increasing.
  • 1531

    Pope orders Henry to separate

    The Pope, Clement VII, issued a brief that ordered Henry to separate from Anne. He also informed Henry that he was not free to re-marry and that if he did so without the permission of Rome then any children of the liaison would be considered illegitimate.
  • 1531

    Henry Head of Church

    Henry Head of Church
    Henry stood up in parliament and demanded that all members of the Church in England recognise him as Supreme Head and Sole Protector of the Church in England. Although there was much resistance, an Act was passed confirming the King’s status as Supreme Head of the Church of England. The King’s new title was proclaimed to the people.
  • 1532

    Act in Conditional Restraint of Annates

    This Bill limited payments to Rome to 5% of the net revenue of any church. Henry also went into the House of Commons, an unprecedented move, and asked that all those who supported the bill sit on one side of the House and those who opposed it sit on the other.
  • 1532

    Submission of the Clergy

    This took the form of a short document that was to be signed by all Bishops. The document made three concessions.
    1. The clergy would make no new laws without the consent of the monarch.
    2. The clergy would allow all existing laws to be reviewed by a commission of clergy and laymen appointed by the King.
    3. Convocation would not meet without first obtaining royal permission.
  • 1532

    Thomas More – resignation

    The signing of the Submission of the clergy led to Thomas More, who was deeply opposed to the break with Rome, resigning his position as Chancellor on the grounds of ill health.
  • 1533

    Anne Boleyn – Pregnant

    Anne Boleyn – Pregnant
    Anne Boleyn told Henry that she was pregnant. Henry now knew he had to marry Anne as soon as possible to ensure the child’s legitimacy. He decided that the marriage should take place as soon as possible, but should be kept secret until an act could be passed abolishing all appeals to Rome.
  • 1533

    Henry/Anne Boleyn – marriage

    Henry/Anne Boleyn – marriage
    Shortly before dawn, in the presence of four or five witnesses, sworn to secrecy, Henry and Anne were married in the King’s private chapel at Whitehall.
  • 1533

    Act in Restraint of Appeals

    The passing of this act forbade all appeals to foreign tribunals in all spiritual, revenue and testamentary cases. Spiritual and secular jurisdiction was to be the ultimate responsibility of the King and the Pope’s right of intervention was abolished.
  • 1533

    Thomas Cranmer

    Thomas Cranmer was formally authorised to pass judgement on the King’s marriage to Catherine. He declared Henry’s marriage null and void on the grounds that it was contrary to divine law. In a hearing at Lambeth Palace, Cranmer proclaimed that Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was legal.
  • 1533

    Coronation – Queen Consort

    Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey.
  • 1533

    Birth of Elizabeth I

    Birth of Elizabeth I
    A daughter, Elizabeth, was born to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Henry was obviously disappointed that the baby was not a boy and blamed both God and Anne for denying him the heir he so desired.
  • 1533

    Mary Tudor

    Mary Tudor
    Mary was told that she would no longer be referred to as Princess. Her household was to be disbanded and her servants were told to remove her badge from their liveries.
  • 1533

    England/Papacy

    An order was issued that stated that the Pope had no more authority in England than any other bishop. From now on he would be referred to as the Bishop of Rome. The break with Rome had happened so gradually that there was very little opposition to the move.
  • 1533

    Anne Boleyn

    Anne Boleyn
    Anne announced that she was pregnant for the second time.
  • 1534

    Act of Succession

    This Act was introduced to exclude Mary from the succession and settle it instead on the children born from his marriage to Anne.John Fisher and Thomas More refused to take the Oath of Succession. The terms of the Act of Succession were proclaimed across the land. The people were warned that if they said or wrote anything against the King’s present marriage or his lawful heirs, they would be guilty of treason, punishable by death.
  • 1534

    Church

    Henry wanted to be sure that his subjects knew that Papal supremacy had been replaced by royal supremacy. He ordered all parish priests to erase all references to the Pope from the prayer books. All preachers were told that their parishioners must be left in no doubt that the King, and only the King, was Head of the Church.
  • 1534

    Anne Boleyn – Stillbirth

    Anne was delivered of a stillborn child. Henry who did not want to lose face a second time ordered the details to be kept secret.
  • 1534

    Act of Supremacy

    Act of Supremacy
    The act stated that the king was to become Supreme Head of the Church of England and would have the power to visit, redress, reform, correct or amend all errors, heresies and enormities which would previously have been dealt with by another spiritual authority. The King could define the faith in parliament. The passing of this act gave Henry more power than ever for within his own realm he was superior to the Pope and all taxes formerly paid to Rome would now be paid to the King.
  • 1535

    Anne Boleyn – pregnant. A stillborn child

    Anne Boleyn discovered that she was pregnant. She was prematurely delivered of a stillborn child.
  • 1535

    Jane Seymour

    Jane Seymour
    Jane Seymour had succeeded in attracting Henry and was being openly courted by him.
  • 1536

    Catherine of Aragon – Death

    Catherine of Aragon – Death
    Catherine of Aragon died at 2 p.m. at Kimbolton Castle, Huntingdonshire, probably of cancer.
  • 1536

    Act Against the Pope’s Authority

    This Act removed the last traces of Papal power in England, including the Pope’s right to decide disputed points of Scripture. the passing of this Act, together with the Act in Restraint of Appeals (1533) and the Act of Supremacy (1534) made it unacceptable for monastic communities, who owed allegiance to parent institutions outside England, to remain.
  • 1536

    Anne Boleyn – Stillbirth

    Anne Boleyn – Stillbirth
    Anne Boleyn, four months into her pregnancy, was delivered of a stillborn son at Greenwich Palace. She blamed the miscarriage on her worry about Henry’s affair with Jane Seymour. Anne was worried that Henry would now divorce her.
  • 1536

    Anne Boleyn - Death

    Anne Boleyn - Death
    Henry signed a commission that authorised commissioners to enquire into any kind of treason committed by his wife.
    Anne Boleyn was charged with having committed adultery with some half dozen men including her brother George. She was charged with plotting her husband’s murder and with promising to marry one of her lovers when the King was dead.Anne Boleyn was tried on a charge of committing adultery with a number of men. She was found guilty of high treason and beheaded.
  • 1536

    Henry/Jane Seymour

    Henry married Jane Seymour at Whitehall Palace, London.
  • 1536

    Act of Suppression

    Cromwell persuaded Parliament to pass this Act which provided for the closure of all monasteries worth less than 200 pounds per annum and for their properties to be placed at the King’s disposal.
  • 1536

    Act of Succession

    This Act cancelled the two previous acts of Succession. It registered the invalidity of Henry’s first two marriages and gave Elizabeth the same status as Mary. Neither daughter was to be called princess but the King’s daughter, lady Mary and the King’s daughter, Lady Elizabeth. This act gave rights of succession to children of Henry’s marriage to Jane Seymour.
  • 1536

    Church – The Ten Articles

    These were a series of injunctions introduced by Cromwell to improve the conduct of the clergy and the worship of the people. Sermons were to be preached at stated periods against the Rome. Relics were not to be exhibited for gain. A good home life was deemed preferable to pilgrimage. Children were to learn the Lord’s Prayer, The Holy Creed and The Ten Commandments in English among other things.
  • 1537

    Bishop’s Book/Institution of Christian man

    Bishop’s Book/Institution of Christian man
    The Bishop’s book appeared. Often referred to as ‘The Institution of a Christian Man’, it laid down a stand on Christian Orthodoxy. The book makes note that the fifth commandment, Honour thy mother and thy father, meant that a subject must love the King as the father of his subjects and that all Christians must love the King more than they loved their natural father.
  • 1539

    The Great Bible Introduced

    The Great Bible was the first English Bible to be authorised by the King to be used in Churches in England. Cromwell directed all churches to provide a copy of this Bible in a place where it could be read by all.
  • 1539

    The Six Articles

    This doctrine instituted by Henry set the out the faith of the new Anglican church. The church retained most practices and principles of the Catholic church. The only real difference was that the King not the Pope was now head of the Church.