Henry 8th, King of England, and his six wives.

At this point in his life there is some doubt if the King could have fathered any more children.

Catherine was married to Henry on 11th June 1509 and the marriage was finally dissolved in 1533.

Katherine was married on the 28th July 1540 and was executed  on 13th February 1542

Catherine Parr

Credit: By Lucas Horenbout (1490/95?-1544) (http://englishhistory.net/tudor/monarchs/parr.html) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Anne was married to Henry  on 25th January 1533 and was executed on 19th May 1536.

Catherine of AragonWife No 1

Henry 8th , was  King of England from 1509   to 1547    .  Given his track record and with the knowledge that he had already executed one of his wives she probably thought that this was the wisest course to enjoy her own personal safety. Catherine gave him one child, a girl; the future Queen Mary, not the lusty son that he craved.   When Henry fell in love again and commanded that the marriage be annulled, she offered no opposition. Catherine herself at the time of her divorce proclaimed that the marriage had not been consummated and that she had entered King Henry’s bed with her maiden hood still intact. Holbein had painted Queen Jane and was a trusted artist. Initially tolerant of this attitude Henry’s tolerance decreased as she suffered a number of miscarriages and   gave birth to only one living child, a girl, the future Queen Elizabeth. It may be that physically she was acceptable but that she simply had no chemistry and was quiet and dull.

Catherine of Aragon(131401)

Credit: Michael Sittow (circa 1469-1525) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

After the King’s death Catherine married again for the fourth time and gave birth to a daughter , she herself suffered the same fate as Queen Jane and died shortly after the birth of her only child.

My own view is that he never set out to marry so many women, he was just driven, initially by the need for a son, but then to find someone whom he could he trust and love- a difficult demand in the Tudor court that he had created.

King Henry VIII

Credit: By Follower of Hans Holbein the Younger (philipmould.com) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Jane was married to King Henry on 30th May 1536  and died 24th October of the same year.

Anne BoleynWife No2

Anne   Boleyn was some years younger than the King whom she had met at court as part of the Queens ladies. The victim of plots made against her, Anne was charged with Treason and along with her brother and other supposed lovers she was executed. A young girl and an older sick man of gross physical dimensions, it is no wonder that Katherine needed   romance  in her life. Jane was pregnant when she married the King and gave birth to the son that he so desired. King Henry had ordered his own wife to die and whilst he did so was looking for another wife.

Catherine ParrWife No 6

Wife Number six was a widow, Catherine Parr who had survived two husbands and looked like she might survive the third. The King was told of these relations  and his love faded at once leading to the execution of his fifth wife and her so called lovers. Henry divorced Catherine in 1532   in order to marry his second wife.

Catherine and Henry were married on 12th July 1543 and she was widowed folowing the King’s death on 28th January 1547

It is believed that the portrait below by Hans Holbein the younger was used by Henry to choose Anne as his wife. Six months before the Kings’ death Catherine was nearly arrested because of her strong protestant faith, but by supplicating herself in front of the King she managed to save her own life and outlive the King. She had  a fierce almost shrewish character often attacking rather than encouraging or fawning on the King. Henry fell in love with a young girl aged 19 years, Katherine Howard, and married her as soon as he could get his marriage to Anne annulled.. Although Jane seemed to recover from the birth she soon became ill and died from the poor hygiene of the age.

Anne Boleyn(131402)

Credit: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Anne of ClevesWife No 4

For his fourth wife, Henry eschewed marrying for love but chose to marry for International Diplomacy.Emissaries were sent to Cleves now in Germany to arrange  The match with Anne of Cleves  and Henry relied on portraits of his future wife Anne to ascertain her beauty. There were no children born of this marriage. At this time many women died after child birth, even Queen’s.  The King valued his wife’s role in the production of his heir, so much so, that he was buried with her when he died , at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. She had friendships with other men, though it is believed that she probably stopped short of physical relations. Unsurprisingly the couple did not have any children

Katherine HowardWife No 5

. Their son, Edward became King after his fathers death, but sickly from birth his reign was not long.


Jane Seymour

Credit: Hans Holbein the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Anne of Cleves

Credit: Hans Holbein the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

. The marriage produced no children probably because of the Ill health of the King.

Jane SeymourWife No3

The King’s third wife was Jane Seymour but their marriage was to last less than one year. The marriage  was not a success, there was no chemistry between the royal couple, Anne was heavy featured and I think did not really fit in with the English court. He is well remembered for his collection of wives, six in total, some of whom did not die natural deaths.

Anne was married to Henry on 6th January 1540 and the marriage was dissolved in July of the same year.

Katherine Howard

Credit: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Henry’s first wife was Catherine of Aragon, who had also been married to his elder brother, Arthur who died without leaving a son. Arthur was a sickly young man and there was some doubt if the marriage was ever consummated

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