King Henry VIII - The Tudors - Tudor England
Welcome to Study Guides!

Henry VIII

Henry VIII
Henry VIII

When Henry VII died in 1509, his son Henry VIII, at 18 years old, became king of England. Like the Ottoman sultans, like Francis I in France, and like Charles Quint in the rest of Europe at the same time, Henry VIII worked to make his country more of a country and himself more of an absolute king.

One way Henry VIII got more power was that he started his own Christian church. Henry said he wouldn't do what the Pope said anymore, even if the Pope excommunicated him. (Henry also got a lot of money by closing many Catholic monasteries and taking their money!) Henry also killed a lot of people, including two of his seven wives. But in Henry's time England's main business was exporting wool cloth, and nobody was very interested in ships or sailing to the New World.

When Henry died, probably of diabetes, in 1547, he was only 55 years old. Henry's son Edward VI became king of England. But Edward was only nine years old, so his uncle Edward Seymour was the real ruler of England. When Edward died (possibly of tuberculosis or pneumonia) at 15, his older half-sister Mary soon became Queen of England.

Learn by doing: The Prince and the Pauper
What happened next? Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth

Bibliography and further reading about Henry VIII and Tudor England:

What happened next? Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth Ottoman Empire home

LIMITED TIME OFFER FOR TEACHERS: Using this article with your class? Show us your class page where you're using this article, and we'll send you a free subscription so all your students can use Study Guides with no distractions! (Not a teacher? Paid subscriptions are also available for just $16/year!)
Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Study Guides
  • Publisher:
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article

Does your class page honor diversity, celebrate feminism, and support people of color, LBGTQ people, and people with disabilities? Let us know, and we'll send you a Diversity Banner you can proudly display!
Looking for more? is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Study Guides, . Web. 23 April, 2017