1491 – Born on June 28th in Greenwich, near London. The king of England, who presided over the beginnings of the English Renaissance and the English Reformation.
1502 – When his elder brother, Arthur, died, Henry became the heir to the throne; of all the Tudor monarchs, he alone spent his childhood in calm expectation of the crown, which helped give an assurance of majesty and righteousness to his willful, ebullient character.
1509 – He excelled in book learning as well as in the physical exercises of an aristocratic society, and, when he ascended the throne, great things were expected of him.
1512 – Henry joined his father-in-law, Ferdinand II of Aragon, against France and ostensibly in support of a threatened pope, to whom the devout king for a long time paid almost slavish respect.
1513 – Henry himself displayed no military talent, but a real victory was won by the Earl of Surrey at Flodden against a Scottish invasion.
1517 – Journalists and writers continued to be full of hope for a king who commanded the services of a new councilor, Sir Thomas More, one of the outstanding minds of the day.
1521-1525 – Henry became an outpost of Charles V’s imperial power, which at Pavia, for the moment, destroyed the rival power of France.
1527 – Henry pursued what became known as “the King’s great matter”: his divorce from Catherine.
1533 – The revolution that he had not intended gave the King his wish: in January he married Anne Boleyn.
1537 – Henry immediately married Jane Seymour, who bore him his son Edward but died in childbirth.
1540-1542 – He briefly renewed his youth in marriage to the 20-year-old Catherine Howard, whose folly in continuing her promiscuity, even as queen, brought her to the block.
1547 – Conscious almost to the very end, he died on January 28th in London.