The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack

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Today in History: Henry VIII Takes Command of the English Church

Posted by Gilbert Stack on November 3, 2018 at 6:35 AM

On this day (November 3) in 1534 the English Parliament past the First Act of Supremacy, which declared Henry VIII to be the head of the Church of England, denying the pope’s historical authority. Henry had maneuvered toward this moment for several years, although it is a subject of scholarly debate as to whether or not he wanted this moment to come when he first began proceedings to annul his marriage to Catharine of Aragon. It’s also a subject of debate as to how much Anne Boleyn wanted Henry to break England away from Rome. Whatever his initial intentions, Henry was not a man who took refusal well and quickly convinced himself that the pope had usurped the power every English king should have always had. It’s ironic that this moment of triumph that Anne must have celebrated with him started her down the road to the headman’s axe.

Categories: Today in History

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