Henry VII was King of England from 1509 to 1547 and is most notable for instigating the reformation of the English church in order to secure a divorce from the first of his six wives. Born at Greenwich on June 28, 1491, he was the second son of Henry VII, founder of the Tudor Dynasty, and Elizabeth of York. In 1521, Henry had written a treatise against Martin Luther, for which Pope Leo X had awarded him the title “Defender of the Faith.”
Despite the organizational charges of his reformation, Henry never adopted protestant doctrines. Henry has been criticized for his greed and despotism and for squandering national resources on needless foreign wars. He was, however, able to hold the country together during a period of rapid change and factional strife, and he fostered the development of a sophisticated court in which fine artists and musicians found patronage. This is the Henry VIII’s first coin with an angel as the front of the coin.
Henry VII, often called Henry Tudor, was King of England from 1485 until 1509. The first ruler of the house of Tudor, his reign initiated a period of national unity. Henry, a direct descendant of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, was born on January 28, 1457. He became Head of the House of Lancaster on the death of Henry VI in 1471. In 1483, taking advantage of the indignation aroused against Edward’s successor, Richard III, Henry went to Wales, where, with his army of supporters, he defeated Richard, and was subsequently crowned Henry VII in London.
The following year he married the Yorkist Heiress, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV, uniting the Houses of York and Lancaster, ending the Wars of the Roses. Henry’s reign was one of high drama and historical events, with imposters to the throne, royal imprisonings, and Irish uprisings. Yet, he managed to maintain peaceful relations with Austria, Spain, and France throughout most of his years as king, and reorganized the Star Chamber to strengthen the royal power over the nobles.