Today in History... Henry VIII dies

Henry VIII was one of England's most famous, or infamous, kings. Remembered universally for his six wives, the most important event which King Henry presided over was his break with Papal authority in Rome which established the Anglican Church.

Henry was led to this decision by a wish to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. He claimed that this was because he believed the marriage was cursed.

Catherine had been married to his brother Arthur (who died aged 15) and Henry argued that God's disapproval was the cause of their lack of healthy male heirs. He had also fallen in love with Anne Boleyn, and so he requested an annulment from Pope Clement VII.

But the Pope was the prisoner of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Catherine's nephew, and refused. At length Henry - despite previously suppressing Protestant reformers - broke with Rome, declared himself the Supreme Head of the Church in England and granted himself a divorce.

Henry VIII letter

Incredibly, Henry's personal letter trying to establish contact with the Pope to make his argument for the annulment is currently available for sale.

Henry VIII signatures and memorabilia remain some of the most coveted of all collectibles.

Indeed Bobby Livingston of RR Auction underlined in our interview with him that King Henry's signatures are exactly the sorts of pieces which an investor could have confidence of retaining or improving their value regardless of the economic climate.



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