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King Henry VIII second son of Henry VII was the most formidable and famous king who ever reigned in England Because he wanted a male heir he married six different times throughout his reign He married for both political and formal reasons Henry Tudor named after his father Henry VII was born June 28 1491 in Greenwich Palace London Since he was the second son and not expected to become king there is little to find out about his childhood After Arthur his older brother died Henry was left heir to the throne Henrys education had been extremely thorough He could speak and write fluent French and Latin understood Italian well and spoke it a little and by 1520 was conversant with Spanish He loved reading His literary talents extended to passionate love letters as well as poetry His chief interest was theology He was a master of doctrinal debate He was good at mathematics and also keenly interested in astronomy Henry VII died on April 22 1509 and his son became Henry VIII Henry was just shy of eighteen years old when he became king and had been preparing for it from the time of his older brother Arthurs death At this age he was very handsome He was very tall with broad shoulders also with strong athletic limbs and fair skin Henrys contemporaries thought he was the most gentle and affable prince in the world He was quick to laugh and intelligent with a merry look He had great charisma and a strong personality that won golden opinions Henry VIII professed all his life a deep and sincere faith in God and for many years regarded himself as a true son of the Church of Rome He was known to attend as many as six masses in a single day and at least three on days when he hunted Apart from religion Henry loved gambling good
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