Henry and Bad Timing

So much in English history seems to be a matter of timing, so it is interesting that Henry VIII could have got a divorce from the pope and kept England Catholic. Because when the letter from Henry requesting the divorce reached the then pope, Clement, he had got himself in a bit of a mess, with Rome being taken by a bunch of armies including those of the Bourbons, some Lutherans and I think some serving the house of Orange, with him living in poverty in a ruined castle in Ovieto.

His last remaining supporter apart from the English monarch was Charles V of Spain, the nephew of Catherine of Aragon, so the pope would normally have been amenable to the divorce, couldn’t afford at that point to annoy his Spanish supporters.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

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