Lady-in-waiting to Queen Jane, the fictional Lady Ursula becomes Henry’s bedside nurse—and mistress.
Aka ‘the Vicar of Hell,’ Sir Francis Bryan was a womanizer with loose morals and a missing eye (he lost it in a jousting accident).
The ambitious politician Otto Truchsess von Waldburg was an imperial councilor who, as a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, strongly opposed the Protestant Reformation.
From of the heartland of Protestantism, Henry’s German fourth wife was picked out for him by Reformation leader Thomas Cromwell.
Henry’s eldest daughter grew up disowned by her father and separated from her mother, Katherine of Aragon and eventually earned the epithet ‘Bloody Mary.’
An attorney from the northern city of York, Robert Aske became the leader of the rebel group ‘Pilgrims of Grace.’
A statesman and sympathizer to the rebel uprising, Darcy joined Robert Aske and the ‘Pilgrims of Grace.’
Henry’s fifth and youngest wife was vivacious and impressionable, a first cousin of Anne Boleyn.
Described as ‘a beautiful youth,’ he became Queen Katherine Howard’s lover.
Sister-in-law to Anne Boleyn and lady-in-waiting to Henry’s subsequent wives, Lady Rochford helped arrange romantic trysts between Queen Katherine Howard and Thomas Culpepper.
Henry VIII’s sixth and final marriage to the twice-widowed Catherine Parr was also one of his longest, lasting five years.
Henry broke from the Catholic Church and instated the Church of England just so he could marry his mistress Anne Boleyn.
Cardinal Wolsey was King Henry’s cunning and imperious chancellor whose friendship was tested time and time again.
Though seven years older than Henry, Charles shared many characteristics—natural athleticism, robust physical health, and a devotion to all sports.
Henry VIII was both jealous and suspicious of Edward due to his wealth, land and royal blood.
He was England’s most infamous royal bad boy; Henry was a voluptuary, consuming food and women as voraciously as he disposed of those who crossed him.
Katherine left strong impressions on people—so much so that even her enemy, Thomas Cromwell, said ‘If not for her sex, she could have defied all the heroes of History.’
A supremely selfish but brilliant political man, Thomas Boleyn knew of the King’s appetites, so he offered him his daughters.
Thomas Howard was uncle to Henry’s 2nd and 5th wives: Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard.
Thomas More held many positions in Henry’s court, including Lord Chancellor, and was well-known for his harsh sentences regarding religious matters.
At the court of Henry VII the young orphan became a page to two-year-old Prince Henry, and a close friendship was forged that continued long after the Prince became King.
Anne Boleyn took a liking to this melancholy court musician, but because of his social status they couldn’t exactly be the best of friends.
Paul III reigned as Pope in a time of Catholic uncertainty and tried unsuccessfully to suppress the Protestant Reformation.
Appointed Archbishop of Canterbury thanks to ties with the Boleyn family, Thomas Cranmer rose to power from a relatively minor status.
A key player in the Reformation and supporter of the Royal Supremacy, it was Thomas Cromwell’s efforts that finally won King Henry his first divorce.
Patient, gracious and demure—and the only one of Henry’s wives to produce a male heir—Jane Seymour was considered Henry’s favorite wife.
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