Definition of Henry
- Henry VI (1421–71), son of Henry V, reigned 1422–61 and 1470-1. He was unfit to rule effectively on his own due to a recurrent mental illness. Government by the monarchy became increasingly unpopular and after intermittent civil war with the House of York (the Wars of the Roses), Henry was deposed in 1461 by Edward IV. He briefly regained his throne following a Lancastrian uprising.
- Henry VII (1457–1509), the first Tudor king, son of Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, reigned 1485–1509; known as Henry Tudor. Although the grandson of Owen Tudor, he inherited the Lancastrian claim to the throne through his mother, a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt. He defeated Richard III at Bosworth Field and eventually established an unchallenged Tudor dynasty.
- Henry VIII (1491–1547), son of Henry VII, reigned 1509–47. Henry had six wives (Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, Katherine Parr); he executed two and divorced two. His first divorce, from Catherine of Aragon, was opposed by the Pope, leading to England’s break with the Roman Catholic Church.