Kingdom of England, Henry VIII, Half Groat


Kingdom of England, Henry VIII, Half Groat (obverse) Kingdom of England, Henry VIII, Half Groat (reverse)

Henry VIII, King of England (1509-1547), had a problem. It 's name was Catherine of Aragon, he was married to it and it was the mother of five royal children of whom only a girl had survived. In 1527, it was predictable that Catherine would not bear any more children. Hence Henry either had to do without a male heir to the English throne, or he had to find another woman. Henry's choice was a young court lady by the name of Anne Boleyn. But the pope was not ready to allow Henry to divorce Catherine of Aragon; meanwhile, Anne was showing the first signs of pregnancy. If Henry wanted a legitimate heir to the throne, he had to act quickly! He solved the problem by withdrawing all of the pope's revenues in England as well as his privilege of jurisdiction in churchly matters. With this, the pope had no means to prevent his marriage with Anne Boleyn. What bad luck when she, too, bore only a daughter! Financially, however, the coup paid well for Henry. He had himself made head of the English church and from then on obtained all her revenues. Moreover, in 1536, he secularized all monasteries, which after all held 10 percent of the farmable lands of England at that time.


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