Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry in THE TUDORS.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry in THE TUDORS.

Henry Tudor died 466 years ago today, but because of all he achieved in his life, his influence lives on.

Most people tend to remember Henry because of his six wives, his obesity, and the fact that he split the Roman Catholic church asunder and formed the Church of England just so he could marry Ann Boleyn.

In fact, the separation of England from the Roman church allowed it to grown into the most powerful empire in Europe, under the leadership of Henry’s daughter, Elizabeth — another of Henry’s legacies.

Henry died in 1547 at age 55.  For many years it was thought he died of syphilis, but modern historians have refuted this belief.  It is now thought that Henry died of undiagnosed Type II diabetes complications, along with health complications arising from a jousting accident he suffered ten years before his death — of which the obesity was just one outcome.

He may have looked upon the economic ruin he left his kingdom in and thought he had failed, but Henry turned England’s progress around and opened the door for Elizabeth to shape the land into one of the greatest in the world.

It’s a pity Henry never knew that.

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