[Flower logo of the Medieval History Course]Henry VIII

King Henry VIII, anxious to marry Anne Boleyn, sought to have his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled on the grounds that she had previously been married to Arthur, his older brother - a case of incest in contemporary opinion. Pope Clement VII's refusal to grant the annullment provoked the desperate king to declare hmself head of the Church of England, unbeholden to the Church of Rome. In this illustration, a dismayed Henry sits in the background while the papal legate glares out at the viewer.

George Harlow. The Court for the Trial of Queen Katharine. From Shakespeare's Henry VIII. act2 scene iv. c.1817. Oil canvas.31 1/2 X 41"(80 X 104cm). Royal Shakespeare Theatre Picture Gallery, Stratford-upon-Avon.