The Tudor Society

23 May – Henry VIII’s first marriage is annulled

Holbein's survivijng portrait of Henry VIII

On this day in Tudor history, 23rd May 1533, in the reign of King Henry VIII, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, declared the sentence of the special court that had met at Dunstable Priory in Bedfordshire.

The Dunstable Priory court had convened to hear the case for the annulment of King Henry VIII's marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Predictably, the court declared the marriage to be contrary to God's laws and the archbishop was able to inform the king of the sentence of "divorce".

Find out more in today's video.

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