The end of the middle ages was a turbulent time throughout Europe. New nation states were being created and old ones were falling. The Roman Catholic ChurchesÃÂ control over vast areas of Europe was rapidly being eroded by reformist ideas from people like Martin Luthor (1483-1546) and John Calvin (1509-1564). In the midst of this upheaval was the King of England King Henry the VIII, whose queen, Katherine of Aragon, had failed to bear a son and heir after fourteen years of marriage, only a daughter Mary born in 1516. Henry was trying to divorce her, but was bound by Catholic rules regarding divorce. In 1525 he petitioned pope Clement VII for an annulment, but was refused, the pope was under the control of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V who was KatherineÃÂs nephew. HenryÃÂs answer was to break from the Catholic Church, form an English version with him as the head, and annul the marriage anyway.
In 1525 Anne Boleyn, a lady In waiting to Katherine had caught the Kings eye. She was the sister to Mary, one of the Kings previous mistresses and as such was aware of the Kings situation. Anne had recently returned from Europe and was conscious of the Protestant reformation taking place on the continent.
With the help of his theological advisor Thomas Cramner, Henry looked for a way out of the marriage to Katherine and In 1529 he found it in a passage from the Bible, Leviticus XVIII chapter sixteen which clearly stated that:'Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother's wife: it isthy brother's nakedness'.
And, later, in chapter twenty,'If a man shall take his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing:he hath uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall bechildless'. (EnglishHistory.net)What could be clearer? The last statement was especially...