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King Henry VIII (1491-1547)

The Cambridge King: King Henry VIII of England

Overlooking Trinity Street, Cambridge, from the Trinity College entrance gate.

Overlooking Trinity Street, Cambridge, from the Trinity College entrance gate.

 

King Henry VIII was born in 1491 and was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Following his father Henry VII, he was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty.

He was a benefactor of both Cambridge and Oxford universities, founding Trinity College, Cambridge and Christ Church College, Oxford as sister colleges in 1546.

Trinity College emerged out of fusing Michaelhouse and King´s Hall into one college. Counting undergraduates, graduates, and fellows, it is the largest of all Oxbridge colleges. Various Nobel Prize winners and Prime Ministers originated from here. Famous fellows and alumni include Sir Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, and Adam Sedgwick, to name a few.

Trinity College is one of Cambridge University’s three royal colleges in Cambridge, along with King’s College and St. John’s College. Charles, Prince of Wales, earned a bachelor of arts degree here in 1970.

The playing piece references a statue located on the facade of the medieval Great Gate of Trinity College.  He is holding a chair leg in his right hand instead of a sceptre; this was a student prank in the 19th century and has remained there to this day.