House of Tudor. The son of the Tudor founder, he brought England into both the Renaissance and the Reformation. He patronized the philosopher Erasmus, the painter Hans Holbein the Younger, and the writer Thomas More. Originally a supporter of the Catholic Church--the Pope had named him "Defender of the Faith"--he named himself head of the Church of England in 1533 so that he could divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. Executed top ministers who crossed him, including Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More. He married six times, but only his third wife, Jane Seymour, bore him a son, the sickly Edward VI.