The BRF began its reign in 1066 when William the Bastard, conquered Normandy & became William the Conqueror (William I). William started the amassment of wealth by acquiring land and ensuring his subjects (tenants) paid revenue, tolls (fines), and taxes. Over centuries, BRF accumulation of land and assets increased throughout the Kingdom of England.
Fast forward 443 years later, King Henry VIII sits on the Throne. Henry is mostly remembered for his tumultuous private life; however, his accomplishments were instrumental in advancing the Kingdom of England. Henry’s reign strengthen the Monarch’s powers, oversaw Wales becoming a part of the Kingdom of England and Henry himself being declared the King of Ireland.
Furthermore, Henry VIII was the first Monarch to be given and use the title ‘Defender of the Faith’ by the Pope. The irony is that thirteen years later Henry VIII initiated the English (Protestant) Reformation making him the “Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England” and severed ties with the Pope and Roman Catholic Church. Consequently, the Crown acquired lands, property and monies that were once owned by the Catholic Church. This influx of assets added to the wealth of the BRF and Kingdom of England.
Henry VIII was also the ‘Father of the [British] Royal Navy’. During his reign, Henry ordered the construction of Royal Dockyards and ‘more advanced’ ships. It was Henry’s initiative that paved the way to the establishment of one of the greatest maritime Navies in the world. A Navy that circumnavigated Oceans and Seas, battled countries, pirates and privateers, escorted slave ships, protected sugarcane producing islands; which enabled the Kingdom of England and later the United Kingdom (UK) to impose it’s supremacy throughout the world, until the end of WWI.