King Henry was excommunicated by the Pope. King Henry placed himself at the head of the church in England and the official religion changed from Catholic to Protestant. The Catholic faith was rendered illegal and some catholics were executed. The monasteries were dissolved and the monks and nuns thrown out, resistors were executed. Vast estates were owned by the monasteries and they had huge wealth, the King acquired this wealth for himself. Many works of art were destroyed or defaced in cathedrals and churches as puritanical fervour swept the country. The events are known as the Reformation. A very sad time for the country's heritage. The main reason for these changes was that the Catholic Church did not want to annul the marrige between the King and Catherine of Aragon. So the King was able to divorce her when he became head of the Church of England. He then married Anne Boleyn but he soon tired of her and had her executed on trumped up charges of adultery.