Henry VIII: His Life and Legacy

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Biography of Catherine Parr, Sixth Wife of Henry VIII

He was feared, and admired, and his death was marked by more obvious public grief than that of any other Tudor. That the public remembers him as Bluff King Hal rather than as a murderous cripple testifies much to his talent for self-presentation. Elizabeth I idolised her father and knew that people remembered him fondly, so she used to stand in front of his portrait when welcoming foreign visitors to show the likeness between them and referred to him in speeches Great article! The man broke from Rome which was a huge turn of events in those times.

Obviously now it is hard to really understand how huge what Henry did was, In a time when death was so real and faith was really all most people had to turn the away from the Pope and do it successfully is a testament to how greater King he was. Despite this great act I think he is remembered solely for his six wives, obviously those of us with a greater interest in Tudor history know the complexities of what Henry did and his reasoning for six wives and know there is far more to his story beyond his bedroom antics.

But the story of Catherine of Aragon, Henry and Anne is a tale that captivates and stands out. As for prince or Tyrant?


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Well in my view he was far from a tyrant, yes he did some horrific things but I can understand in part why. This is a Man whose forefathers fought for the crown and to him the continuation of the Tudor dynasty was of utmost importance. He needed a son for his Kingdom to be safe, and that was to be expected of a King. So yes he did some terrible and cruel things but he needed a son and Britain is a tiny island he had Spain, France and Scotland breathing down his neck just waiting to take England.

You have to give it to him and his daughter Elizabeth they took a tiny island and made it into a feared and powerful nation.. At what cost? Were the sacrifices worth it? Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the united states of america. Do tell! Therefore, save for the instigation of the royal Navy, it is arguable that the creation of the Church of England was his only great achievement. And of course he only did that because of a woman! I think so. But I have my suspicions where he is concerned. Great article. Throughly enjoyed reading it.

I wonder the same, Gemma. We will never know that is until Humans can time travel I have always had mixed feelings for Henry — like Elizabeth I admired him greatly in some aspects but in others I found him utterly replusive, and a monester. ALl in all I think he was a pretty good King, if not a terribly mixed up and confused man.

Off With Her Head: Nonfiction About The Wives Of Henry VIII

He instilled his values and leadership in his daughter, Elizabeth, who put that to good use. I wonder if on the day she was crowned he was somwhere smiling, or with a look of shock on his face. It makes me wonder how Elizabeth could idolize her father when he was responsible for killing her mother. What kind of opinion do you think Elizabeth had of her mother? I am certain Elizabeth must have heard terrible stories about her.

Inside the lives of King Henry VIII's wives and children | History

What opinion do you think she had of Anne? The academic establishment in England was already moving towards humanism and enlightenment, and an English reformation inspired by Lutheran ideas was probably going to take place anyway, regardless of what Henry did or failed to do in the bedchamber. He and Anne cannot take all the credit or discredit for that.


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  • Other forces were at work. Most daughters do idolize their fathers, overlooking the individuals flawed and cruel nature. Henry wanted children only to further the Tudor line. Your loving daughter, Elizabeth I. It is difficult to know what to make of him. He was extremely charismatic, vain, hypocritical, spoilt and selfish. As a young man i think i would have fancied him,as he is said to have been very fit and hansome.

    But we could do with a leader like him now, to deal with these Islamic extremist threatening our world. From what I understand of the world situation, I think we need leaders who are both knowledgeable and have empathy for others to lead to a peaceful solution to current problems. An extremist for any cause is dangerous and will always pose a threat. By the time of his death, I think people were ready for a change. His last years were ones of brutality and paranoia.

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    I think we will never know, he is pretty much of an enigma. I do believe, nevertheless, that he was a tyrant. He was a tyrannical King who inspired the love and affection of his people. I think he was a sociopathic monster and wasted the monies he grabbed from the church.

    So many people put to death by him. A matter of self and the Tudor Dynasty first; the welfare of his subjects last. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. As a result they had a very close relationship. It was here that Henry first met and impressed the scholar Erasmus, introduced to him by Thomas More. The relative peace that the country enjoyed under Henry VII can be attributed in part to his marriage to Elizabeth of York, which had effectively joined the warring Houses of York and Lancaster.

    That stability was threatened with the unexpected death of Arthur Prince of Wales in With only one male child, Elizabeth of York was expected to perform her royal duty once again; this time, though, there were to be tragic consequences.


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    • Elizabeth fell pregnant but, following the premature birth of a baby girl within the White Tower at the Tower of London, she died on 11 February , her 37th birthday. Henry was aged old enough to be fully aware of events, young enough to truly feel the loss of a mother. In , an incredible discovery at the National Library of Wales revealed an illustrated manuscript containing a painting showing the year-old Henry crying at the empty bedside of his dead mother.

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      Was he subconsciously, maybe even consciously, looking for the perfect wife to emulate his mother? The palace fell into decline after the reign of James I and suffered grave damage when occupied by parliamentary troops during the Civil War in the 17th century. The ruined great hall, once splendid for court occasions, was even used as a cattle barn during the 18th century. She was built in around , two years after Henry became king, and sank on 19 July , two years before Henry died, thus her service spanned almost his entire reign.

      Henry spent a fortune on ships and a series of land-based coastal defences to protect England from attack. His fears were realised in July when a French invasion force intent on landing on the English mainland gathered off the Isle of Wight. Henry travelled to Portsmouth to inspect his fleet, which included the year-old Mary Rose. On 19 July the wind turned in favour of the English and the Mary Rose went into battle with the rest of the fleet.

      There are a number of theories as to how the ship sank, one of which is that after firing at the French galleys she made a quick turn, at which point the wind caught her sails, causing her to bank so far over that water entered the gun ports which had not yet been closed. Whatever the cause, her demise was swift. Within minutes she was below the waves, taking the lives of the majority of her crew with her. From his vantage point on the battlements of Southsea Castle, where he was gathered with a land army, Henry saw all.

      Oh, my gallant men! Henry went on regular pilgrimages to see the miraculous black cross at Waltham Abbey, an Augustine monastery north of London. According to records, he was here in ; again when sweating sickness ravaged London in ; in July and August , when he was accompanied by Anne Boleyn during their summer progress.