The Tudor Chronicles 1485-1603
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Most of us have our own opinion regarding Henry VIII. Love him or hate him one thing is for certain he was a ruler like no other.
Born the second son of a King, Henry VIII was not groomed to rule England. Henry, or Harry as he was called, was actually groomed to go into the Church, which should not be surprising give his proclivity for theological debate. Unlike his brother Arthur, Henry had a natural ability to debate which led to Erasmus to call Henry ’a deep and acute thinker” he also had inherited his father’s ability to see through peoples intentions.
He was a fairly free to enjoy sports such as hunting and jousting or coming and going as he pleased. But, all that changed with the death of his brother. Henry became the heir to the throne of England he also become more or less a prisoner of his father. After the death his father, Henry was free to be his own man.
His contemporaries described him as cheerful and gameson, quick to laugh, intelligent, the most affable prince in the world. He was full of charm and charisma, a gem of virtue, glory, goodness, and justice.
Henry became king at a time the world was changing. It’s was now a young man’s game and he found himself surrounded by youthful kings. The Renaissance was now in full swing and Henry was not about the be left behind. He entered into the worlds of science, theology, music, art, warfare, and politics and he did so with unbelievable zeal and ability.
He was also quick-tempered, headstrong, immature, vain, and at this point the didn’t quite know the extent of his power. However others did take notice of the man he could become. In 1514 the Spanish Ambassador Henry’s father-in-law, King Ferdinand “that is a bridle was not put on this colt, it will afterwards be hard to control him.”
Seven years later Sir Thomas Moore echoed that statement when he warned the newly appointed Cromwell that he should handle Henry with caution, “For, if the lion knew his own strength, hard were it to rule him.”
Up until the “Great Matter” he was a relatively unaware that he held the keys to the kingdom so to speak. After the “Great Matter” he knew he was the one in charge. Although it was the betrayal of Anne Boleyn then the death of Jane Seymour that sent him over the edge.
So, who was Henry VIII. If you are reading Historical text or even some biographies, the answer often varies based on the Religious persuasion of author. As for my thoughts about Henry, I do not think that he was this horrid tyrant, I think that he was a product of the time in which he lived. Henry was the only ruler in history to have ruled with absolute power, which is something none of us can imagine. When he ascended to the throne, he was a boy of 18, an unprepared boy of 18 who was constantly surrounded with people trying to use him to their own advantage.
Tudor Trivia Question: The Battle of Flodden took place in 1513. It was England against Scotland, what was Henry’s connection to this battle?
Tudor Trivia Answer: Your answers were correct, although I was looking for a closer connection between Henry and the Battle of Flodden. While Henry himself did not have anything to do with the battle, he had more than just a political connection to the battle. Amongst the 10,000 Scots that were slain, Scotland’s king James IV lost his life as well. James was married to Henrys sister Margaret.
THE TUDOR CHRONICLES 1485-1603 by Susan Doran
The Tudor Chronicles is a compelling, year-by-year chronology of this tumultuous and critical period in the development of the modern English nation. Each year is covered by a concise, informative and accessible narrative, amplified by extensive quotations from contemporary sources and accompanied by generously captioned and stunning images of the period - including portraits, maps, illuminations, royal seals, tapestries and other artefacts. Authoritative, informative and sumptuous, and compiled by a scholar who is steeped in knowledge of the period, The Tudor Chronicles brings a glorious era of English history dramatically and vividly to life. It is the perfect gift book for anyone with a love of, or fascination for, 16th-century English history.
This is one of my favorite Tudor books. I practically stalked my local Barnes & Noble until I found it.
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Let’s have a bit of fun with today’s question. Since it is Christmas time, imagine that the Tudors are making their Christmas lists. What is one thing that Henry and each of his 6 wives would ask for? Get creative! I can’t wait to read your answers.
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