Henry VIII

10 Facts about Henry VIII that you might not know…

1, Henry once poached the best singers from Cardinal Wolsey’s choir after losing a singing competition between his chapel choir and Wolsey’s.

2, In his thirties, Henry was nearly killed pursuing his hawk when he fell headfirst into a ditch of muddy water. A footman saved him from drowning.

3, The King liked to sing and his favorite songs were ‘As I walked along the wood so wild’ and ‘By the banks and I lay.’ Another song Henry enjoyed celebrated his prowess in the tilt yard. It was called, ‘my Sovereign Lord.’

4, Unlike the average Tudor male, Henry’s nightshirts were made of silk.

5, A foot and combat suit of armour was made for Henry in 1520 for the tournament of the field of cloth of gold. However the tournament rules changed and  the King abandoned his new suit and never wore it.

6, Later in his life Henry wore glasses for reading. His glasses case was made of gold and were engraved with the arms of England.

7, Many musicians flocked to Henry’s court in search of patronage. A Venetian, Zuan da Leze was so sure that the king would employ him that in 1525 he purchased the best instruments that money could buy and travelled to England to play for the King. But Henry merely thanked him and sent him away with a small purse of money. Devastated Leze committed suicide.

8, After the king’s death his private apartments were found to be full of falconry equipment.

9, Henry loved football and he commissioned a pair of football boots that cost 4 Shillings which is about £100 or $128 today. Tudor football was a violent game. There was no limit on the amount of players on each side, nor on the size of the pitch. Eventually the game became so violent that it was banned.

10, As a young prince Henry rarely spoke in public. After the death of his older brother Arthur, he became his father’s only surviving son and therefore was extremely precious. Henry was kept under strict supervision, away from the court. No one dared to approach or speak to him.

Sources:Books-Slide-2

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3 thoughts on “10 Facts about Henry VIII that you might not know…”

  1. “As a young prince Henry rarely spoke in public. After the death of his older brother Arthur, he became his father’s only surviving son and therefore was extremely precious. Henry was kept under strict supervision, away from the court. No one dared to approach or speak to him.”

    Henry definitely was precious, and kept under strict supervision. Starkey challenges the
    view that no one dared to speak to him; since it comes only from a single report by an ambassador and doesn’t match up with all the evidence:

    “The ambassador…was writing to justify his own failure to gain access to Henry to put the case directly for the conclusion of the prince’s on-off marriage to Catherine of Aragon.”

    And goes on to list the contradictory evidence, such as his unbridled enthusiasm in the tilt-yard the same year, and speaking with many spectators at the joust about the art of jousting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it fascinating when historians disagree with each other. I found this information in a book written by Lucy Worsley and other historians who work for Historic Royal Palaces which is pictured below my post. I feel that the only way we can certain is to look at the original sources ourselves.

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      1. It is definitely a matter you have to judge for yourself; based on your own research. I tend to think most ambassadorial accounts had at least a grain of truth to them; although the motivation from the ambassador’s perspective to present the circumstances in that manner, as Starkey outlined it, makes sense.

        I feel like there is sort of this latent idea that both Margaret Beaufort and Henry VII were unduly or unusually controlling of him, and I don’t think we can really determine that. Moreover, it’d certainly be understandable if they were overprotective, given that he was the only male heir, and that, as no second wife for Henry VII had panned out, there would likely not be another until it was the encumbent king’s own.

        There’s not much in the way of signs of resentment towards either of them in the years following their deaths. Henry VIII donated 1200 pounds to St. John’s College in Cambridge, a school Beaufort had intended to make provisions for in her will (but had not), and the funeral for his father was the most expensive event of Henry’s reign from 1509-32, with the Field of the Cloth of Gold being second, and the 1511 celebrations for the New Year’s Prince coming in third. He also paid a lot of money for a bust of Henry VII to be made by Pietro Torrigiano.

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