By Suzannah Lipscomb

Henry VIII is understood stereotypically as a chunky, covetous, and crafty king whose urge for food for worldly items met few parallels, whose better halves met infamously untimely ends, and whose faith used to be mostly political in motive. by way of targeting a pivotal 12 months within the lifetime of Henry, this examine strikes past the sketch to bare a fuller portrait of this advanced monarch. In 1536, Henry met many failures—physical, own, and political—and emerged from them a special guy and a innovative new king who proceeded to rework a kingdom and a faith.

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1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII

Henry VIII is understood stereotypically as a chunky, covetous, and crafty king whose urge for food for worldly items met few parallels, whose better halves met infamously untimely ends, and whose faith used to be mostly political in rationale. via targeting a pivotal 12 months within the lifetime of Henry, this learn strikes past the cartoon to bare a fuller portrait of this advanced monarch.

Extra resources for 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII

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7 For Henry, there was a significant degree of ‘religion’ in his decision to break with Rome. It was manifested in the way he saw his relationship with Katherine, as one punished by God for living outside the law. It was also apparent in his dedication to the notion of the royal supremacy and to his divine-right kingship, under God, which committed him to the righting of religious abuses in the church, and the ‘cure’ of his people. With Anne Boleyn at his side, Henry had been exposed to evangelical thought, especially that which gave primacy to princes over prelates, and had, perhaps inadvertently, opened the door to the reformed ideas of continental Europe.

As we’ll see, there were other factors in this shift in his character, but the impact of this draining and debilitating pain should not be underestimated. Although Henry continued to hunt, the pain in his leg meant that he was never able to joust again. 1536 effectively spelled the end of his active life, and with it, the beginnings of his obesity. In 1536, Henry’s waist measured 37 inches, and his chest 45 – an increase from his 23-year-old measurements of 35 and 42, but still a fine figure for a man in his mid-forties (and still keeping roughly the same waist-chest ratio as in 1514).

Henry was unconscious for two hours, and one suggestion has been that he bruised his cerebral cortex. Given what later happened to Henri II, it is no wonder that people suddenly became concerned with his mortality. The official line appears to have been to make light of the event. Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, wrote that Henry had sustained no injury, and at the beginning of February, Thomas Cromwell, the king’s chief minister, was reassuring people that ‘the King is merry and in perfect health’.

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