Henry VIII of England

Henry VIII

He was the first English King of Ireland, and continued the nominal claim by English monarchs to the Kingdom of France.

At the beginning of his reign, Henry has not ruled himself, but all the authority was returned to the Minister that has chosen Chancellor Wolsey, the son of a wealthy butcher in Ipswich. Two days after his coronation, Henry arrested two of the most unpopular ministers of his father, Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley.

In 1511, Pope Julius II proclaimed the Holy League against France. This new alliance has grown rapidly and included Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and England. Henry decided to use this occasion as an excuse to expand its territories in northern France. He concluded the Treaty of Westminster, a pledge of mutual aid with Spain against France in November 1511 and prepared for the involvement in the War of the League of Cambrai. In 1513, Henry invaded France and his troops defeated the French at the Battle of the Spurs. His brother, James IV of Scotland invaded England on the orders of Louis XII of France, but failed to distract Henry of France. The Scots were defeated at the Battle of Flodden Field on 9 September 1513. Among those killed in the battle was the King of Scotland whose death ended Scotland’s brief involvement in the war. Henry expanded the Royal Navy from 5 to 53 ships. He loved palaces, his early reign had a dozen and when he died he had 55, which hung in 2000 tapestries.He was very proud of his collection of weapons that included an exotic archery equipment, 2250 pieces of land ammunition and 6500 guns.

In the last years of his life, Henry became obese and had to be moved using mechanical inventions. He was covered with painful boils and possibly suffered from gout. The obesity began in 1536 when he suffered an accident, which left him with leg injuries. This prevented him to exercise and gradually it became ulcerated. Without any doubt, this injury hastened his death at the age of 55 years old, on28 January 1547 at the Whitehall Palace. A credible theory suggests that Henry’s medical symptoms and his elder’s sister Margaret Tudor were characteristic of untreated Type II diabetes. Henry VIII was buried at Windsor Castle, next to his wife Jane Seymour. 100 years later, Charles I will be buried in the same vault.

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