The Animations on this Page are to the best of my knowledge are Royalty Free.
These are the only animations of King Henry however, there maybe more used on other pages and more aninations can be accessed from the table at the bottom of the page.



Henry was a Handsome, 1.9m (6ft 2ins), great athlete, hunted, played tennis, wrestled, composed music.

Henry’s favourite sports were joisting and hunting. The usual game was deer which were tracked down by dogs.

Henry was very smart, studied theology before 12 years old and was preparing for the clergy. He was a patron of scholars and enjoyed their company. He liked to discuss Theology but those who dared do this with him had to be careful, crossing the line could mean death.

He was very religious and attended mass 3 times a day. He was orthodox and burned many heretics.

When Henry’s Brother Arthur died of consumption (old name for Tuberculosis), Henry became heir apparent. Henry the VIIIth succeeds his father, Henry VIIth in 1509; he was 17 years old.

King Henry’s wives were Catherine of Aragon (divorced); Anne Boleyn (executed); Jane Seymour (died in Childbirth); Anne of Cleves (divorced); Katherine Howard (executed); Catherine Parr.


Henry given title Defender of the Faith by Pope, this title has remained for all British Monarchs.

A queen was responsible for birthing an heir to the throne. There could be no question of the paternity (parenthood) of the child which an adulterous affair would raise. The child must be the king’s. So, it was treason for a queen to have an affair. A wife who committed adultery in these days could be executed queen or not. The husband could petition the king to have her burnt at the stake.

Cardinal Wolsey was Henry’s Lord Chancellor and Cardinal Legate. He ran the business of government while Henry enjoyed being King.

Henry wanted to rid himself of Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn. Catherine had married His brother Arthur. Henry used the pretence that he had violated a biblical prohibition and therefore was cursed which kept him from producing a male heir with Catherine. When Cardinal Wolsey failed to get Henry’s divorce, Wolsey fell from grace; Cranmer rose to power because Cranmer found the way to obtain the divorce. After Wolsey’s fall, Henry rule was absolute.

Henry broke with Rome when the Pope could not recognize divorce of his 1st wife, Catherine of Aragon; so he could marry Anne Boleyn. If the Pope had of recognized the marriage, it would have angered Charles V, who was Catherine’s nephew and also was the most powerful monarch in Europe.

The Pope originally had given Henry and Catherine a dispensation saying that it was okay for them to marry because Catherine had stated that the marriage to Arthur had not been consummated. So, if the Pope allouded the divorce, he would be contradicting his original consent. As a result of the divorce the Pope excommunicated Henry along with all of England, however, Henry’s religion remained Catholic.

Henry named himself as head of the English Church (Anglican Church) and then obtained his divorce. He said, “The Kings of England never had any superior but God.”


The divorce from Catherine was not really behind the English reformation. He could not change an entire nation on his whim. The English thought very little of the clergy. The English lost respect for the clergy because of the corruption of the church. Nuns and monks were locked up in monasteries together and were subject to accusations of moral debauchery.

The Nations wealth was concentrated in the Church, which held over ¼ of the land of England and collected an eighth of the nation’s income. These lands were coveted. The clergy and the church were exempt from taxes and were not subject to secular law. Some of the clergy was guilty of murder yet they could not be tried in secular courts therefore many went unpunished. The English diocese was too large to control. There was no discipline. Some clergy did not even know the scripture. There was one clergyman for every fifty people.

The clergy collected 10% of the people income for tithes. The church kept records on everyone and knew exactly how many were in a household as well as the income. They collected on wills and mortuary dues. People had to pay before their dead could be put in consecrated ground. The people were tired of being bullied by priests even in the North, which was predominately Catholic. All thought the church was corrupted and welcomed reform.

Every act has it consequences. When the monasteries were dissolved there were many poor people, monks and nuns who were suddenly displaced. Before the monasteries did charity work and helped beggars now there was no place for the poor to go to. So, the dissolution of the monasteries resulted in more begging in Tudor England.

The Statute of Premuneire recognized Henry as the head of the English church. The king of England had no superior within the realm allowing Henry to dissolve the monasteries and confiscate their lands. This made Henry the richest Monarch in Europe. These lands were sold to the nobles when Henry needed money. Henry remained a Catholic however anti Papal.

He executed Anne Boleyn by falsely accusing her of adultery, incest (with her brother George) and treason, to marry Jane Seymour. The real reason Henry wanted rid of Anne Boleyn was because she did not give him a son. Anne Boleyn was executed on Friday May 19th, 1536 at 9:00am.


Henry needed a male heir to succeed him because it was thought that a woman ruler would bring civil war. Women weren’t given equality in these days. Most people thought a woman ruler could not maintain order. Women were seen as frail, week and temptresses. In these times women were ruled by their husbands and had no real rights.

Henry was the first English king to be addressed ‘Your Majesty’ rather than ‘Your Grace’.

Henry trusted no one except Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury who he reasoned was neither greedy nor ambitious and therefore no threat.

Henry had an ulcer on his leg that oozed and caused him considerable pain. The ulcer repeatedly flared up throughout his adult life. This was caused through a joisting accident.

Henry feared sickness but with good reason. Sickness usually meant death in these days. Tudor medicine was not very good. There was no cure for the Plague or the sweating sickness in those days. When contagious diseases hit London, Henry fled to the countryside and did not return until it cleared up.

Henry’s children were Mary 1st by Catherine of Aragon, Elizabeth 1st by Anne Boleyn, Edward Vth by Jane Seymour and several bastards by mistresses. His bastard by Elizabeth Blount was named Henry Fitzroy (Fitz means bastard and Roy means king). He may have inherited the throne had he lived. Henry Fitzroy died of consumption in his teens.

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Before Henry died, he wrote King Francis of France who was dying of Syphilis.

He bequeathed the crown first to Edward, then Mary, Elizabeth and finally to the offspring of his sister Mary and Charles Brandon, the duke of Suffolk. The children of Henry’s sister, Margaret and James thIV of Scotland were not included in the line of succession.

Henry was stricken by fever on January 1st 1547. Rumours began circulating that he was dead on January 8th. He recovered somewhat but on January 19th he relapsed. On January 28th, Archbishop Cranmer was sent for. He died shortly after Cranmer arrived at around 2am.

The Grave of Henry VIIIth is beside his favourite wife, in St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle. Jane was his favourite because she gave him a son, Edward VI and died soon after.

After Henry VIII died Edward his son was named King, Hertford was name Lord Protector. Prince Edward wasn’t old enough at the time of Henry’s death. Elizabeth (A.K.A. The Virgin Queen) eventually became Queen and brought England into what became known as ‘The Golden Age’.


Weir, Alison: Henry VIII: The King and His Court. Ballantine Books (2002)
Weir, Alison: The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Grove Press (2000)


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