Facts About Henry VIII

Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 to 1547. He is probably most well-known for having six wives and for being very over-weight towards the end of his reign, but there’s much more to the man than that. Although we will look at particular parts of his reign and life in more detail in other articles, this post will focus on some of the key general facts and information associated with Henry VIII.

Henry VIII Fact File

Born: 28th June 1491 at Greenwich Palace. His father was Henry Tudor (Henry VII) and his mother was Elizabeth of York.

Died: 28th January 1547 at the Palace of Whitehall in London. Henry was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Reign: 21st April 1509 to 28th January 1547.

Facts About Henry VIII’s Early Life

  • Henry received an excellent education from some of the best tutors in Europe.
  • He was fluent in Latin and French and he could speak some Ancient Greek and Spanish.
  • Henry’s mother, Elizabeth of York, died when he was eleven years old.
  • Henry wasn’t expected to become King of England, but when his brother Arthur died in 1502 at the age of 15, Henry was next in line for the throne.

Other Facts About Henry VIII

  • Henry enjoyed music and he could play the lute and the organ.
  • He had a good singing voice and he could read and compose music.
  • In his youth, Henry VIII was a keen sportsman. He loved jousting, hunting and playing real tennis.
  • Henry was over 6 feet tall and was strong and athletic.
  • In 1536, Henry was unhorsed in a jousting tournament. He was very badly hurt and it seems that the leg injury he sustained may have contributed to his obesity and mood swings that characterised the latter part of his reign.
  • Henry VIII had six wives – Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr. You can read more about them by clicking here.
  • Henry VIII separated the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534, using the Act of Supremacy to declare himself the head of the Church of England. Click here to read more about the Break with Rome. (coming soon!)

Click here to see the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Henry VIII.

Visit the Primary Facts resources page for The Tudors.

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