King Henry VIII: Frequently Asked Questions

In this post I am going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Henry VIII. In order to make things simpler, I’ve grouped similar questions together and answered them in one go.

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Who was Henry VIII?

Henry VIII was the son of Henry VII (Henry Tudor) and Elizabeth of York, and the second Tudor monarch.

When was Henry VIII born?

Henry was born on 28th June 1491 at Greenwich Palace. He was the third child of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.

When was Henry VIII king? When did Henry VIII become king? When did Henry VIII reign?

Henry VIII succeeded his father, Henry VII. His reign began on 21st April 1509 and ended on 28th January 1547.

How tall was Henry VIII?

Henry was very tall for the Tudor period. Some historians put his height at 6’1″, whereas others have said he had a height of 6’3″. In his youth he had an athletic frame to match his height, but in later life, Henry got very fat. Apparently, he weighed 20 stone and had armour with a 52 inch waist measurement.

Where did Henry VIII live?

Henry VIII didn’t live in just one place. He was born in Greenwich Palace, but he also lived in the following palaces: Tower of London, Windsor Castle, St James Palace, Westminster Palace, Eltham Palace and Hampton Court Palace.

How many children did Henry VIII have?

Henry VIII had several children who died in infancy or just after they were born. These are his children who survived beyond infancy:

  • Mary (who became Queen Mary I) – mother was Catherine of Aragon.
  • Elizabeth (who became Queen Elizabeth I) – mother was Anne Boleyn.
  • Edward (who became King Edward VI) – mother was Jane Seymour.
  • Henry FitzRoy – illegitimate – mother was Elizabeth Blount.

Some historians believe that Anne Boleyn’s sister, Mary Boleyn, gave birth to two children fathered by Henry VIII. Henry never acknowledged the children.

Why did Henry VIII divorce Catherine of Aragon?

Henry wanted to end his marriage with Catherine of Aragon for a number of reasons. He was attracted to Anne Boleyn, one of Catherine’s ladies-in-waiting. He was also desperate for a male heir and Catherine could no longer bear children.

Henry did not seek a divorce, but rather an annulment. He wanted the marriage to have never taken place in the eyes’ of the law.

How did Henry VIII die? When did Henry VIII die? How old was Henry VIII when he died?

Henry was obese in his later years. He struggled to move around on his own and his body was covered with open sores. Many historians believe that Henry’s obesity and his mood swings can be traced back to a serious jousting accident (which left Henry unconscious for two hours) that he suffered when he was a younger man.

Henry died at the age of 55 on 28th January 1547. He was succeeded by his son, Edward VI.

Where is Henry VIII buried?

Henry is buried in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. He is next to his wife, Jane Seymour.

Find out more about Henry VIII and his six wives.

Find out more about the Tudors by clicking here.