30 Interesting Facts About King Henry VIII

  • 30 Facts About King Henry the Eighth

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  • Henry wrote a number of songs, with his most well-known song being “Pastime With Good Company”. He also wrote “En vray amoure” and “Helas Madam”.
  • Henry VIII made boiling a legal form of capital punishment.
  • He improved the navy, partly by investing in large cannon to replace smaller serpentines in warships. He was also responsible for creating a permanent navy.
  • Henry had a collection of weapons, which included 6,500 handguns. He also slept with a gigantic axe beside him.
  • Anne Boleyn, his second wife, is rumored to have had an extra finger on her right hand. This may be a misconception for a few reasons however, for example when Boleyn’s burial site was exhumed none of the several bodies that were examined were found to have an extra finger.
  • Between 1536 and 1541, Henry VIII disbanded monasteries and other Catholic religious houses and appropriated their income. The monks who surrendered were rewarded, while those few who resisted were executed.
  • Henry’s last words were allegedly “Monks! Monks! Monks!” This seems pretty strange at face value, but makes more sense when you consider the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
  • A common misconception about Henry is that he wrote the song Greensleeves, when in reality this is unlikely.
  • Henry VIII founded the Anglican Church by breaking away from the Catholic Church mainly because the Pope refused to grant Henry an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
  • King Henry VIII gambled and played dice.
  • Henry was gifted a bear by the King of Norway, described a ‘white bear’. It was probably a polar bear, and was allowed to swim and hunt fish in the Thames on a long leash.
  • Late in Henry’s life, he became obese as a result of not being able to exercise as much because of a bad jousting accident, which reopened and worsened a previous injury he had incurred earlier in his life.
  • Henry’s courtiers wore heavily padded clothing to emulate Henry in the later stage of his life when he put on weight.
  • Henry’s waist size was 54 inches in the obese stage of his life.
  • In August 1527, John Rut – an English mariner – sent the first known letter overseas from Newfoundland to King Henry VIII.
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    Luke Ward is the founder of The Fact Site. He’s a professional blogger & researcher with over 8 years experience in fact finding, SEO, web design & other internet wizardry. He loves to write about celebs, gaming, film & TV.

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