1. 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”.

2. Henry VIII made boiling a legal form of capital punishment.

3. 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.

4. Henry had a collection of weapons, which included 6,500 handguns. He also slept with a gigantic axe beside him.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. A common misconception about Henry is that he wrote the song Greensleeves, when in reality this is unlikely.

9. 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.

10. King Henry VIII gambled and played dice.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Henry’s courtiers wore heavily padded clothing to emulate Henry in the later stage of his life when he put on weight.

14. Henry’s waist size was 54 inches in the obese stage of his life.

15. In August 1527, John Rut – an English mariner – sent the first known letter overseas from Newfoundland to King Henry VIII.

You might also enjoy reading my post on the Battle of Hastings.