England under Henry VIII

  Hans Holbein (1497-1543)* - the German painter. Known as Hans Holbein Jr. the Battle of Spurs** was held on the 16th

England under Henry VIII



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10th "B" GRADE, SCHOOL NO. 1276






MOSCOW - 1996






Henry VIII Tudor (1491-1547)

was the second son of Henry VII.

His brother Arthur, being only 15, married to Catherine,

the daugter of the Spanish monarch.

But in a very few month he sickened and died.

Henty VII arranged that the young widow

should marry his second son Henry,

then 12 years of age, when he too should be 15.

A few years after settling this marriage, in 1509,

the King died of the gout.


King Henry the Eighth was just eighteen

years of age when he came to the throne.

People said he was a handsome boy, but

in later life he did not seem handsome at

all. He was a big, burly, noisy, small-eyed,

large-faced, double-chinned fellow, as we

know from the portraits of him, painted by

the famous Hans Holbein*.

The king was anxious to make himself

popular, and the people, who had long dis-

liked the late king, believed to believe that

he deserved to be so.

He was extremely fond of show and display, and so were they. There-fore there was great rejoicing when he married the Princess Catherine, and when they were both crowned. And the King fought at tournaments and always came off victorious - for the courtiers took care of that - and there was a general outcry that he was a wonderful man.

The prime favourites of the late King, who were engaged in money-raising matters, Empson, Dudley, and their supporters, were accused of a variety of crimes they really had been guilty; and they were pilloried, and

then beheaded, to the satisfaction of the people, and the enrichment of the


The Pope, so indefatigable in getting the world into trouble, had mixed

himself up in a war on a continent of Europe, occasioned by the reigning

Princes of little quarrelling states in Italy having at various times married

into other royal families, and so led to their claiming a share in those petty

Governments. The King, who discovered that he was very fond of the Pope, sent a herald to the King of France, to say he must not make war

upon the father of all Christians. As the French King did not mind this relationship in the least, and also refused to admit a claim King Henry made to certain lands in France, war was declared between the two coun-


England made a blundering alliance with Spain, and got stupidly taken in by that country, which made its own terms with France when it could,

and left England in the lurch. Sir Edward Howard, a bold admiral, son of the Earl of Surrey, distinguished himself by his bravery against the French

in this business; but, unfortunately, he was more brave than wise, for, skimming into the French harbour of Brest with only a few row-boats, he

attempted to take some strong French ships, well defended with cannons.

The upshot was, that he was left on board of one of them with not more than about a dozen man, and was thrown into the sea and drowned.



After this great defeat the King took it into his head to invade France in

person, first executing that dangerous Earl of Suffolk whom his father had left in the Tower, and appointing Queen Catherine to charge of his king-dom in his absence. He sailed to Calais, where he was joined by Maximi-lian, Emperor of Germany, who pretended to be his soldier, and who took

pay in his service. The King might be successful enough in sham fights, but his idea of real battles chiefly consisted in pitching silken tents of bright colours that were ignominiously blown down by the wind, and in

making a vast display of a gaudy flags and golden curtains. Fortune, however, flavoured him better than he deserved: he gave the French battle, and they took such an anaccountable panic, and fled with such

swiftness, that it was ever afterwards called by the English the Battle of

Spurs**. Instead of following up his advantage, the King, finding that he had had enough of real fighting, came home again.

The Scottish King, though nearly related to Henry by marriage, had taken part against him in this war. The Earl of Surrey, as the English gene-

ral, advanced to meet him when he came out of his own dominions and crossed the river Tweed. The two armies came up with one another when

the Scottish King had also crossed the river Till, and was encamped upon

the Hill of Flodden. Along the plain below it, the English, when the hour of battle came, advanced. The Scottish army, which had been drawn up in five great bodies, then came steadily down in perfect silence. So they, in their turn, advanced to meet the English army, which came on the one long line; and they attacked it with a body of spearman, under Lord Home.

At first they had the best of it; but the English fought with such valour, that, when the Scottish King had almost made his way up to the Royal standart, he was slain, and the whole Scottish power routed. Ten thousand Scottish men lay dead that day on Flodden Field. For a long time after-wards, the Scottish peasantry used to believe that their king had not been

really killed in this battle, because no Englishman had found an iron belt he wore about his body as a penance for having been an undutiful son. But, whatever became of his belt, the English had his sword and dagger, and the ring from his finger, and his body was recognized by English gent-lemen who had known the Scottish King well.




When King Henry was making ready to renew the war in France, the French King was contemplating peace. His Queen, dying at this time, he proposed, though he was upwards of fifty years old, to marry King Henry's sister, Princess Mary, who, becides, being only sixteen, was bet-

rothed to the Duke of Suffolk. As the inclinations of young Princesses were not too much considered in such matters, the marriage was conclu-ded , and the poor girl was escorted to France, where she was immidiately left as the French King's bride, with only one of her English attendants. That one was a pretty young girl named Anna Boleyn, niece of the Earl of

Surrey, who had been made Duke of Norfolk after the victory of Flodden


The French King died within three month, and left the young Queen a young widow. The new French monarch, Francis I, seeing how important

it was to his interests that she should take for her second husband no one but an Englishman, adviced her first lover, the Duke of Suffolk, when King Henry sent him over to France to fetch her home, to marry her. The

Princess being herself so fond of that Duke, as to tell him that he must either do so then, or lose her forever, they were wedded; and Henry after-

wards forgave them. In making interest with King, the Duke of Suffolk had addressed his most powerful favourite and adviser, Thomas Wol-sey*** - a name very famous in history for its rise and downfall.

Wolsey was the son of a respectable butcher at Ipswich, in Suffolk, and

recieved so exellent education that he became a tutor to the family of Mar-

qius of Dorset, who afterwards got him appointed one of the late King's

chaplains. On the accession of Henry VIII, he was promoted and taken into great favour with the King - whether he were a foreign monarch or an English nobleman - was obliged to make a friend of the great Cardinal Wolsey.

He was a gay man, who could dance and jest, and sing and drink. He was wonderfully fond of pomp and glitter, and so was the King. He knew a good deal of the Church learning of that time, much of which consisted of finding artful excuses and pretences for almost any wrong thing, and in

arguing that black was white, or any other colour. This kind of learning pleased the King too. For many such reasons, the Cardinal was high in estimation with the King, and, being a man of greater ability, knew how to manage him. Never had there been seen in England such state as that Lord Cardinal kept. His wealth was equal, it was reckoned, to the riches of the Crown. His palaces were as splendid as the King's, and his retinue was eight hundred strong. He held his Court, dressed out from top to toe in flaming scarlet; and his very shoes were golden, set with precious stones.

His followers tode on blood-horses, while he, with wonderful affectation of humility in the midst of his great splendour, ambled on a mule.

Though the influence of his stately priest, a grand meeting was arranged to take place between the French and English Kings in France, but on ground belonging to England. A prodigious show of friendship was to be made on the occation, and heralds were sent to proclaim with brazen trumplets through all the principal cities of Europe, that, on a certain day, the Kings of France and England, as compan

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