10 Incredible Facts About King Henry VIII

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The larger than life King and most colorful character that has ever sat on the English throne, King Henry VIII was born back in 1491, and had reigned from 1509 until 1547. He was 17 years of age when he came to the throne and served as king for 37 years, 6 months and 9 days. Brother to six other siblings, he was a handsome, well-educated king who loved to compose, sing, dance, and joust. All instances as to why he was always on the verge of bankruptcy and ruin, aside from the expensive wars he would fund. Known throughout history for being the first to break with the Roman Church and have himself serve as King and Head of the new religion, he was also famous for his six marriages. The stress later transformed the golden king into a severely obese, lustful, egotistic, selfish, old man. For more entertaining facts, read on:

 Fact 1: Henry VIII was immensely famous for two things; first, his break with the Pope and the Roman Church, and his six controversial marriages.

Fact 2: King Henry was believed to have had quite the remarkable memory, and could even remember the names of every servant that was employed in all the royal households, hundreds of them!

Fact 3: The king was very aware of the importance of having a male heir during his reign. He was bothered by the fact that he only had one surviving child, (the Queen suffered a great deal of miscarriages) Mary, to show from his marriage to Catherine, who was now in her early 40s. The king asked Cardinal Wolsey to appeal to Pope Clement VII for an annulment. When The Pope refused, not wanting to offend Catherine of Aragon’s powerful nephew the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, the most powerful ruler in Europe, Wolsey’s life was put to an end for failing. It soon became increasingly clear he went through all this trouble to be able to marry Anne Boleyn, who had coincidentally been a lady-in-waiting to his first wife, and the woman he believed to finally be able to give him a son.

Fact 4: During his reign, he had an estimated 57,000 people executed. You could say that his most famous words were “Off with their head!”

Fact 5: The armor that King Henry VIII wore back when he was a young man shows that his waist measured at about 36 inches. The last set of armor he had indicated a waist measurement of about 60 inches!

Fact 6: This guy owned a lot of stuff, like a lot: 50 war ships (he was Father of the Navy after all), 50 palaces, 78 recorders, 78 flutes, 5 sets of bagpipes and a virginal. The guy loved his music.

Fact 7: As Henry VIII grew older and ill, his doctors were afraid to tell him that he was dying. The Treason Act banned anyone from predicting the death of the king. This guy had issues!

Fact 8: Henry’s second wife was Anne Boleyn. She bore him a daughter, Elizabeth, who was also destined to become queen. However, Anne failed to provide Henry with the son that he wanted and she fell out of favor with him. She was beheaded in 1536.

Fact 9: Right after Anne, Henry preceded to marry Jane Seymour. In 1537, she gave birth to a son, Edward, who would later become king of England after Henry died. Unfortunately, Jane passed away 2 weeks after Edward was born.

Fact 10: Henry was keen to marry again and Catherine Howard became his fifth wife. She was 19, while he was 49. Alas, she was beheaded in 1542.

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