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By Suzannah Lipscomb

Henry VIII is understood stereotypically as a chunky, covetous, and crafty king whose urge for food for worldly items met few parallels, whose other halves met infamously untimely ends, and whose faith used to be principally political in cause. by means of concentrating on a pivotal yr within the lifetime of Henry, this learn strikes past the sketch to bare a fuller portrait of this advanced monarch. In 1536, Henry met many failures—physical, own, and political—and emerged from them a distinct guy and a innovative new king who proceeded to remodel a kingdom and a faith.

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Now, he had met with disability. According to historian Lyndal Roper, sixteenthcentury masculinity drew its power from ‘rumbustious energy’: the ‘figure who epitomized masculinity’ was the ‘man of excess’ in his strength, courage, display and riotousness. 9 Essentially, the fall marked, for Henry, the onset of old age. In the same year he turned forty-five. To understand the significance of this, it is important to realize that the sixteenth century conceived of ageing as a series of stages. The ‘ages of man’ moved from childhood to adolescence, from adolescent to youth, from youth to manhood and from manhood to old age.

4 Yet, even this defence does not make the rest of the king’s conduct more palatable. He and Anne showed great joy, and appear to have celebrated the occasion. Anne gave a ‘handsome present’ to the messenger who brought her news of Katherine’s death. Henry, dressed ‘all over in yellow, from top to toe, except the white feather he had on his bonnet’, went to Mass accompanied by trumpets. Afterwards, he danced with the ladies, where, having sent for Elizabeth, who was almost two and a half (Chapuys calls her ‘his Little Bastard’), Henry showed her off, parading her from one lady to the next, ‘like one transported with joy’.

Although Henry had an illegitimate son by his former mistress, Elizabeth Blount, in 1519, he had good reason to want a legitimate heir. Henry – and most people at the time – believed that one of his principal responsibilities as king was to produce an adult male heir, that is, a boy of at least fifteen years old, who could succeed peacefully when Henry died, to secure the dynasty. It was feared that if one of his daughters became queen then their marriage to another king or prince would mean England would be ruled, or dominated, by a foreign power.

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