Learn: King Henry VIII
A Girl For All Time is all about inspiring a life-long love of history through active, educational play. That’s why we’ve created a series of activity sheets to keep your family occupied and learning.
This week we’re focusing on the Tudor period, a key part of English history. Explore the gruesome, turbulent and downright scandalous court of Henry VIII with this activity sheet and Matilda, Your Tudor Girl.
Who was Henry VIII?
- Henry VIII was a very famous Tudor monarch. He ruled from 1509 to 1547. In his youth he was considered very handsome, and he loved dancing and jousting. However, as he got older, he was notorious for his poor health and his bad temper. During his 38 year reign it is estimated that he had over 70,000 people executed, including two of his wives (gruesome!).
- Henry’s brother was actually supposed to be king but he died when he was only 15, making Henry heir to the throne. Henry became king when he was just 17 and married his brother's widow, Catherine of Aragon.
Did you know? Henry VIII was famously overweight. When he died he supposedly weighed 400 pounds (that’s over 180 kg!).
The English Reformation
- After 24 years of marriage and 6 miscarriages resulting in only one living child - Mary, who was a girl - Henry decided to divorce Catherine because he needed a male heir. This decision triggered The English Reformation.
- Because divorce was banned by the pope (the head of the Catholic church), Henry broke away and created his own church (The Church of England). He then made his friend, Thomas Cranmer, the head so that he could grant Henry a divorce from Catherine.
- Religion was really important in Tudor England and by breaking away from the pope (and the catholic church) Henry VIII changed the course of history.
To learn more about how The English Reformation influenced future kings and queens check out our Learn blog on The Spanish Armada.
Henry’s six queens
One of the things that King Henry is best known for is having six wives, five of which met gruesome ends…
Use this song to remember each wife!
Activity: Look at this jumble of facts, can you match the fact to the queen?
Matilda, Your Tudor Girl is available to pre-order now.
If you enjoyed this activity sheet, you'll love our other 'learn' blogs, including this one on the four King Georges.