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Why was Henry a tyrant?
June 19, 2009
4:31 am
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Claire
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We all know that somehow the virtuous Prince Henry turned into a tyrannical monster of a king during his reign but what caused this?

Possible reasons could be:-

  • Fear for his throne and the line of succession
  • His “betrayal” by Anne Boleyn – she failed to deliver on his promise and he may have believed that she bewitched him (?)
  • Anne Boleyn showed him what he was capable of and that he was only answerable to God
  • Pain – his ulcerated leg caused him constant pain and he suffered with headaches
  • His jousting accident – one accident left him unconscious for around 2 hours so did he suffer slight brain damage
  • Syphilis – Although many historians have thrown this idea out of the window, some still believe that it was syphilis that caused his Jekyll and Hyde behaviour

What do you think?

P.S. Just found this video on YouTube which really does show Henry's wrath and what he was like if crossed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..LicHPzM_Z8 – Jonathan RM is very good at showing arrogance and anger!

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

June 26, 2009
8:03 am
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gwenne
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Yes..without a doubt Henry was a tyrant.  Maybe it can be attributed degenerative diseases and accidents, or even madness inherited through birth, but as Britains celebrate his 500th coronation anniversary, let us not forget he was a murderer of the women in his life.  Only two made it through with their lives intact.  He was also a murdering tyrant against anyone who he deemed a 'threat' to his crown.  His ambitions were not anything that had to do with the betterment of his country, his ambitions were his and his alone.  And while the 'break' with Roman Catholic Church occurred during his reign, it was only for the fact that his Reformationist fiancee (Anne Boleyn) showed him how to accomplish this.  His ego was out of control, and he soon figured out that he had no restraints on his conduct and behavior.  When all restriction were lifted Henry showed his true colors, a selfish piggy man that made the world dance to his discordant tune.  I still don't understand how history paints him to be this wonderful ruler, and his wives pathetic whores, or used up old women, when in fact if it weren't for the women in his life, he would have been painfully dull, and an incessant narcissist.  IMHO the only great thing that Henry accomplished was the siring of the Great Elizabeth I.  Celebrating Henry's reign is a celebration of a murdering tyrant who's obsessions ruled a great country.  Pity…

Diem et animus scire cupio: I desire knowledge of the soul.

June 27, 2009
1:36 pm
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Sabrina
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Very very true. I do not believe he was all virtuous and noble.

He acted like a spoiled child at times, and if he didn't get his way, someone died. He drove 3 of his wives to death because they did not produce sons. His fourth wife made it out alive, albeit as his \”sister\”. Poor Katherine Howard was the tool for other men and I don't blame her for having an affair. From what they have said, he smelled AWFUL. I understand they are making a big deal about this year for his anniversary, but let's not paint a picture of this pious king who ruled England. He was a megalomaniac who murdered innocent people due to his insecurities.

I am sorry if I've offended anyone, but I think that no matter what good things he may have done, it does not condone what he did to Katherine A, Anne, Jane, Katherine H, Cromwell, The Pole Family, the pesants and nobles invovled in the Pilgrammige of Grace, and most of all, his children… The list could go on and on…

Let not my enemies sit as my jury

June 30, 2009
1:05 pm
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Rochie
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Causes … well, yes the syphilis theory is deemed to be a non-starter because Henry never received the standard treatment at the time for this disease, which was Mercury. The cure being in this instance little better than the disease.  The jousting accident of 1556 seems the most likely 'cause' since he did change radically afterwards. Even a short period of unconsciousness is considered serious by today's standards and 2 hours is an eternity. The theory is that the frontal lobe of the brain could have been damaged, and this can cause severe personalities problems. None of this need be relevant, though. Absolute power corrupts absolutely – who said that? Well, it's true. The vices become amplified, and the virtues wither away.

SR

September 16, 2009
6:04 am
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Irresistible_Me
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I'm just curious on the comment about \”what he did to Jane\”.  He didn't murder her; she died in childbirth.

Devra

September 16, 2009
5:10 pm
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Claire
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Hi Devra,

Obviously I can't say what LadytoAnneBoleyn meant but Henry was not kind to Jane, only after she died when he could look back on their relationship with rose coloured glasses. As soon as they were married he made comments to others about how he regretted the marriage, he threatened her by reminding her of what had happened to Anne before her and then some people believe that her death could be blamed on improper care and attention. Yes, she died of puerperal fever, quite common in those days, very sad.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

September 17, 2009
12:33 am
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Sabrina
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I meant that while she was alive, he treated her terribly. All she was to him was a womb, and nothing mattered to him but getting a son. He only revered her after she died. Although he did not personally cause her death, I don't think he was a good husband to her..

Let not my enemies sit as my jury

January 5, 2010
9:32 pm
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Hannah
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People are unfair to Henry. He wasn`t a tyrant in the same way that Stalin or Chairman Mao are tyrants. Henry had inherited a medieval court, and dragged it into the Rannaisance and modern world. He brought about the greatest cultural, political and social changes in England`s history. He also inherited a country that was still reeling from decades of civil war and disruption, that had all come about as a result of disputed successions. It was essential for Henry to produce a living, male and legitimate heir to smoothly pass his crown on to. Its no good saying \”Oh, but Elizabeth…\”, Henry wasn`t psychic. England had only ever had one female succession before, and that had led to nothing but strife (Empress Matilda and King Stephen). Henry`s need of a son wasn`t some sort of vanity project, it was seen as a neccessity. I`m not condoning the killing of his wives, Anne Boleyn`s execution was nothing short of judicial murder. But on the whole, Henry wasn`t all bad.

Be daly prove you shalle me fynde,nTo be to you bothe lovyng and kynde,

January 30, 2013
7:43 pm
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Alison
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I don’t think he started off as a Tyrant at all but as time went by he became obsessed twisted and evil not just for what he did to his wives and how he treated his own daughters but things like The Pilgrimage of Grace and the Dissolution of the monastries and how that affected ordinary people who relied on the monastries so much. I also hate what he did to so many innocents and people like Anne Askew racked to the point of death and burned alive. I’ve always wished his brother Arthur had lived, I wonder what kind of King he would have been and how Arthur and Catherine would have done as King and Queen leaving Anne Boleyn to have a much more deserving husband.

January 31, 2013
9:43 pm
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KellyMarie
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I think you have a point Alison. I think sometimes historians look at him from too much of a modern perspective. Although there are many examples of his monsterous behaviour…some of them aren’t out of hte ordinary for Kings of the day. So if he is a tyrant, you can put that label on most of the monarchs before him. However there are several instances were he went way too far purely to get what he wanted. The murders of Anne Boleyn, Thomas Moore and Bishop Fisher being examples of this

Woohoo I'm normal...gotta go tell the cat!

February 1, 2013
6:20 pm
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Boleyn
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Yes I agree Alison. At first Henry was seen a the golden prince, a man who would rule wisely and fairly and be beloved by all his people. What went wrong was his failure to produce a son, and because of it his frustration turned to anger, and the more angry he got the more tryannical he became. Although he was still capable of acts of mercy, so his kindly nature wasn’t all together killed off. The situation with Anne of Cleves proves that perhaps he wasn’t all bad. He coould have sent her back to Germany with a rocket up her backside, but he didn’t and because of her complience in the matter of the divorce she earned his respect and they were very freindly with each other. Whereas the situation with COA and the divorce, and then later with Anne.B was very different. If COA had given in gracefully there is a possiblity that they could have remained freinds, and Henry’s tyrannical nature may never have been born. With Anne B however he didn’t give a toss he divorced with or without concent, but again one has to ask (a What if question comming up folks) If COA had of given in and once he got fed up with Anne would things have ended so horribly for Anne. in short would he have murdered her?

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

February 1, 2013
10:09 pm
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KellyMarie
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Boleyn said

Yes I agree Alison. At first Henry was seen a the golden prince, a man who would rule wisely and fairly and be beloved by all his people. What went wrong was his failure to produce a son, and because of it his frustration turned to anger, and the more angry he got the more tryannical he became. Although he was still capable of acts of mercy, so his kindly nature wasn’t all together killed off. The situation with Anne of Cleves proves that perhaps he wasn’t all bad. He coould have sent her back to Germany with a rocket up her backside, but he didn’t and because of her complience in the matter of the divorce she earned his respect and they were very freindly with each other. Whereas the situation with COA and the divorce, and then later with Anne.B was very different. If COA had given in gracefully there is a possiblity that they could have remained freinds, and Henry’s tyrannical nature may never have been born. With Anne B however he didn’t give a toss he divorced with or without concent, but again one has to ask (a What if question comming up folks) If COA had of given in and once he got fed up with Anne would things have ended so horribly for Anne. in short would he have murdered her?

I get what you’re saying and I definitely think he would have been happy to remain friends with COA afterwards if she had been as complient as AOC….however I can’t see AB allowing this to happen.

You make a good point though. If Henry hadn’t had so much trouble getting AB in the first place, would he had gone to such terrible measures to be rid of her afterwards? Theres also the chance that he may have given her more time to have boys than just the 3 years since by the time they were married they had been in a relationship for some time. If that courtship hadn’t been so long maybe Henry would have been more patient with AB.

Woohoo I'm normal...gotta go tell the cat!

February 3, 2013
3:27 am
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Anyanka
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Had Henry and Anne marrried in, say, 1527 following an annulment that KOA agreed with. Then Anne would have been in her early to mid 20s and probably would have had at least 10 years of child-bearing ahead of her..much like KOA in fact…

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