Henry VIII Early Life
Henry VIII Early Life - the royal family
Henry VIII was born at the Palace of Placentia at Greenwich on 28 June 1491 , Henry VIII was the third child of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. His sisters were called Margaret Tudor (1489 – 1541) and Mary Tudor (1496 – 1533). His brother was called Arthur, Prince of Wales (1486 – 1502). Arthur was the first born son and therefore the Prince of Wales and heir to the English crown.
Henry VIII Early Life - A Precocious Toddler
Henry VIII was spoilt by his doting grandmother and mother together with the attendants in his retinue. His grandmother, Margaret Beaufort, supervised his early education. Henry VIII was considered a handsome and precocious toddler who was noted for his energy and his temper.
Henry VIII Early Life - Born to take a secular role in the Catholic church
Prince Henry as the second son was groomed to take the secular life, probably taking the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The focus of his education was theology. This knowledge of the subject and the bible was to be of great help to him in his later life.
Henry VIII Early Life - His education
Henry VIII received an education befitting a prince of the royal blood. Henry VIII was taught a range of different lessons including languages, grammar, theology, history, rhetoric, logic, philosophy, arithmetic, logic, literature, geometry, and music. In addition to all of theses subjects the education of the young Henry VIII also included astronomy, navigation and cartographer and non-academic subjects such as riding, jousting, tennis, archery, hunting and dancing.
Henry VIII Early Life - His friends
The closest childhood friends of Henry VIII were his cousins, William Compton and Charles Brandon and a young noble called Henry Norris. Charles Brandon shared his most prominent characteristics - natural athleticism, strong physical health and an enthusiasm for all sports including riding, hunting, tilting and jousting. During his early life Henry VIII had his own retinue with servants and minstrels. He also had a fool named John Goose. The fool John Goose is referred to in the Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York:
"delivered to John Goose my lord of Yorkes fole in rewarde for bringing a Carppe to the Quene"
Like all the noble households Henry VIII has a whipping boy. A whipping boy was a boy of the same age, but lower rank, who was raised with a prince or noble as a playmate and took the place of the prince when he misbehaved - the prince would therefore only have received indirect punishments. The names of the young nobles who acted as whipping boys to Henry VIII are unknown.
Henry VIII Early Life - The Wedding of Arthur and Catherine of Aragon
Henry was not given many royal duties during his early life. These duties were expected to be performed by his older brother, Arthur, who was being prepared to rule England. On 14th November 1501 Arthur, Prince of Wales married the Spanish princess Catharine of Aragon. Young Henry was ten years old and played a major role at the wedding. Wearing a robe made of cloth of gold Henry escorted the bride, Catherine of Aragon, to St.Paul's Cathedral. The ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry Deane, who was assisted by the Bishop of London, William Warham. The wedding banquet was followed by dancing which Henry enthusiastically joined. The wedding celebrations lasted for two weeks and included daily jousts and banquets followed by pageants, masques and dancing.
Henry VIII Early Life - The Death of Arthur
On 2 April 1502 Arthur, Prince of Wales died at Ludlow Castle of the 'sweating sickness'. Henry's position as the second son of King Henry VII ended and he became heir to the throne of England just a few months before his eleventh birthday. He was no longer expected to take religious vows - he was going to be King of England.
Henry VIII Early Life - His father
The parents of Henry were devastated by the unexpected death of their eldest son. This family tragedy was followed less than a year later by the death of Henry's mother, Elizabeth of York who died on 11 February 1503. The relationship between his father King Henry VII and Prince Henry was somewhat perplexing. King Henry VII clearly favoured Prince Arthur, the heir to the throne of England. Prince Arthur was the Heir and Prince Henry was the 'spare'. Following the death of Arthur and then his wife King Henry VII kept a very close eye on the prince and was reputed to have been "beset by the fear that his son might during his lifetime obtain too much power." Prince Henry was kept in seclusion in his apartments, which could be reached only through the King's. He was allowed only the company of his tutors, servants and guards. The cousin of Prince Henry, Reginald Pole, later claimed that King Henry VII disliked his second son "having no affection or fancy unto him". It was also reported that the King quarrelled so violently with young Henry in 1508 that it appeared "as if he sought to kill him". King Henry VII died on 21 April 1509 and the early life of Henry ended when he succeeded to the throne of England when he was nearly 18 years old.
Henry VIII Early Life
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