Henry VIII (Commentary)

This commentary is based on the classroom activity: Henry VIII

Q1: Select a source from this unit that suggests Henry's appearance changed as he got older.

A1: Gilbert Burnet in source E claims that Henry VIII became "overgrown with fatness".

Q2: Study sources B and D. According to these writers, what changes did Henry VIII make when he became king?

A2: In source B Thomas More claims that when Henry VIII became king he "immediately arrested and imprisoned anyone who had harmed the realm". In source D Richard Morrison argues that Henry "brought England freedom".

Q3: Select sources from this unit that give a good impression of Henry VIII. Give reasons why this
information might not be accurate.

A3: Sources B, D and F all provide good impressions of Henry VIII. There are two reasons why people might provide inaccurate information about powerful people like Henry VIII. If Henry was pleased with what people wrote he might appoint them to an important position that would give them power and wealth. For example, Henry VIII made Thomas More his Lord Chancellor. Others said good things about Henry VIII because they were afraid of him. It is estimated that during his reign, Henry arranged for 72,000 people to be executed.