Ever wanted to ask King Henry VIII a question? Now is your chance. He will always answer and take his time to provide evidence of the content. Email to HenryTudor@Blueyonder.co.uk
I didn't realise how popular this page would be, so it seems to go on forever, just scroll it up and read the items.
So send me an e-mail, state your question and whether I can load it onto the website as an FAQ.
Go on, dare you!
Frequently asked Questions.
Q1. From a lost soul in Liverpool, wherever that is.
Henry, how much money did your Father leave you?
Well consider that a Tudor £1 is worth £300 in 2005, he left me £1.25M Tudor that is £375M in today's money. I however spent it all in about 10 years, well it's expensive being a King worthy of the throne. The cost of cloth of gold, jewellery, banquets, castles, jousting, hunting, courting and food for the court soon adds up!
Q2. Why did you want to get rid of your first wife, Catherine of Aragon?
We were both well matched and in love at first, but her Father Ferdinand betrayed me badly. Him being a king also then made me look bad. I didn't trust her after that, she could be telling her Father my plans! I also needed a son to keep the Tudor line going, remember England didn't know how to cope with a Queen alone, especially when she marries and the crown moves to another heir, it could be Spanish y'know. I needed a son, we tried hard, had many sad times together, in the end I took a girlfriend, Bessie Blount, she proved to the country that I was a man by giving me my first surviving son, Henry. I called him, Fitzroy, y'know, Son of Royal. Catherine was well loved by my people, they never liked me as much after the annulment.
Catherine of Aragon
Q3. Who made you laugh?
Will Sommers, a clever funny man, came to me via Wolsey. He came to the Palace with his Master to receive a repayment of a debt, Will saw me playing bowls and made a joke about my playing. It all went silent until I saw the funny side and burst out laughing. Will joined my personal courtiers after that day. He is by my side all the time ready to cheer me up and I might say ready to add clever advice in his joking as well. He knows he can criticise me in his jokes and seem to get away with it. There is a limit and he knows where it is.
Q4. Why did you fine your Sister Mary Tudor for marrying your best friend Charles Brandon?
Hey! I lost £6M your money, on that marriage. It was my duty as King to choose who she married after her first husband King Louise died. I sent Charles over to Paris to bring her back not to marry her! Good job she was my sister and he was my best friend. Had to do something to save face, so I fined them both. But I did make them Duke and Duchess of Suffolk, so they could afford to repay the fine! They had children and grandchildren, little Jane she could do well in the future!
Lady Jane Grey my Sister's grand-daughter.
A question from the planet Zog.
Q5. Is it true, that Ann Boleyn had an extra finger?
Hey the Mother-ship must be back! Ann was made out to be a witch, who bewitched me into a marriage. Of course she did not have an extra finger, she had a growth a bit like a wart. Do you think I would have married her if she had an extra finger? She would have polluted the Tudor gene pool! It was just propaganda to give the people something to hate her for. I must admit that we went a bit over the top really, we were quite ruthless in those days!
Hey, hi there New Zealand, are you ok this way up?
Q6. Who was Henry Carey and was he related to you?
Now you've been reading Alison Weirs book haven't you! She stops short of stating if I was the Father of Henry Carey, and I'm not sure I want to tell the truth even now. Oh! go on then, Yes Henry is my son.
It's very delicate this Carey business, you see I was having a fling with Mary Boleyn, nice girl. She was Ann's sister and already married to Carey. I was trying to get closer with a coy Ann at the time so a baby with Mary would have been a bit of a scandal. Catherine she knew what was going on and together we concocted the fact that the baby boy was indeed Carey's child. Henry Carey always had a fine position in life and was treated like a Brother by my other children.
But if you want to take it further and challenge the history writers, then Prove It!
Obviously a lover of Horses like myself.
Q7. What was your favourite Horse?
I liked a spirited horse in my athletic youth, Spanish given to me by Ferdinand, but nowadays I'm more inclined to ride a single footer, a Palfry to keep the ride smooth. The propaganda in the history books will tell you that I'm too fat to get on my horse and need a crane. Well the fact is every Lord needs a set of steps to mount a horse as I do, but when I'm wearing the armour or my processional clothes yes there is a contraption to help life me onto the horse. I do tend to be singled out as an example of being over weight and lazy, but remember the books are written by the winners, the history writers need to grab attention. I was older by 20 years than the average mans lifespan in England, so consider the fact now.
Ah! Wales the land of my Fathers.
Q8. Why did your Father use the Dragon in his coat of arms?
The dragon was also used on my brother Arthurs coat of arms too. It was political really, my Father needed some degree of respect from his history, to convince the people of his right to be King after removing the Plantagenets. King Arthur Pendragon was and still is revered in fable. He came from Wales too, Pembrokeshire where my father was born (Pembroke Castle) and where my grand father is buried (St.David's Cathedral), so it was a good ploy to claim to be an indirect descendent and add the Dragon onto the coat of arms together with our white greyhound.
This is a Photograph of the Scene at Pembroke castle of Margaret Tudor (nee: Beaufort) after the Birth of Henry Duke of Lancaster (To become Henry VII).
See the guy in the white hat. Hey! That's me in disguise visiting old Grand-dad's crypt.
Here is an example of Henry VII, Prince Arthur and Princess Katherine of Aragon's Coats of Arms. See the Dragon.
There's always one to ask the most searching of questions.
Q9. Why did you not bathe a lot?
Obviously you've got central heating and you don't live in a cold stone castle. I kept clean by washing and changing my clothes regularly, say every three days! The fur around the cloak was to attract the body lice off my skin and I kept away from the dirty people. My Guardrobe was properly maintained and my personal toilet courtiers of the stool were expert in keeping me clean. It was a commonly known fact that too much washing took the oils out of the skin to leave you exposed.
Go to any castle and look at the latrines, the walls are eroded by the ammonia, well this fume would ward off the moths from the clothing in the Guardrobe, bet you didn't know this is where the word Wardrobe comes from! The whole scene was called the Gong tower, and we would leave for another stage of our progress when the moat needed emptying.
I believe my daughter Elizabeth has a regular bath in hot water! Every month whether she needs one or not.
My Daughter, the Lady Elizabeth.
Q10. Bob on the road in Shropshire.
I enjoyed your file about words and their origins. Do you have anymore?
Sure Bob, every word has an origin, but some are not obvious.
Now take the humble cast iron cooking pot. It brought us the following words:
Pot-luck, Not knowing just what you are going to get on your trencher.
Pot-shot, Taking a single shot at an animal to kill for food.
Potent, The strength on the food at the bottom of the pot. The Pot end.
Potch later became Poach, To cook with liquid.
Pot-bellied, Speaks for itself.
Potato, Pot-ato a vegetable for cooking in the pot.
Hot-pot, The actual cooking pot, or the eternal kettle.
Here's a common word, The horse pulling the cart would throw up muck at the driver, this was when it dashed, so a board was fixed to protect the driver called the "Dashboard".
A common Board game was called "Hand I the cup" which was basically a dice thrower, but the person with it could not move until they got rid of it by throwing 6's. This was their Handicap.
Wood was stained with Shellac, made from the crushed shells of the Lac beetle mixed with spirit. Shellac is still used today as is Lacquer.
I could go on all day with this entertaining item but must go now as my dinner is ready.
Eh! Bob how did you email from the road in Shropshire. It must be that Blueband or some new fangled gizmo!
A Grandmother from Wales.
Q11. I know that blaggard come from something in the kitchen, do you know what it is Henry?
Yes Glynnis I do. It's the young lad who cleans all the burnt surfaces off the cooking pots and stokes the fire. He has the worst job in a Manor house and was called the Black Guard which became Blaggard. I remember in the palace some year's ago. I walked into the kitchens by surprise and caught the Blaggards peeing in the fireplace. It became a law after that, No Peeing in the Kitchen!
Here's another for you Glynnis, the cooking pot was hung from the rafters from a wooden block and tackle from a ship. If the pot was too full it was referred to as Chocked full, the block couldn't lift is because it was Choca-block!
Alison from Chorley.
Q12. A Question for Ray not Henry.
Sorry Alison, this section is Henry's. You need to send one to Ray in the next section.
Obviously a History Buff from London.
Q12. What was the reason you instigated the Alum fiasco in Yorkshire? Peter.
The Alum fiasco? Never heard of it.
I think you mean the Colour fixer fiasco.
Well you know that the Pope didn't like me after I changed the Church to the Catholic Church of England. He put an embargo on goods from Italy which included the colour fixer Alum. This meant well heeled folk couldn't wear new coloured cloth without the colour running out or losing its depth in the wash. I asked the cleverest people why we could not make our own Alum. They told me that it needed lots of energy and heat for a prolonged time, Italy had its volcano's we didn't. Alum came from a rock ore, I believe you use it more now refined and call it Aluminium.
So I demanded the experts make a volcano! Yes! A volcano.
They found a source of Alum ore in Yorkshire, Ravenscar I believe, and built a huge conical heap of it with a fire underside. They kept is alight for 9 months! At the end of this ambitious project they produced Alum! I therefore got my colour fixer and snubbed my nose at the Pope. Hey there's a free file about this.
Click here to download this file
Does this reply agree with what you thought it was about Peter?
Q13. What influenced did you have on the sinking of the Mary Rose?
The sinking of my favourite ship had too many influences on it. I analysed the tragedy myself and came to the conclusion that not one single factor was responsible for the capsizing. I'll try to put it in a few words.
The Mary Rose was my flagship, built to English design and quality but in a time when technology was changing and new innovations were instigators of winning sea battles. Now other designs, especially from Portugal, were better at fighting apart and not for the boarding fight as we new it. They had Carvel timbers which allowed cannons in lower decks nearer the waterline. Carvel is timber edge to edge. The Mary Rose was originally built with English Clinker design timbers, overlapping in a stepped format. This design could not seal any gun hatches near the waterline. So the Mary Rose had a refit, the Clinker removed in favour of Carvel. Cannons were mounted in lower decks and near to the waterline. Now Clinker design had a greater resistance to capsizing because of the steps, which have now been removed.
Add to this too many soldiers in full armour, their ammunition and supplies, add a heavy gust of wind and cannons not firmly fixed down and you've got a tragedy which is unavoidable. The ship heeled over in the wind, the cannons moved sideways and the water came in the new gun-ports. That's it. My only influence on the whole sad event, was to ask for my ship to be updated for modern battles. The builders were trying out new technology without testing it first.
Anybody got a simpler question, I'm getting a headache. Where's them leeches?
Q14. A Chef in London.
Hi Jamie here, what was your favourite food. Is that a Vespa scooter?
I have lots of favourite foods, must admit I've got a sweet tooth though. I like biscuits made by my two chefs, Jamie (that's a coincidence!) and Gary.
They have named their biscuits after themselves!
Jamie Dodgers and Gary Baldie.
He he he. Will Sommers told me that one!
Seriously, I like artichokes, fruit pies and delicate meat. All the reports of Swans, Venison etc. Well I leave that kind of food for banquets, gives me indigestion.
The Vespa is my Italian Stallion.
Here's a recipe:
BEEF POTTAGE WITH WHOLE HERBS
2 lb joint of beef
4 oz each of the whole leaves of spinach, endive and white cabbage or cauliflower
1-2 tsp salt
4 tbsp wine vinegar
2 oz fine or medium oatmeal
3 English onions, sliced
Small squares or triangles of white bread
Vegetables grown in England were seen as food for the poor.
Here's the recipe for a biscuit called Jumbles, it was knotted in its dough state.
These biscuits are baked in a knot-shape, so they are decorative as well as tasty.
15ml aniseed or caraway
175g plain flour
1. Beat the eggs.
2. Add the sugar and aniseed (or caraway) and beat again.
3. Stir in the flour to make a thick dough.
4. Knead the dough on a floured board then make it into rolls 1cm thick by 10cm long.
5. Tie each roll into a single knot.
6. Drop the knotted dough (a few at a time) into a pan of boiling water. Let them sink at first, then use a spoon to lift them until they float to the top.
7. After the knots have floated for a minute and have swollen, take them out of the water and let them drain on a wire rack covered with a cloth or kitchen roll.
8. Put the knots on buttered baking sheets and bake for fifteen minutes at 180°C (gas mark 4).
9. Turn them over and let them bake for another 10 minutes until they are golden brown.
The other day I was walking in the sun in the grounds of Samlesbury Hall, minding my own business when someone on an electric three wheeled scooter sneaked up behind me and sounded a loud trumpet. It nearly scared me to death.
Come on Stuart, "King of the Castles" , have you a question for Ol' Henry?
Q15. I have a question for you?
As you are already one of the best known English monarchs, why did you find
it necessary to build a website and what was the motivation behind the idea?
Hi Stuart, My website is the only way of being myself to the public. All the written work out there from Historians paint a picture of a tyrant King who ruled England by fear. My website gives me the chance to show the world that this was not the case. Take a look at the world in the 16th Century, I was not the only ruler, look at France, how many Protestants, Lutherans and Hugano's were killed! Look at Spain, look at the Holy Roman Emperor, fear was a common factor by those Monarchs who ruled by force. I think a lot of the History books blame me for events out of my control. The Dukes and Lords of Manors were a law to themselves and they dealt out cruel rulings in my name, there was no communication like today, news took weeks to arrive and it was changed by word of mouth. I became the one to blame for all events, so be it. The winners write the history books, or write the plays for the world to absorb, as in the Shakespeare propaganda.
I cannot change the way History has been written nor the way I have been depicted, but I can show the people my good side in my website.
A visitor to England from Canada
Q16. Hi Henry. Today I was in one of your tours at Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire, 22 May 2005.
My wife and I enjoyed your tour and were quite taken with your humor. (Humour).
Did King Henry VIII have a good humor?
I remember you amongst the visitors.
Yes, I had and still have a wonderful humour, maybe a bit rude at times and maybe a little childish, but a great sense of what was funny and what could insult a person. I would dress up in charade's and try to surprise my wife(s), I would pretend to be someone else and mingle with my court jumping out of the disguise to surprise them all. A practical joker.
A long funny story was my favourite method of making people laugh, my inner court would sit for hours listening to my fantasy stories.
I did not however stand fools easily and I can easily root out sarcastic comments....
My jester and friend Will Sommers taught me how to give out a serious message in a humorous manner.
Rachel aged 9 from a school party from The Children's court of King Henry VIII.
Q17. Hello Henry.
What do you like best from 2005?
Velcro. Now I can get my Royal robes on without the help of 3 courtiers. Oh! I do like your fast motorcars, to do 30 miles in one hour without collapsing! I told my daughter Mary I would bring back the fastest vehicle from the 21st Century, faster than a Ferrari, faster than a Porche, one that can pass any other car on the motorway whatever speed it was going at!
She said, "Oh great, we're getting a White Transit Van!" Hehehehe!
Now, if you'd asked me what I didn't like about 2005 then I would have a lot to say.
Q18. From Mrs. C. A concerned member of the silent majority.
If King Henry was alive now what would he make of binge drinking ,as it is
now widely publicised in the news and Henry was a drinker of wines?
I'm not a heavy drinker, I could not show myself up in front of my people and court. I do like Portuguese wine with my meals but I definitely do not go drinking as a social event. The binge drinkers of today are lacking in confidence, they want life too quickly and need the alcohol to bolster their self image. They need to slow down, take life as it comes, enjoy the moment with a clear mind, not put their health and reputations on the line. Henry's words: Lying on the pavement with your dignity out of your control is not attractive to anybody except the worst of humanity.
The TV interviewer at Discovery's "My other Life" exhibition.
Q19. Are you scared that people will start to recognise Ray as Henry when you are out and about?
You had to ask the Producer which guest was Henry!
Look at this picture taken the same day as the filming, would you just walk past or say "Oh! there's Henry VIII". I rest my case.## Your picture: 'You can't hide like that!.jpg' has been inserted here ##
Q20. What does your wife think of you being King Henry VIII?
My wife is a self thinking person, you should ask her.
Ray's wife's answer:
"At first I thought masquerading as a dead King was silly, but then as Ray started to explain the details, show how he was going to dignify his portrayal with knowledge and historic accuracy, I thought what the hell his ideas in the past have always worked. Now after nearly a year since his idea he looks great, the audiences at Samlesbury Hall love Henry, the press love Henry, now TV loves Henry. I would never have thought it possible that one man could attract so much interest, King Henry VIII does seem to capture the imagination of our nation and Ray is coping well with the pressure. In the end I'm just proud of my Husband whatever he did for a career, he was a brilliant Designer, a wonderful Teacher and now a fabulous King."
I'm embarrassed now at this public display of affection!
Q21. Knowing what Henry was like with his many wives , would you consider him still a possible family man , because we all know he had a favourite wife , if he'd met her first would he have been content?
If katherine had given me a son and took the pressure off me to keep the Tudor Line going, I would have been content. She was a lovely lady who loved being in England, but alas circumstances took over.
Jane was the real love of my later life, if she was my first wife then yes I would have been content. I couldn't have stayed with Ann, even if she gave me a son, she was so interfering and the people hated her it would never have worked.
Anna Von Cleve, now she was a fine woman and she would have been good for this country, pity I made a great mistake and publicly humiliated both her and myself. Catherine Howard, what a great blunder marrying her, the Howard's should have found a better, more refined girl who knows what honour means. Catherine Parr a fine lady well suited to be my companion in my last year's but still susceptible to the political vultures out there.
Q22. What new information could you give to history?
Wow! That's a good question, I've had it for 2 days because I needed time to think about it. I'm not sure whether it should be Ray answering this one.
There is a strange idea that if I am a close resemblance to the King Henry VIII portraits that we all know them, then I must resemble the man in earlier days when young! This means that if my photographs of my youth were seen as a good estimate of what King Henry looked like.
I hope I can experience just what Henry felt and his feelings. How did the man inside cope with being King and why he made such monstrous decisions.
I already know why Ann of Cleves was called a Flemish Mare!
This is my new information: I am King Henry VIII, I have seen a beautiful portrait by master Hans Holbein of Ann in courtly robes. I have waited for 6 weeks for her to come to England after I had chosen her above her sister Amelia. I am rather looking forward to seeing her, I am used to people instantly recognising me. Ann arrives in England, do I wait until she has been prepared for my court? No. Is she dressed in travel Germanic clothes? Yes. What do I do? I ride over to where she is in my armour together with my Knightly friends. What happens? She doesn't recognise me, she says "which one is my Henry?" in her Germanic accent. It takes me by surprise and shock, I immediately renounce her as ugly, a Flemish Mare" not true of course but my character trying to save face.
Had we met in court, she dressed as a Queen to be, I dressed as a Royal character I think we would have been well suited and history would have taken a new direction.
Another visitor to Samlesbury Hall
Q23. I enjoyed your tour. I noticed that King Henry gave out small gifts to all children who came to Samlesbury Hall, why?
Our children are our future, they have lots of electronic aids, lots of technology which we are still learning about, they shouldn't miss the old ways. I give out a picture of me and a Quill feather. The quill will be a practical project for them to learn how to create a pen that works, the picture is a safety poster in miniature. They love the gifts and appreciate them as much as an expensive electronic gizmo. We all hear about the rough, tough, vandalising youth of today, well they are a small minority who get too much media coverage. The majority of children are kind hearted people who care about others and who will make sure our country stays at the forefront in social care. If King Henry VIII can dispel the notion of being a ruthless, fictionalised anti-hero and show his good side to our children then this should have a positive spin off.
Q24. Does everybody take notice of you because you are King Henry?
Nope. I send out emails with Ray to Councils, Castles and Big houses but we only get about 10% replies. At first I thought it was ignorant, then I became certain it WAS ignorant. It's not as though we are after heaps of money, some of them were offered our time for free for charity work, they could not be bothered and could not see the big picture above their own little world. But I'm not a vindictive man any more, if they suddenly see King Henry on the TV or in the press and remember the email they didn't answer do you think I will give them a second chance? Not on your Nelly.
Oop's a raw nerve!
Ray to Henry.
Hey big guy, don't get rattled. They will one day need you to head up a charity gig or a public opening of some great venture, so stay cool and accept their silence as mere lack of imagination.
Q25. Newspaper reporter on the Phone.
You have a strong Lancashire accent, do you change it for Henry?
Yes. Anyhow what was Henry's accent? His Father was Welsh, His Mother was a Yorkshire Princess, His Grandmother was a Lancashire Duchess, so what would be his accent?
Have you read Henry VII by Francis Bacon? in olde Tudor? Well it sounds like Yoda from Starwars. Now add it all together.
I speak slowly, more pronounced and slightly mixed up like Yoda.
Q26. Same reporter, (Well he was on the phone a long time!)
Do you and Ray make a lot of money out of being Henry?
No. We only break even at the moment. It pays for the clothes and fuel and this computer that's all. But it does give Ray a lot of fun in his old years (hehehe), we both will keep on doing our best hoping that King Henry will get a new audience and that our time is to come again. All our work up to now has been for charity, Samlesbury is a charitable trust and know of our expensive materials, they pay for our clothes and fuel but we bring them a lot more visitors to join Henry on his tour of the house. Visiting Primary schools are charged very little really, their coach costs are greater than what the Hall charges, we believe we help them.
One day a great big corporation will want King Henry VIII for their advertising campaign and then we will be ready to begin making a profit, until then we will reap the wonderful times we have together.
Or as Henry would say in Tudor/Yudor. "Big times come maybe a day soon".
One of those age questions.
Q27. King Henry died when he was 55, what age does Ray play you?
Well I've got a stick, I'm a bit overweight and I'm hiding up North away from my critics. I think Ray's playing me about 45 years of age don't you. Ray's just told me he is now 56 but was worried about February this year!
The great thing about having a time machine is that you never age any more.
A History researcher from The Discovery Channel.
Q28. Who was your greatest rival?
"Rival" has to be analysed.
If it was Rival Monarch, then Francis of France was my greatest personality rival. He was as good looking as me, strong, athletic and popular. He nearly knocked me off top spot as Europe's most Majestic King.
If it was Athletic Rival, then Charles Brandon when he was a younger fellow would take that honour. He became my Brother in law and was always my best friend, the only sportsman who would dare to try his best to beat me. I must admit he was the one who knocked me off my horse during a joust and injured my leg, it still hurts today and is getting worse.
Power Rival must have been my Father in law, Ferdinand in my earlier year's. Hey! All the criticism I have endured about the Church of England, yet Ferdinand and Isabella were much more ruthless with the Islamic people of Spain. I think the power crazy Emperor of the Roman Church was much more cruel than I was.
Now the greatest Rival in matters of love must have been Thomas Culpepper, he took the chance of hapiness away from me with his affair with my wife Catherine Howard. I think I changed then into a person even I didn't like.
My greatest rival would be the Popularity Rival, it was of course my first wife, Catherine. The people loved her because of her devotion to them. She pushed me into second place even when I annulled our marriage, making Queen Ann a target of abuse.
Q29. What was your greatest fear?
I had no fear. Or that's what I tried to portray. Fear of failure really, not producing a son to carry on the line.
We all feared the Plague, it was indiscriminate in its culling of our population. I tried to keep away from it by moving into non infected places with my Progresses.
From a Teacher visiting Samlesbury Hall
Q30. I read that Ray was once an AST teacher and is now retired. Is being King Henry VIII better than being a teacher.
It is now for us both. Ray loved teaching for 20 of his 22 years, the last 2 were hell. Not that much had changed, more that he was ill. As King Henry VIII we can still communicate to people, we can still tell stories to crowds. Ray likes Henry.
Oh! by the way. Ray is still an AST teacher retired or not, once made up to one always one!
Q31. Did King Henry ever draw or paint?
It was not seen as a Royal practice to paint portraits because only the masters did it and they were from common stock. I wrote poetry, songs and music if I did draw anything it was for my wife at the time and private. I discussed the science topics a lot and Humanism with Erasmus, sometimes we drew diagrams to clarify meanings. I can draw and paint, but with Master Hans Holbein in my employ it seemed pointless not to have him do royal pictures.
Q32. Thomas Wolsey seemed to have a lot of power, did he have too much?
No. I let Thomas have the power, he was a very hard working man and self motivated. His tastes were a little outlandish but then so were mine and he worked with me closely. He ran my court really, he was a master of organisation and could move armies, feed them, clothe them, organise them which made me look very good indeed. He failed miserably though trying to get the Pope to agree to my divorce with Katherine, we went out of favour then. Remember he did die of natural causes.
From a lovely lady who volunteers at the Hall.
Q33. I have listened to your tour a few times around the Hall, noticing that you change its content nearly every time, Why?
I get bored very easily. The research I have done for the Hall has given me to much information to impart in one tour, so I mix and match as I go round. I have noticed that some people have been on the tour more than once, so I have to keep it interesting all the time. Hey! You're an ex teacher too, you have got to keep the audience on the edge of their seat in order to win their complete attention.
I tell them, if I wink it's a joke just in case they are not sure whether to laugh or not.
A Historian from oop North.
Q34. Which member of your family had the most influence on your life?
Without any hesitation that would be my Grandmother, Margaret Beaufort.
Q35. What was the population of England in your reign?
Better see it on a graph.
Q36. What did the Tudors think of the poor people?
Tudor people believed there were three types of poor people:
1. Those with just enough to live on.
2. The "deserving poor", those who could not work, eg. the very young, the very old, and disabled people - these should be looked after as an act of charity.
3. Sturdy rogues: vagrants and people who moved about looking for work. People felt this type should be punished. However, there was not enough work.
In 1485 unemployment was not a problem, but by 1530 there were many more people than jobs.
Q37. What did a real Tudor Village look like?
They are still about today 2005!
It would have a Manor house, Dairy etc. see below for some of my pictures from Tudor Village in Dorset.
The Manor house
The style of construction was dependent upon the building materials available locally.
With a Half Timbered House, remember half-timbering means to split a tree down the middle and use each half opposite each other to equalise the movement over the years. Further South than say Leicester, the stripes were mainly vertical this was due to the trees not being fully mature and still a bit springy, in the Midlands Oak was easy to get, but not long straight ones so the houses were fairly large square patterned with big diagonals, in the North they had Wych Elm trees and the layout was small squares, reinforced in each square corner by a quartered tree producing a pattern called Quatrefoil. Timber framed buildings filled with bricks and/or rendered was also common.
A young student on a school visit ask me this question, I thought it was worth adding to the website.
Q38. Which common names came from Medieval and Tudor times, what did "Tudor"mean?
First of all Tudor means "House of Iron" in ye olde Welsh. Similarly Tuyer means Iron tap in the Welsh iron smelting days.
Henry means master of the house and was usually a royal name for a first born son, Katherine my first wife and I had a son called Henry but he died very young.
Well most names came from the skills that certain people had, they would work around the country plying their trade and become known as Thomas the Smith etc.
Smith/Smithson-- Blacksmith, Miller-- Corn Miller, Thatcher-- Roof thatcher or Prime Minister!, Potter-- Ceramic Potter, Carpenter -- House frame maker, Milliner-- Cloth maker, Weaver-- Cloth maker, Cook/Cookson-- Cook, Brewer-- Ale brewer, Carter-- cart driver, Cartwright-- Maker of the carts, Wright-- Wheel maker, Mason-- Stone mason, Farmer-- Farmer, Cooper--Couper or barrel maker, Lamb-- A shepherd, and so on........
If anybody has more to add please email and I will load it up.
Q39. What's the funniest thing that has happened to you as Henry in the 21st. Century?
I was walking through a charity function giving out leaflets, I offered a leaflet to a small child amongst her parents and older family.
I said, "I'll give you a leaflet if you know who I am".
The little girl looked at me in the eyes and answered" You're Father Christmas.!"
I said, quite deflated, "That'll do nicely" and gave her a leaflet knowing she had stolen the show.
Q40. Your beard is one of your most famous features. Why did you grow it in the first place?
That's a very personal question, but one that has a significant event in my mind.
My rival in popularity, Francis, King of France and I had a most elaborate meeting which took weeks to prepare, cost millions to equip for and became known as "The field of the cloth of gold". We met as brothers, our armies and courtiers all mixed together in friendship and we jousted, danced, made music for a month. We decided together that we were such good friends that we would not shave again until we both met again. It was a sign of high beauty then for a man to shave and show his full face, so to grow a beard was to hide ones looks and be more modest. I made sure my beard was a low, thin one that wouldn't hide my looks too much! I kept my beard after that as it became a fashion within my court, I believe Francis shaved down to a moustache which also became a French fashion.
From 100's of children who have met Henry at Samlesbury Hall. The most asked question of them all!
Q41. Which of your wives did you love?
Mmm. Not an easy answer this one, it is difficult to put into words the meaning of love and in one way or another I loved all my wives, even Anna Von Cleve after we were divorced. I'll try to explain my feelings for all my wives and let you all decide which you think was my soul mate.
Katherine, for the first 10 years of our marriage we were devoted to each other, we started as an arranged marriage but soon fell in love and she was my best friend. We drifted apart because of her Father, my duties and her work with schools and the poor. She was better thought of by my people than me. Eventually we were so much apart we had lost our affection for each other.
Ann, I fell for her charms before marraige, she bewitched me, she was a coy flirt with my affections. I don't think I actually loved her. The last straw was the death of our son at birth, the marriage may have lasted had the boy survived. Her sister Mary would have been a better match had the circumstances been different.
Jane, lovely Jane, she knew how to keep in the background and give me comfort in my private life. Jane gave me my son and heir, Edward but she only lived 14 days after the birth. I didn't even have the chance to have her coronation as my Queen. My heart was broken with her death and I still long for her.
Anna, I was a little rash when we first met, I embarrassed us both and the marriage was doomed from the start. Anna became my advisor and I made her my official Sister in my court, she would have made a fine Queen had I not been looking for love. I admit she was the finest looking Queen I married and that Holbein was accurate in his portrait.
Catherine, she made me lose heart, she was so young and full of life I could not keep up with her energies. It was obviously a mismatch but I was overjoyed with her as my wife, she however saw the match as a way of having fun, especially with other men. Her treachery, broke my heart and it was the first and only time I cried in public when her affair was exposed to me by her Uncle.
Catherine, I never loved her, but I had a lot of affection for her. She nursed me in my later years but was under the influence of the Seymours and I began to worry about her politics. She was very clever y'know! Wrote a wonderful book and poems for me.
Fom a descendant of The Southworths of Samlesbury hall.
Q42. Who was the Southworth at Samlesbury Hall during the Battle of Bosworth Field, did he get Knighted for his part in it?
MMM. No. The owner of Samlesbury Hall in 1485 was Sir Christopher Southworth and he was already a Knight, having gained his spurs on a campaign in Scotland two years ealier. There was no Southworth at Bosworth Field. See this website page for a full Role Call of knights at Bosworth Field.
Hey the rest of you! Go look at this role call you never know you might be famous or infamous!
I think this guy is a builder or architect.
I notice that the roof tiling on a Tudor House has stones that are graded fromlarge to small towards the top instead of a common size in slate. Do you know why?
Yes. In Tudor times, houses builder used materials which were local, so Welsh ones used Welsh slate and cut the fairly soft material to a common size before splitting them into thin squares. However if slate was not a local commodity, stone was used. Nature has moved the stone in the Ice age down a valley by way of glaciers and the large ones will get further down. By grading the stones into a range of sizes and then cutting into slabs the roof tiles were made. Now think about it, which one would you carry all the way to the top of the roof? The large ones or the smaller ones? Obviously the larger ones were lower on the roof and the smaller ones higher up. Thicker tiles tend to form a curve if added togther on a sloped roof so the grading also helped to form a flat side to the constuction.
Q44. Where did a bouncer on a pub door, get his name from?
Taverns had a lot of damage caused by drunken behaviour. A tarrif was added as an entrance fee to cover repair costs, an amount of 1 Penny tudor was asked. This equates to £1.30 nowadays. People who couldn't afford the tarrif would forge a penny out of lead. A man would stand at the entrance to the tavern and collect the tarrif, he would throw the coin onto the stone floor. If the coin hit and stopped thereby being soft Lead he would stop the person entering, if the coin bounced on the stone he would let the person in because the coin was made of a brass type metal. He became known as a Bouncer.
Q45. Who was the character that Humpty Dumpty was based upon?
There are a few characters who have been dubbed the inspiration behind the song, but I believe it was my old friend Thomas Wolsey. Think about the fate of old Wolsey a fat man who taxed the people and was hated by most. He fled me after the divorce fiasco, hiding in York. I send my soldiers to get him worning them not to fail me. They catch him and march hem back to London, but ala he dies on the way down. The soldiers are now pretty scared of the consequences, and try hard to revive him but he is dead.Now sing the song.
Humpty Dumpty sat of a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the King's horses and all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
Was there really a Little Jack Horner?
Yes. Jack Horner was the clerk of my court whom I sent around the country collecting the deeds of the Monasterial land confiscated during the reformation. His reward was to keep one confiscated land for his own. He of course picked a plum site, I believe the Horners still live there.
Q47. Stuart again.
During your lifetime, how many castles , palaces and the like did you manage
Also what where their names?
If it wasn't for all that cut shaped stone from the monasteries I wouldn't have been able to build my castles over 20 of them.
Here's the list in no order, straight out of my head .
Pendennis, Hurst, Sandown, East Cowes, West Cowes, Yarmouth, Sharpenode, Calshot, Southsea, Netley, St.Andrews point, Deal, Hull, Brownsea, Portland, Sandsfoot, Walmer, St.Mawes, Camber as well as finishing off Hampton court and my pet project Nonsuch Palace. Oh, and the Entrance gate to Lower ward at Windsor Castle. Can't think of any more without a drink of fine port. Is that ok Stuart?
From a BBC Producer who has waded through this website and survived!
How long have you been portraying King Henry and how did you start?
I planned it from May 2004, I had retired through ill health and loved my job as a classroom teacher this being hard to let go. I decided I would be an actor and have a go to realise another ambition. I knew I looked a lot like Henry so it wasn’t hard to develop my character. I had the costume made professionally, I travelled the country learning what it was like to be Henry, and I read all the books until I became sick of them. My first gig was at Astley Hall in Chorley in August 2004, after that I work every week mainly with Samlesbury Hall near Preston. Samlesbury Hall is manned by especially nice people and I love going there, it’s a family feeling that’s hard to find nowadays. I conduct a Henry’s Tour of the house every Sunday and run their School’s programme.
Henry Tudor can be found on Sundays at Samlesbury Hall, what do you get
up to there?
I have a bit of fun with the visitors, they come now expecting to see a look-alike but they get a very accurate portrayal from the best look-alike.
My calendar is full up to next year and my new career in acting is an astounding success.
Are people scared of you?
Yes. At first it’s a bit scary, then I smile and wave, the children are more open to Henry and soon like being seen with him, the Mothers soon like having their pictures taken with Henry, The Fathers and most men are a bit cautious.
Retired people who come to the Hall really take to Henry especially when I tell them about the sayings from Tudor times.
Best thing about being Henry?
I don’t have to work too hard to be him, as soon as I get the costume on I develop the Henry limp, my memory becomes fills with Tudor history and my personality changes from a quiet ordinary man into an egocentric, power crazy monarch.
And the worst?
It’s far too hot in centrally heated Manor houses for a fur lined King Henry Costume. Over heating is the biggest problem I have.
What is on the menu at Samlesbury Hall? What was Henry's favourite meal?
For the King’s Board we have tried to keep it as genuine as possible, we will serve chicken stuffed with spicy meat and wrapped with cured ham, then we will serve vegetables that were around in the 1500’s. The King’s board will take all night to serve and eat and will be the fulcrum of the evening with Henry and his band of players filling in the evening.
I actually perform an act called Stand up Henry, which could be described as an intellectual, clean, comedy of History.
Henry’s dislike for massive meals is well recorded by Historians; the swan stuffed with other fowl is only for large banquets where we English were trying to impress visiting foreign dignitaries. King Henry in private would eat simple dishes like Chicken and Artichokes.
Six mothers-in-law eh? How bad is that?
They Kept out of politics; it was the Father in laws that were the biggest problem to me, especially Ferdinand of Spain.
Some morbid reader looking for an argument!
What was in the speech that Queen Ann Boleyn made on at the time of her execution?
Here speech was made after I had annulled the marriage, so she wasn't a Queen anymore. She did not admit to bewitching me and asked why this had happened to an innocent woman. This at the time made me mad, I know with hindsight she was right.
This is her speech in full, you decide.
“Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, according to law and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I come here only to die, and thus to yield myself humbly to the will of the king, my lord. And if, in my life, I did ever offend the king’s grace, surely with my death I do now atone. I come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that whereof I am accused, as I know full well that aught I say in my defence doth not appertain to you. I pray ant beseech you all, good friends, to pray for the life of the king, my sovereign lord and yours, who is one of the best princes on the face of the earth, who has always treated me so well that better could not be, wherefore I submit to death with goodwill, humbly asking pardon of all the world. If any person will meddle with my cause, I require them to judge the best. Thus I take my leave of the world, and of you, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me”
Now I'm feeling guilty again!
On a lighter note!
Q56. You kept the old sport of Jousting alive well after it should have been forgotten, why?
Hey! Jousting was still practiced in other countries, why is it always me that gets the bad press!
Anyhow, here's some very interesting terms used in the play Battle of male supremacy:
The decorative covering worn by jousting horses at tournament.
Metal plate armour that is moulded and constructed for the war horse.
The man who is in charge of the tournament list. He also assists judges and settles disputes.
Coat of arms
The name given the identifying symbols that were placed on shields, surcoats, horse trapping and banners.
Basic Medieval torso protection.
This was the name given to the metal tip that was attached to the end of the lance for a Joust a' Plaisance, or a joust of pleasure.
Leather soaked in hot wax and bent into shape while still hot.
Also call collar armour, designed to protect the neck.
This is the enlarged area of the lance that is located just in front of where the shoulder is tightened.
A game fought with spears or lances.
A system for identifying individuals by means of distinctive hereditary insignia.
The name given when two teams of knights met as if in the open battle field, in general, a free-for-all.
A place of refuge on the tournament field where knights could rest, rearm or hold prisoners.
The challenger of a Joust or Pas d'Armes. The host of the joust.
Refers to a type of construction of the shield in the early Middle Ages.
Knights who have accepted a challenge .
Remember my Father claimed to be an ancestor of King Arthur Pendragon and so his sport was carried on.
Q57. How many children did you have altogether?
Losing children at birth or soon after has been the most sad times of my wife and myself. Here are the legitimate births and deaths.
1510 Daughter - died
1511 Son - died
1513 Son - died
1514 Son - died
1516 Mary - survived
1518 Daughter - died
1533 Elizabeth - survived
1534 Son - died
1535 unknown - died
1536 Son - died
1537 Edward - survived
Then there were my illegitimate children. Henry Fitzroy, Henry Carey.
So you see I actually had 7 sons.
From a party of four Cheshire folk who braved it across the border into sunny Lancashire.
Q58. Where did the term "Clapped out" come from?
A Clapper was a medieval term for a stone slab bridge across a stream or river. Slabs of granite on top of granite piers spanning up to 4 feet. Can be worn out by continued traffic and then need refurbishment , they are then termed "Clapped Out". The name came from the noise they made when crossed, they would rock slightly and clap the pier.
Q59. Why did Henry feel the need to marry again after the death of Jane?
That question touches a nerve, yes I now had a legitimate son to keep the Tudors in Power, yes Jane was the love of my life and yes I was now getting old and infirm. But, I was left alone. Alone at the top. Anna Von Cleve was to be my new partner, my friend as well as my Queen. You have to put it in context, the king of England is two persons, Henry Tudor and King Henry VIII that is why all royals use the Royal WE a plural of ourselves. When I married Jane twice, she married both persons separately because we were in love. Anna Von Cleve was picked to marry King Henry and become his partner on the throne as well as his companion. Even after our divorce, Anna became my friend and I made her my court Sister! She stayed in England because her conditions were much better than going back to the small Dukedom her Brother ruled from, she helped with my children and became well known for good sense in my court.
Now I'm bored with Wife questions!
From a old movie fan from Nelson in Lancashire.
Q60. Why did you throw your food about?
HOLLYWOOD! How many times must I say this? A black and white movie with Charles Laughton is made for the American appetite for crass depiction of historical myth and everyone on the planet believes it!!!!!!!
Ok, I've calmed down now.
King Henry VIII did not throw his food about, he was meticulously clean and his manners were second to non in the entire country. He would not lower himself to that of a peasant by eating like one. The Palaces and castles where he stayed were spotless, he had everyone decorated before he visited them, the food was prepared by two chef's and perfect in every detail and he eat politely, never talking at the same time. Propaganda is in all our media, people are manipulating your information before you absorbe it, they want to guide our world their way. This was not invented by Tony Blair nor George Bush, it has been going on in humans since the first one stood upright. My Daughter, Elizabeth was as big a political manipulator as I was and fed the peoples appetite with stories of my reign that make her appear the Angel of Freedom, read Shakespeare, the biggest propaganderist ever! Today he would be the editor and she the proprietor .
Natalie from St.Helens
Q61. In your talk about Samlesbury Hall, Why does the White lady hate the house?
Ah! Now that's because her boyfriend Robert Houghton was murdered by her own brother and her Father had forbade her to see Robert.
Sarah from St. Helen's
Q62. Does the White lady live with you?
No, Dorothy Southworth Wanders along the main road outside Samlesbury Hall looking for her boyfriend Robert.
When she sees me she disappears.
My wife at home in the Palace is not a White lady she is blue! Only when she's using a face pack! Hehehehe.
Obviously an investigative Historian.
Q63. You mention Nicholas Owen in both your Tour and your website, yet you cover yourself in case it was not true. What is the truth as you believe it and what is your evidence based upon?
How many history books have turned out to be garbage? Lots of them. The author writes them with information thought to be correct at the time of going to press and then puts it right if it is proven to be wrong. Well I believe that Nicholas Owen was at Samlesbury Hall and he built the priest holes there. We already know that St.Edmund Campion was caught in Samlesbury Hall and there is proof that Nicholas Owen was a companion of Campion, see this website.
Look at the dates, look at where Owen was known to work and then piece it all together. Every one of his designs were of the same parameter, "one way in and two ways out" in order to give the captured priest another chance of freedom. Look at the fireplace in Hindlip Hall where he was captured, the same style and workmanship as the Samlesbury Hall Fireplace in the Parlour. Work out his route of work, East Anglia, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire where he was captured. Now put rough dates on these counties estimating how long he would be at on to make such constructions, and you get him in Lancashire about 1580/1582. Just when the fireplace was made.
Now the fireplace in the Parlour seems to have no priest hole or does it? The top stone has broke in half because of the house loading, but why has the halves not fallen? There must be a brick wall behind the stone frontage. Now tap the fireplace and the only place not stone in near the breakage, the same width as need for a man to enter it. The other way out I suspect to be outside the building under a stone slab that has no moss on it.
There you are, I cannot say with strong physical evidence that Nicholas Owen built the priest holes but I can show the evidence of history. If the directors of Samlesbury Hall search through the back wall of the chimney breast I should think the whole mystery of the broken stone will emerge.
From the Lady sat next to me at the Canon's dinner.
Q65. Do you know what Plantagenet means?
I must admit I didn't. So I have talked to my learned scholars at court and have come with this answer.
Plantagenet! Why would I want to know their history? They were our predecessors and brought chaos to England. Ok, I am not the right person to give an unbiased opinion so I’ll try my best to forget bygones.
They were the Angevin dynasty from Anjou in France, their English link were the Plantagenets with Lancastrian and Yorkist backgrounds. My Grandmother, Margaret Beaufort and my Mother, Elizabeth were the last one’s to enter the Tudor dynasty. Plantagenet was a Plant called the Genesta in Latin, or Broom Flower in English. Hey! That’s cool! Richard III was a Broom Hehehe.
It started in England with Geoffrey of Anjou who was the Father of Henry II, then Richard Duke of York then Edward IV ant the old hunchback himself, Richard III.
I know that my father made Richard III’s history a lot blacker that in reality and that he didn’t have a hunchback, so I’m following in my Father’s footsteps and giving the English people someone to hate.
Q64. Who is the Girl/Lady in your picture with you?
That is Lady Elizabeth, my daughter by Ann Boleyn. Not a Princess anymore because that marriage was annulled and therefore not legal. She has my red hair, her mother's stance and figure, definately a strong willed woman.
She has started her own website. www.ElizabethTudor.co.uk
It's ok, but not up to mine yet!
From a lovely lady from Knutsford in Cheshire, who obviously knew the answer and was testing me!
Q65. I come from Knutsford in Cheshire, it is famous for another King and is named after him, do you know the story.
Pity she didn't know Ray used to live in Knutsford, Hehehe, but I didn't tell her, I just let her believe I was a genius.
Sure, King Canute. Canute crossed the River Lilly in the town and thus it became known as Knute-Ford. By the way the River Lily is only 2 feet wide, sorry, 61 cms wide. So no big deal then eh!
Crossing Rivers by ancient Kings has a link with the Northwest and King Arthur! He crossed the Sea from Anglesey back into England on his drive for power, landing near the Ribble estuary and making his way across the Fylde to Chorley, where he famously crossed the River ............ to beat his rivals in Battle by surprise.
Anybody know its name?
Wow! that only took 5 minutes. Quite right Chorley river was the River Douglas.
Q66. Just how closely does Ray resemble Henry?
See this picture.
Ray should really trim his beard a bit closer to Henry, but he's stubborn and likes it the way it is! True Henry's beard is not as grey as Ray's, but then he's not got questioners like you mithering him!
The fact is, Henry posed for hours then the artist made sure he was perfect, whereas Ray posed for 20 seconds and the photographer was his wife! Still the resemblance is striking. Ray tells me it's Henry who is close to Ray not the other way round!
Q67. In your day, the rose was a significant emblem, why was that?
In my day! I'm still in my day!
The cultured Rose is not native to Britain, the Romans brought it over here after they had taken it from the Greeks. It has a cultural meaning, Honour, truth and loyalty and so is used today for a love token. The big families in history needed to keep confidences and the Rose was used as a form of contract, not a written one but one that was attached to houses and if you entered the house you entered the contract of confidentiality. The Romans called this Sub-rosa, Latin meaning Under the Rose. A rose was carved above heads in talking rooms, such as Parlours, Chapels and Great Halls, in the centre for the most important room in the house and along the top edges in the others.
Roses were even over the doorways so that you "signed" the contract as you entered. Lancashire and Yorkshire have a Rose as an emblem, well many Monarchs came from these counties y'know. My father joined the two warring counties together with the Tudor Rose when he married my Mother, Elizabeth. Next time you go to an old historical house look for the roses in the ceiling.
Q68. I read in your Samlesbury Hall tour guide that you call the roof design "Dittonian Stone" What kind of stone is that?
Ah! I should have pointed out that the word Dittonian wasn't the name of the actual stone, it was the repeated pattern of layers reducing geometrically to ensure the end result was in fact flat. Because if the thick slabs of roofing stone was kept the same size the roof would curve in a Parabola. Now you have brought up the subject! Dit is Roman, Latin for repeat and so Ditto, Dithering can be extrapolated from the same origins. I know this makes me look clever! But after a couple of days walking the hills with a History Professor you tend to fill up with such detail.
A perplexed businessman from London.
Q69. I think your website is fantastic, my kids are still making the castle after the house and the drawbridge. BUT, how are you making any money out of giving away so many kits when you could be selling them?
Look! There are more important things in life than making money, there's being useful for one.
I gladly give all children my eKits, surely it's better for our children to create than to play computer games! I hope one day to look back and see these kits as seeds of British ingenuity planted in our next generation and this ploy of mine is called LONG TERM PLANNING. Where are all the skills, apprenticeships, craftsmen (person), why is it more glamorous to be in the service industries than the creative industries. A computer should be seen as a tool for human development of human skills not for the repeat of experiences but for the creation of new ones.
Sorry if I sounded off, but as you can see it's my goal in life to bring back human endeavour which hopefully will reduce the youth boredom and revitalise new opportunities for future ventures. How many children today were sat at a computer game console, or watching cartoons, all day? I know that 2000 were making cardboard Tudor houses, castles, ships, etc.
A Director of Education no less!
Q70. Where do you get your inspiration for the cardboard kits?
Everywhere. We in Britain are blessed with lots of fine old buildings and technology from most of our history, I just imagine them in pieces small enough to fit on a Powerpoint slide. I could make models with less joints but they would be too small and complicated. I took these three pictures on my travels and will be making models in the future, you could say they gave me inspiration.
A water powered Corn Mill from the early 1500's.
See the mill stones.
A Hand powered Wool Combing machine from about 1650.
Q71. I heard you explaining the way nursery rhymes had been based upon facts. How did "Goosey Goosey Gander" develop?
Priest holes had more than one use, one is obvious, they hid the Priests from the soldiers in the reformation. The other is quite sinister, they hid the priest from the family so he could spy on individuals to make sure they were being God fairing people.
From the Coach driver.
Q72. I have been to hundreds of old Tudor Houses, all Black and White. Yet you say this is not the proper colour for these houses, why is that so!
I will let you the sad truth my friend, you may take it around with you on your travels and tell your passengers about the Victorian Folly.
Sad but true, wood soaks up water, it loses its colour by weathering and the effects of sunlight. The type of wood is crucial in the longevity of a timber house, so a house that was built in the 1400/1500's was unsealed, untreated and built of the trees in its locality. Look at the houses in the South, (the lowlands), they are vertical timbering with close pitching. This was because they over farmed the forests and immature trees were used which were very springy and not good at carrying horizontal loads. Now go to the Midlands, (strangely called the highlands), they had lots of Oak trees. Trouble with Oak trees, they are not very straight after 20 feet tall, so spans of 16/20 feet are very common, this leads to a square block type panelling of 5 feet squares filled in with either wattle-n-daub or bricks. Now come up to the North of England, (strangely called the Upper highlands), here they are blessed with Wych Elm trees, planted by the Romans, which grow 50 feet in 50 years and go on to over 100 feet tall. This tree is waterproof, straight and can be steam bent easily. Wych Elm trees were used for large houses, barns, ships, forts and weapons. The Mary Rose keel was of Wych Elm, the first water pipes were of Wych Elm.
Maintenance of timber houses will be high as the house gets older, loses its pigments and becomes tubular in macro-section. The Victorians in the middle of the Industrial Revolution were making steel using Coal/Coke in their blast furnaces. The difference in coal to make coke is to remove the tar, so they were awash with the black stuff. Some idiot decided to paint the old timber houses with tar, the panels with white lime-wash, this made them look strangely attractive so the practice prevailed. After all if to paint a wooden railway sleeper with tar, preserved it, why should this happen to a timber house? Well nobody lives inside a railway sleeper, condensation from warmer rooms is not present either and worse of all the sleeper is coated all over and thus need not breath as do the timbers in a Tudor house. So the tarring of old houses should be seen as a Victorian mistake, one that we now have to live with. Open fires were the bonus of long living houses, but now take them away and substitute central heating and the damp will get much worse. Big old house should light up their fires at least once per week to keep the rot down.
Notice how Queen Victoria always wore black. Hmmm makes you think!
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Q73. What do you think you know about Henry more than already written?
Mmmm. Maybe it's Ray you should be asking, Hang on I'll ask him for you!
Ok a bit radical here! Henry is left handed. How do I know? Look where he wears his dagger but even more obvious to me, look at his bedroom in Hampton Court. The layout would be awkward for a right hander.
I think he had bad breath, not because I do, but because the lack of exercise, rich food and not cleaning his teeth on fibrous vegetables will result in poor breath.
I think he was lonely.
Q74. Is it true that King Henry started the Alum Industry in England?
We had Alum before, the Romans brought it here in the first Century. Henry's break with the Pope caused an Alum stoppage. Alum was used to fix colours in cloth and so mainly the rich used it. King Henry did get his own men to search for Alum bearing shale in England, which was duly found in Ravenscar North Yorkshire. If you want to see the whole story then see this file.
Click here to download this file
Q75. What truth is there about the connection of Nonsuch Palace and Queen Anne’s Well?
The naming of the well at Carshalton, outside All Saints Church has nothing at all to do with the Myth of Queen Anne Boleyn’s horse stumbling and a spring came forth from the ground.
This was supposed to have happened when Anne and myself were riding from Nonsuch Palace to see a friend.
The dates are wrong.
Anne Boleyn met her fate at the Tower of London in 1536, Nonsuch clearance of land for the building of my new Palace started in 1538!
The Well is just a Well, sounds like a local clergyman trying to make something out of nothing to me.
Q76. How many palaces did you possess and why did you build Nonsuch Palace? At what cost?
About 1530 I owned 13 palaces in and around London, non of which I had built.
I always concealed my jealousy of rival Francis I King of France, so I decided to build a place to compete with his fantastic Palace at Chambord on the Loire. I bestowed the name for my new Palace to indicate that it was to excel all others.
I wanted people to be astonished at this new palace, and to say that they had never seen such a fine palace before, hence its name - 'Nonsuch.‘
Now referred to as Cuddington Manor, I acquired the area and in 1538 demolished the village and proceeded to construct the buildings. The Church disappeared beneath the inner courtyard of the Palace, two deer parks were set up within the Parish. It took nine years to build and was completed at a cost of at least £24,000 (Tudor) which is £7.2 Million nowadays.
Go to the freebies section and you will find one of my eKits to make this Palace!
Q77. Hi Henry, What is a Lumber Gudgeon?
Short but sweet! A Lumber Gudgeon is a rogue who looks like he's up to mischief.
Q78. Who is the White Lady of Samlesbury Hall?
Half-timbered Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire, built during the reign of Edward III, lies halfway between Preston and Blackburn. It is haunted by the ghosts of Lady Dorothy Southworth and her lover, Robert Houghton, the handsome son of a noble family, who owned a large estate nearby.
Dorothy was the daughter of Sir John Southworth, who was to die in 1595, a staunch Roman Catholic who had forbidden his daughter to marry Robert, who had turned Protestant. John Southworth even forbade his daughter from meeting her lover again.
The couple planned to elope, but their plans were discovered and when they met on that fateful day to leave the house, they were intercepted by her brother, accompanied by a small band of friends, and in the ensuing fight, Robert and two friends who were helping them, were killed. Dorothy was sent to a Nunnery in France, where she died from insanity, probably caused by a broken heart. The bodies of Robert and his two friends were buried near the domestic chapel at the Hall.
In the 19th century, three skeletons were found where the three unfortunate men had been buried, and since that time the figure of Dorothy Southworth, dressed in white, has been seen walking down the staircase and along the path leading to the garden wall, where in life she had planned to meet Robert. The figure of Robert has also been seen standing by the wall, and on several occasions the two have been seen standing together, holding each other in embrace before vanishing. Weeping and wailing has also been heard, as if someone is crying bitterly.
Dorothy has also been seen wandering down the road outside the Hall, and on one occasion a bus driver actually stopped his bus, thinking that she was an intending late-night passenger.
Just after the Second World War, workmen digging a ditch whilst engaged in drain-laying, discovered the almost complete-skeleton of a man at a spot, only a few feet from the point where the couple have been seen to embrace and disappear.
From Sapphire and Sage, makers of fine historical jewellery.
What was the name of the Garter that King Henry wore and why did he wear it?
It was because of Chivalry and all that it implied, I was a big fan of the Black Prince and of course King Arthur and his Knights. The use of a garter to recognise the fact that the wearer was a Knight has two possible origins. Below I have made a card to print off for your study book.
Q80. Just who named America?
I have left this question long enough, waiting in vain for reliable sources to back up my family claim. So I have put together some pictures and slides for you to make up your own minds. Let us all hope it stirs up enough factual comment.
First of all, John and Sebastian Cabot were financed by my Father, Henry VII and Ameryk of Bristol for their voyage of discovery aboard the Matthew, a small ship with only 18 crew!
Amerigo Vespucci has always been given the accolade, but we were there two years earlier! Anyhow Amerigo is a derivation of Enrico and Enrico is Henry in Spanish!
Cabot leaving on the Matthew for new lands to find, New found lands, get it? Newfoundland!
See the US flag and Ameryk's emblem! Hey, they are so similar.
Now you decide.
Q81. What was really wrong with your legs?
My legs have given me so much torment over the years, they have even been used by my enemies to start rumours of disgusting diseases that the poor get. I reality my ailment was started by my best friend, Charles Brandon!
Yes he was the only opponent in my chosen sport of jousting, that would actually play to win. The others let me win for fear of hurting me and being blamed. Charles however jousted with passion and to beat him was a challenge I loved. However one day he knocked me off my horse and my lance split, my leg received a large splinter with also chipped my bone. It healed fairly quickly, but the time off my legs increased my body weight due to the Royal diet, eventually the stress on the mend caused a piece of bone to surface. This in turn caused inflammation and swelling.
My diet and lifestyle were not conducive to healthy living, I suffered from a mild form of diabetes which developed into a serious condition in later life. My legs and feet were affected with ulcers. It was noted by my physicians that my toes began to be gangrenous as the condition advanced. This is an ulceration pattern far more typical of advanced diabetes and dispels the slanderous rumours of any low morality.
I was subjected to terribly primitive and painful medical practices, the ulcers were continually cut into, lanced, cauterized, and then dressed with an ointment that contained ground pearls and lead! Medical procedures were not only primitive, but were carried out under completely unsanitary conditions. My legs were continually infected and incompetent physicians cut into them and burned them. The lead poisoning coming from that pearl and lead ointment alone would have been enough to cause mental illness.
Q82. Quite a difficult pair these!
Just what did Will Somers look like and what did King Henry’s signature look like?
## Your picture: 'Henry's handwriting.jpg' has been inserted here ##
Even though I was a scholar of note, I did not like writing.
Q83. Have you ever found new Historical artefacts when in and around the Hall where you work?
The House had a moat at one time, on one corner there was a crossing point into the Hall’s farmland. Shallow enough for a cart and horse but needing stepping stones for people. See this sketch.
Now because the stepping stones need to be of different thicknesses finding a set of Octagonal shaped stones being used as Plant stands was a big clue, when measured in thickness I found them to be Shallow to deep to shallow again. So I found Medieval Octagonal Stepping stones.
Why Octagonal? So as to not cause turbulence with sharp corners!
Q84. I notice that you visit the historical places as well as reading about them. What advantage do you get by doing both?
That’s a good question. Seeing something in real life give a more impressionable memory and enable me to think like Henry would have when acting the part. It also give me an appreciation for the skills of the people then and may I say the faults in their designs sometimes.
See this picture where I have found a design fault in none other than St.Nicholas Owens fireplace at Samlesbury Hall. It has a secret chamber in it for a Priest to hide, however it has a hidden wall to protect the Priest from the fire, this wall has cause a stress fracture to the stone mantle.
Hey! Not all humans are perfect, remember he was building this 475 years ago with no lasers, stress gauges, or computers, just his brain.
Q85. In a Manorial setting, did the Lord and Lady’s family attend chapel with the common workers?
Yes and No
They were in the same building, but fear of disease kept them apart in height. They believed that diseases did not rise upwards so they designed their chapels where the Noble family were on a balcony and the common workers were on the ground floor. The Priest feared reprisals from the commoners because of the church taxes imposed even on the poor, so a barrier was fixed between the Priest and the congregation of poor. I have found a picture of the actual barrier and have drawn where it was fixed together with the place the nobles were praying.
Q86. How did a Priest breath when hiding behind lit fires?
I suspect a clever questioner who already knows the answer and is testing Old Henry!
Ok, I’ll go along with the ruse.
The oxygen would burn up and any Priest would die of asphyxiation soon after entering the priest hole if it was behind a fireplace, hehehe. Well that’s what the builder wants you to think, especially Nicholas Owen who had lots of tricks up his sleeves.
His design at Samlesbury Hall has a false back firewall and outer chimney breast. The priest would climb up into the cavity and rest near a vent hole patterned to look like the house design. Here is such a vent and how it worked.
Q87. What are Murder Holes and where are they?
This is a good question. Murder holes were invented well before the Tudor monarchy; they were used in Norman Castles as a deterrent to invaders.
The normal line of Castle defences are a collection of designs of barriers.
1st line of defence: A hill where the castle sits, or on the rocky coast or a moat around the walls.
2nd line of defence: The outer wall with a drawbridge over a ditch or the moat.
3rd line of defence: A portcullis and heavy wooden gates.
4th line of defence: The flat exposed area before the inner buildings.
Last line of defence: the inner buildings with towers and window slits for archers.
The Murder holes were above the portcullis and were a series of holes in a stone balcony where soldiers could drop stones or pour boiling oil onto invaders trying to get into the gates. Here’s a picture of Murder Holes taken at Beaumaris Castle in Anglesey.
Q88. Did King Henry have nightmares about what he had done?
Not about my actions, I had regrets but had to stick by my decisions to show a strong monarchy. Thomas More was a big regret as was my preoccupation with fathering a son to the treatment of my lovely wife Jane in the delivery chamber. The taking of the throne by force and the establishment of the Tudors as legitimate Royals always played on my mind. Taking the Dragon of King Arthurian legend and making it Tudor was a big propaganda exercise which I feared would come back to haunt me.
Q89. From Krys.
What's your greatest accomplishment?
What do you regret the most?
How do you make your decisions?
How can you improve your kingdom?
Who do you idolize?
Five questions from one person must be a Noble Lord or Earl, or Lady Krys from the wonderful Far east
One at a time and think Henry the person not Henry the History character.
My greatest accomplishment was to provide an heir to the Tudor line to keep the name going, I proved to the country my manhood. The minor accomplishments such as the Battle of the Spurs were blown out of all proportions and written up by my councillors for the future history books. Personal grief and frustration under pressure was the major factor in my life which could only be resolved with a son and heir.
I have answered the regret question before. My regrets were often in my life, to make life or death decisions is a great burden to carry and to accept the inevitable consequences to keep my authority is the most difficult thing to harbour in my mind. Thomas More’s death was the greatest regret, he will always haunt me. Jane’s death, caused partly by the need to make sure the Boy was safely delivered and the health of the Mother second to that need will stay with me all my days.
I have problems to solve all the time; I use my Chancellors a lot for day to day political advice, but big decisions and ideas I usually sleep on them. I have a wonderful gift of clarity when I awake, my problems are solved overnight and my mind made up. I consult my Thomas’s to get their biased views and then move in a positive manner forward with a determination second to none.
Improving my Kingdom would be to expand it and make it self sufficient in resources and strength. The French with Francis, will never be my real ally we have always been in competition personally and our countries have more than the sea as a barrier. Past French lands have been lost from our conquests and I intend to get them back if not expand further into their territories. The main trouble is one of logistics, getting armies out there, with resources to maintain them, I have to resort on the help of other leaders and that takes away my edge. Papal interference and heavily influenced decisions gave me the impetus to change the church for all to belong to it. English written Bibles and simpler services gave my people a better focus for their beliefs as well as bringing together the English Language at last. Without their influence my Kingdom with me as head of the Nation and the Church will flourish. Minor problems can be solved, the Pope’s embargo means nothing to me, and I will find a solution to everything he throws my way, including making my own Alum.
I do not idolize anybody in public. I do however keep a space in my heart for the people who have given me so much comfort over the years. My grandmother, Margaret Beaufort, she was so strong and yet so quiet; she was the Tudors rod of steel in the beginning. The Black Prince and past heroes of the people such as Arthurian legend, they give me a focal point for my own persona. Don’t get me wrong, I am a man who likes the company of women and Ann Boleyn was in my sights for many years of longing until I finally won her, then she seemed to be a disappointment to me and that magic left our relationship.
Now! Which one is Krys?
There you see, my spies are everywhere! Second from the Right front row.
Q90. What exactly is a Medieval manifold system?
I made it up. Medieval is the date in which it was originally made and a Manifold divides or collects a fluid from a flow.
I have found a real manifold in the grounds of Samlesbury Hall near Preston it is presently being used as a flower planter, it was originally sited where a stream passed the hall in the south west corner and it collected water through Wych Elm pipes into the stone carved manifold where it was divided into three different flows. One flow went to the Moat to replenish the water and for the health of the fish being farmed in it, another went to the House and the last one to the farm animals. The pictures below show the manifold as it is now, the drawing shows how it was used.
Q91. From Stefania who certainly wants to grill me by the number of questions she has!
I think short but concise answers are the best.
What is it like to be king? Great, everybody does what you tell them.
Why did you chop off two heads and divorce two of your wives? Beheading is the death for a noble for treason, whilst I may have been cruel to Ann, Catherine Howard deserved it. Divorce was the best way to allow me to marry again for Catherine de Aragon and Anna von Cleves.
Why did you want to have six wives? I didn’t go out to have 6 wives, I was firstly looking to have a son and heir, then comfort and then a nurse.
Do you have a best friend? Yes, Charles Brandon who eventually became my Brother-in –law by marrying my widowed sister Mary, without my approval I might add as it cost me a lot of money in dowry. They had children and Grand children one of which was Lady Jane Grey. Doomed by her family connections!
Why did you want a son and not a daughter? To keep the family name in power, a Queen would lose her last name by marrying.
What are your parents names? My Father was Henry, my Mother was Elizabeth.
What is your brothers name? Arthur, he died before he became King, I married his widow Catherine.
Did you like your palace? I liked Thomas Wolsey’s palace, so I swapped it for a small town house in London, I finished it for him and it became Hampton Court Palace. My favourite building project was Nonsuch Palace, non such a Palace ever existed like it before.
Where you naughty as a young boy? No, I was very studious, though I did answer back a lot to my Father, questioning him about his policies and history. I don’t think he like me much, Arthur was his favourite.
Did you have lots of sweets? Honey based cakes, biscuits were our sweet things, yes I like them, I have a chef who works all the time making them for my court.
Did you love your wives? Yes. I loved Catherine for 15 years for our marriage, I loved Ann more before our marriage, I loved Jane all our marriage, I loved Anna after our divorce more as a sister really, I loved Catherine Howard right up to finding out about her infidelities and finally I loved Catherine Parr when she cared for me and brought my estranged family back together.
The King courting Ann Boleyn.
Who was your best wife? Define Best! From a noble point of view, good for the country, loved by the people, able to take over the reigns when I was absent, it must be Catherine de Aragon. From a love point of view and for providing the nation with a male heir, it must be Jane Seymour.
Q92. What did the Royal Tudors think of the poor people.
Tudor people believed there were three types of poor people:
Those with just enough to live on.
The "deserving poor", those who could not work, eg. the very young, the very old, and disabled people - these should be looked after as an act of charity.
Sturdy rogues: vagrants and people who moved about looking for work. People felt this type should be punished. However, there was not enough work.
In 1485 unemployment was not a problem, but by 1530 there were many more people than jobs.
Q93. Were your soldiers better off than the ordinary people?
A Tudor soldier's daily rations are
32oz (910g) of meat
24oz (680g) of bread
16oz (455g) cheese
and 5 pints (2.8 litres) of beer.
The minimum diet for poor people was one loaf od bread per couple per day.
Q94. How did the Black Death Plague effect your reign.
Well before my reign the Black death came to England in 1348 and in two years wiped out 40% of the population. The fear of this disease was always in my mind, I would hear of rumours of the return of the plague and would go on my travels to get away from it.
I have put together a file for you to download detailing the Black Death and its effect on England, religion and the attitude of the survivors.
Click here to download this file
Q95. I listened with great interest on your tour of Samlesbury Hall especially about the origins of the town names in Lancashire. You have not written them all down in the Samlesbury Hall folder and seemed to explain much more than you have written. Do you have a file with all the names in it?
I have now!
Download this file.
Click here to download this file
Q96. What entertainment did you have?
The poor had singing, dancing, self taught music, board games, story telling, travelling fairs, football on a village scale.
The rich had all the same except for football which was seen as common plus, horsemanship, hunting, hawking, reading latin script, banquets, music from minstrels, visiting actors.
The nobles had the same plus Tennis, archery as a skill, jousting, masgue balls, card playing, chess, music lessons, debates with clergy and philosophers, bowls and travel for hunting, dining and to keep clear of the plague.
Q97. Have put down all your research in the form of a timeline?
No. Have you kept a diary for every day of your life? No.
I have a concise timeline that every one of you can put together from facts off the internet. Best thing though is the use of Excel to record the timeline, that way you can search and sort the line into any order you may need. Add more facts as you find them and then re-sort to restore the date line.
Here it is.
Click here to download this file
Q98. How good a view did archers get through those slits in castle walls?
Apart from going and seeing for your self I have taken a couple of pictures from just outside and inside such an opening. I know I’d rather be inside. These I took in Portland castle.
I still can see you.
I can see you but you cannot see me.
Q99. Dis King Henry VIII ever visit Warwick castle?
No. Old stone castles were too cold for me and the high wall with its town next to it had little privacy for my hunting and hawking expeditions.
Q100. Did you write out all the death warrants yourself?
Of course not, my clerk or chancellor wrote out the details after parliament had ratified the decision. I signed the warrants with a heavy heart, usually alone in my privy chamber where I could think more clearly. I hated the job but it was for the good of the country and the security of the Tudor monarchy so I did it.
Q101. From a Photographer called John
Can you please tell us the name of Henry VIII’s main residence in 1540, and if we were writing to him what would his title be?
In 1540 King Henry VIII had four favourite residences.
First of all his most favourite was Westminster Palace.
Secondly would be Greenwich Palace which was also his birthplace.
Thirdly he liked Hampton Court Palace.
Lastly would be Windsor Castle.
The first three were very easy access by royal barge down the Thames.
You would address him as Your Royal Majesty
He was officially called King Henry VIII
He would sign himself as either
1. Henry Octavia for court purposes
2. Henry R for all other purposes.
3. Henry Tudor to family and close friends.
See the Tudor map of London in Hampton court beyond the ropes section of my website, you will see how close each Palace was to each other and how the Thames was used for access.
Q102. Okay I give up! Another question about Ann Boleyn.
Look! Download this file, it will tell you about the Death of Ann Boleyn.
Click here to download this file
Q103. A question from IKB, some sort of music band without instruments.
My mate has the look of Henry, how would I go about getting the costume?
The simplest way is to hire one from a fancy dress shop, but beware they mainly are rubbish and aimed at the party people. However there is one shop, in Dorset which has a great quality stock and they have one of Henry’s costume which is very accurate although very heavy. The town is Bridport, cannot remember the shop name, though there is only one so a man of your calibre should be able to find it.
Alternatively, get it made to measure. Take along a picture of Henry to a costumier and pay the rate, about £1000 should do it. You could have a go at making it yourself, try Artisan Accessories in Cheltenham, they stock lots of olde worlde things.
In the end there are a few King Henry’s about and the face grades them into “Hmm the costume is good” to “Wow! It’s King Henry VIII”, you know what I mean!
If it works out for you, buy some instruments.
Q104. From a Mr. Moody in the USA.
Greetings from California. I am thoroughly in love with your website. I find it to be extremely delightful, interesting, informative and fun. Congratulations for making history come alive and so relevant.
According to the English Chronicler, Edward Hall, late in the year 1525, you were out hawking near the small market town of Hitchin in Hertfordshire. While you were following your hawk, you tried to leap over a ditch with a pole, but unfortunately the pole broke and you went straight down into the muddy waters getting your head stuck in the clay. One of your footmen, Edmund Moody, was near by and jumped into the waters to pull you out, thus saving your life from drowning. On Thursday, October 6th, in the year 1541, you granted Edmund a coat of arms and land as a reward for this deed.
My question is this: What kind of costume did a footman wear during your life and are there any painting showing footmen? Also, what were some of the duties that a footman in your court would have performed on a daily basis?
It is nice to here from the Colonies!
I remember the incident well; your ancestor well deserved the accolade of a new family crest. Silver on a chevron between three trefoils and three gold lozenges, the head of a Wolf being the main feature.
I will let you into a secret!
To be seen and then the story to be exaggerated about me being stuck headfirst in a muddy ditch would have lowered my persona in the eyes of the people. It would have shown me to have a weakness and my enemies would have used the incident to betray me. So I made Edmund promise to keep it secret and if it got out he was to deny it at first then if pressed to expand on the bravery I showed in the unfortunate accident. My armour was weighing me down, my horse stumbled, and I was going faster than anybody else in the party, that sort of embellishment. History was written to make me look Royal. Edmund would have been the first son of a middle-class family because his name would have been chosen to depict where he came from, the Moody’s go back a long way and Edmund was only 8 years younger than myself so he would be well known to the King and in employ for many years. I think he had children in the servant’s quarters and one of them married higher to a Kilbourne, anyhow with his new land and status the Moody’s went on to be a well thought of family, some leaving for the Americas early in its history.
I have put together this postcard for you showing the type of clothes Footmen wore, notice they had swords and only most rusted servants were allowed them near the King. Padded tops and coloured tights. Now remember that there was a ban on coloured clothes for the poor, only from Knights upwards were bright colours allowed, this shows how highly rated were the Kings Footmen.
May you continue to enjoy my mumblings.
105. Sometimes the deepest questions come from the mouths of babes, from a 10 year old.
Is the name Tudor connected to any other word?
Tu is old Welsh for Iron, Tudor is "House of Iron". Tuyere, Tube and Tyre all have connections. See this postcard I've made for your history book.
106. How did you use the media to your advantage?
Media, media? I used many forms of communication with my people to give them knowledge of their King’s appearance and of course the history facts. When Master Holbein painted my portrait I must admit that he exaggerated the shoulder line and the belly stance, he made my face squarer to give an air of strength and the clothing an air of wealth. Not to show off, but to give them a feeling of well being, being led by a healthy, strong, good looking and intelligent King. Holbein made blank copies called cartoons, with punched holes that would give copies with a few dabs of soot. There was a problem around Shropshire; the cartoon blank was used back to front thus producing a mirror image of me. It didn’t matter, the mirrored Henry was Right handed instead of Left, and he looked much fiercer than me. Then of course, like my Father before me, I made sure all that came off the Caxton press was vetted first, and that it always put me in a good light for the people. Playwrights, Authors and the press were all required to report to me before publication, which is why I took umbrage with the original English Bible. It was Ann who steered me towards it in the end, remember that the English Bible brought together common English words and our language was formalised at last. The hysterical media was used by word of mouth and leaflets about the bewitchment I suffered at the hands of Ann, this gave me public support when I needed it after the demise of Catherine, the people’s champion.
The production of accurate portraits and then the Camera Obscurer which produced the likes of Thomas More, gave the people a clear picture of their leaders. King Arthur had always been a story worth telling because of the chivalry in his court, but his facer was not really known and his Queen, his Knights have all been fictionalised because of this. My use of the media brought the real monarch to life for posterity.
Celebrity Big Brother is on the TV at the moment. Would you go on it as King Henry VIII?
Do I look desperate for publicity? Do I seem to have low self esteem? Do I seem the kind who would like to make a fool of himself? Would I expose my image to that kind of public mockery? Would I want to share my time with fickle self important morons? Am I so desperate for money that I would sell my proud character?
No of course I wouldn’t.
But then the ones in it would say yes to all those points, wouldn’t they?
108. Are there any secrets in your reign which if proved true, would have changed the course of History?
Oh yes I’m going to admit to this one? Not.
There have been lots of scandal mongering over the past half millennia, non of which have ever been proved to have any scrap of truth to them. Looking for an edge in novels to gain an audience is not my way of recording history, I believe in factual evidence such as the way Alison Weir researches for her series of books. There have been many claims and statements which are impossible to have happened but which become headline news to increase a reader base. Here are a few of the most stupid claims I have had the misfortune to read, especially on the internet.
1. I killed my Father. What a load of rubbish.
2. My first wife Catherine was in fear of her life because of the marital problems.
3. I killed my Brother Arthur to become the next King.
4. I framed my second wife for treason.
5. I killed my father’s accountants because the people hated them.
6. I broke my promise to my sister Mary, that she may marry her choice after being widowed. Never made such a promise.
Even my family came into the view of the sniping:
7. My daughter Elizabeth killed my eldest daughter Mary.
8. My daughter Mary killed my son Edward.
Now do these contrived lies sound plausible, would I not have been found out, would my reign have been changed, I think not. They are all scurrilous tales to break my family’s grip on the monarchy.
Hi. When Henry became King, it is known as what era?
For example : When an Edward is King it’s Edwardian time.
Please could you get back to me a.s.a.p because it’s a school project and needs to be in Friday.
Thanks Roxanne M
Hello Lady Roxanne, a fine question.
My Father Henry VII's reign was long enough to get the era called the Tudors, I am still Henry Tudor even though I'm called Henry VIII. The time was still the Tudors. My son Edward and daughter Mary were also under the same era title.
Even though Elizabeth was a Tudor, she was so loved that the era became Elizabethan.
Using the Tudor name meant to the people that the hated Plantagenets were gone at last. This is possible why the people changed Tudor to Elizabethan because of their hatred of Queen Mary. After Elizabeth the names changed back to surnaming, with the Stuart’s until another well loved monarch came to the throne, Victoria.
The Edwardian era was named after King Edward VII, they needed to change the name because this Mother’s reign was called Victorian after her first name.
Don't mix up my Son's name Edward with Edwardian.
110. What exactly is a cowman? There is a butcher in Clitheroe, Lancashire called the Cowman’s, but I’m told it does not mean a Farmer and it comes from the 16th Century.
You are correct it does not mean a farmer. A cowman lived in a community where each family had a job to do, whether it was a miller, a Thatcher, a baker, there was also a Cowman. The Cowman did not own fields; the family had a shippen where up to 10 cows would be kept. This family also would have a dairy shop in there house and would sell fresh milk, cheese, butter. The cows never left the building and would be fed on hay traded by the cowman for milk products. No money changed hands, the bartering of goods and services being the method of purchase. There was also a pigman, though not a sheepman as the sheep grazed the hills and used land which was cheap and hard to work. The town cowmen would get the name of their town or community added on their title, “Liverpool Cowmen” etc. The cowman also would slaughter a cow or bull for meat in their backyard, the meat being traded in the shop.
111. What age would a couple marry in Tudor times?
Hey! Look at the average life span first before the facts are laid before you.
1. A girl would be betrothed at the age of 9, to a boy chosen by her parents or the boys parents choosing her.
2. The girl would marry her betrothed at the age of about 11 or 12, the boy about 14.
3. The couple would have 6 babies on average by the time the girl was 20, half of the children would die young.
4. The girl would be a grandmother by the age of 30.
5. They would die, naturally by the age of 40/45.
The male was always the family line and the preferred sex of children.
To marry a 20 year old girl would reduce your chances considerably of having an heir to your family. Girls of over 16 and not married were seen as having something wrong with them, or awkward to get on with by potential husbands.
This early marriage age, though seen as a dreadful loss of childhood nowadays, was the norm in Medieval and Tudor times, even Margaret Beaufort married Edmund Tudor when she was only 11 and gave birth to Henry VII when she was 12, poor old Edmund died before the birth at the age of 16.
Older widowers could remarry girls a lot younger than they were, especially if they were rich, powerful and looking for an heir to their line. After Queen Catherine, Henry married girls a lot younger than him, which became a problem when he married a flirty young girl called Catherine Howard.
In some 21st countries, to marry at 11/12 is common, but look at their deathrates and poverty levels to see the root cause.
112. If Henry were alive today what would be his life style?
What do you mean IF? You are talking to him.
I hope that Henry would have developed into a caring person who looks after other people and cares what they think of him. Society moulds people, so Henry would have been moulded into a less selfish personality. He is very clever, tall, strong, loved technology and finding out facts and figures. He would not want the restrictions of being King of England, 21st century monarchs have no private life and everything they do is either on the front covers of tacky newspapers or they get criticised about all their opinions. Being an artistic person, creator of designs and a showman puts 21st Century Henry into a limited field of operation.
He would be an inventor, an ideas man who passes on the ideas to the producers because of his lack of staying power, he would do the he-man sports with technology possible gliding, micro-light flying, skiing. No dirty, team sports like football, he is not a team player. He would have a large, flashy website top communicate through, have his pictures on posters, maybe be a TV personality but definitely not a regular show to keep his low boredom levels happy. He would travel to places not frequented by the tourist, to see the world as it is, collect strange items because they give him ideas for business back home. Back home would be out of the city, a large house with traditional looks but lots of quality workmanship. His car would have to be British made, it doesn’t matter who owns the company but the car must be made by British craftsmen whom he regards as the best in the world, I’m getting the colour of British Racing green in my head as I write this sentence. He would have lots of daughters, would have liked a son but is satisfied with his family size and glad not to be under pressure for an heir, married to one woman all his adult life.
Do you know anybody who fits this description?
113. I realise this question was aimed at Lady Jane Grey, my Sister's and best freind's grand daughter, but I include it here because it is so sad an episode.
Q. What would have been Lady Jane Greys entry in her diary just before her coronation?
I really do not want to be Queen of England, my Uncle is pushing me into it. My Grandparents were the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk or Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor, the Best friends of King Henry VIII and his little Sister Mary. I know they were in big trouble when they got married in France, Charles was supposed the bring Mary back to England to remarry the Choice of the King, but she married my Grandfather instead because they were in love. Just because of this marriage my Uncle believes I can become Queen of England in place of Princess Mary. Princess Mary will try to change the Church of England back again to Roman Catholic, after Henry and Edward’s movement towards the Protestant faith. My family is Protestant and so Uncle thinks we could take over and keep the Protestant faith for England.
I’m not sure, I am scared of Princess Mary. I must do my duty now and be crowned Queen of England, I hope Mary accepts this because she could start a civil war with the number of followers she has. I would rather just go home.
See what I mean!
Q.114. Taking a non-biased position, can you defend your Father’s claim that America was named after Ameryk who was one of the backers to John Cabot’s voyage to Newfoundland?
A non-biased position! What on earth does that mean? Cabot was not an Englishman, he was a Venetian, and at the same time Columbus lived in the same city, for all I know they knew each other! We were the third attempt by Cabot to find a sponsor, after the Portuguese and Spanish declined. My Father accepted the chance to give Cabot Royal patronage with the provisory that he went West and North so to keep away from the Portuguese/Spanish claimed areas. John Cabot had Ameryk as his Bristol merchant backer yet this is not mentioned in many history books, being politic I believe and not wanting to start a row with the accepted notion that the American name came from Italian sources. I stand by the Ameryk claim as the evidence predates the Columbus enterprise and Ameryk’s Stars and Stripes family crest.
Q.115. Just what was the Caxton Press all about?
A revolution in making readable copies of the printed word. Books were very expensive because they were painstakingly hand copied, only rich people were deemed necessary to be able to read and write. Caxton set up in England the first mechanical press using separate letters which could be put together to make words. The discovery of a metal alloy made from Lead and Antimony solved the problem of low melting points and poor surface finish, the alloy also gave good sharp edges when cast. So the printer would have moulds of the letters, cast the letters then arrange them in a printing block which made up the page to be copied. The block was then put over a piece of paper and pressed hard with ink that was smeared over the letters. The words were them transferred onto the paper. I’ve made two pictures for you.
Q116. In what ways did Henry VIII use Hampton Court Palace?
King Henry had many Palaces, is favourites in realistic order were:
1. Westminster Palace, this has since burnt down and is now where House of Parliament is to be found.
2. Greenwich Palace, his place of birth and where he developed his love of Jousting.
3. Hampton Court, he took it from Cardinal Wolsey in a notorious swap for a smaller London town house. He played Tennis, Bowls and his 6 Tiltyards were huge. He held large banquets and his own rooms were of magnificent decoration.
4. Windsor Castle, not his favourite because if its distance from London and being a stone castle, quite cold.
All these palaces and Castles are situated on the river Thames so to be accessible by Royal barge with their own landing stage for the Monarch.
Hampton Court has huge cellars for wine, beer, 300 barrels of each per year, with large kitchens to cater for hundreds of guests at a time.
Henry took on the Palace from Wolsey when it was not yet finished; he employed 70 Masons, 80 Bricklayers, 20 Joiners, 45 Carpenters and 200 labourers to finish off the palace to his taste. It can only be calculated from food receipts, Henry stayed at Hampton Court for about 30 days per year. His 1,200 household lived in or around the 36,000 square feet of rooms to kitchens being 3,350 square feet alone.
One year’s food can be summed up as follows:
1,240 Oxen; 8,200 Sheep; 2,330 Deer; 760 Calves; 1,870 Pigs and 53 Wild Boar, all of which are red meat, now add 20,000 Chickens etc and vegetables you can see how the Royal Court lived.
Q.117. What was your Mother like?
Mother, Elizabeth, was devoted to my father Henry, I was one of seven children of whom only four survived, my Brother Arthur and my two sisters Margaret and Mary. When my Mother was Elizabeth of York she was happy until her father, King Edward IV died and the monarchy went into turmoil because her brothers were too young to take over the throne straight away. Because of this my Mother’s Uncle Richard took the Throne as Protector and he became King Richard III. This man took my Mother’s young brothers and put them into the Tower of London, secretly killing them. From then on My Mother was scared for her life, she knew how murderous Richard was and how he would do anything to keep the throne, including killing his niece. When my Father and Grandmother (Margaret Beaufort) beat Richard III at Bosworth field to become King Henry VII, he saw Elizabeth as a way of bringing the country together, stopping the War of the Roses and getting a beautiful Queen as well. For it to be an arranged marriage was normal in our times, but to be a very happy one was unusual. They were so happy it made our family life good, my Brother Arthur was born and named after King Arthur Pendragon and he was deemed to become the next King of England, I was content to be Duke of York. Alas Arthur died just after he married Catherine, my Father and Mother were heart broken, my position suddenly changed and so did the affection from my Father. He resented my intelligence, he started to object to my comments, he often had me taken out of the room when I had ideas for him to think about, yet my Mother had seen my desire to be involved and to learn the art of being a ruler. She was the fence between my Father and me.
Mother died in 1503 only one year after Arthur, she was only 37 years old, it broke my Father’s heart and mine too. I kept my distance after my Mother had died, my father’s grief and my need to be involved did not bode well in our household. When I became King, my children were named after family members, Mary after my Sister, Elizabeth after my Mother and Edward after Mother’s Father, my grandfather.
Q.118. By Royal Appointment is when a company gets the approval of a Royal. How did it get started?
It is nowadays. Here is a Royal Appointment to the court for chocolate.
It certainly was not the case in Henry’s day!
In my day, I had two men who were my direct contacts for people and politics, one was the Black-rod who opened my parliament for me, the other was White-rod who was my accountant and paid the bills. Now my father Henry VII was a tight, money hoarding type of person and never liked paying bills, he dreamt up a great scam. If all big buy foods and goods were bought more than one day’s march away from the court it would be difficult for the seller to get into court to get paid. Now if you only paid out on one day per month with the White-rod and he took a lot of time to cause a backlog, the seller could be ages before he got paid. When the goods were purchased, a sheet of paper, the order, was written out for the Royal Court to pay, so the King was not liable in any way. With a Royal seal of approval on the top of the order it passed as a signature by proxy.
If you were the seller, instead of walking one full day, queuing up, then walking a full day back just to get your money, it was easier to just let it go as a bad debt and put the seal of approval on your shop sign, “we sell to the King of England so we must be good!”
This Royal coat of arms became a major marketing tool, so later Royal families then asked for sellers to apply for it to be issued.
Quite a scam eh!
Q119. I read with interest your answer to the Caxton Press question. Are there any real presses or pictures of the Caxton Press available for people to go and see in the UK?
I think so.
There are definitely no actual presses to see because they were worked to death and made of wood so 500 years would have seen them off. There are no paintings but I have found a picture on my research visits which must be the Caxton press because of the age of the carvings which was the media to capture the press workings for eternity. Go to Bristol, Industrial museum and in the printing press section there are 22 carvings on blocks of stone around the room. Go look at carving block 22, it shows the press being worked by a man. I have produced this picture for you.
From the mother of a good friend, let's called her JB.
Q.120. Did Ann Boleyn really have an extra finger on one hand and did she have her clothes made to hide this because it was a sign of being a witch?
It's always difficult to explain the errors in some history books; the writers take one minor part that sound strange and build a theme to be different from their competitors. After talking to the Hampton Court royal experts it seems Ann didn't have an extra finger, she had a large mole or lump on her hand. Thomas Cromwell used the finger ruse as a way of getting public support for his accusations against the poor girl. Yes it was true that she did have longer sleeves to hide the lump, as she was afraid of being called a witch.
Have you heard of the mirrored Henry pictures?
It seems that Hans Holbein painted Henry perfectly, with only minor changes to enhance his manliness, and then he had an apprentice copy the painting into a cartoon outline. They then put 6 blank canvases under the cartoon, punched holes through the entire stack to create 6 copies in holes form around the drawing lines. The 6 blanks were then sent around the country, an artist would put a blank canvas under the punched blanks and dab soot in a bag over it, the soot causing a black dot on the blank through the holes. The artist then joined up the dots and made a copy of Henry. Now a mistake occurred in Shropshire, they turned the new mast over and produced a mirrored image with the dagger on the right hand side instead of the left. When Henry saw this picture he was delighted, because he thought it was more accurate than from the original Holbein. Well he would because he had only ever seen himself in a mirror before!
There is actually a mirrored carving in Samlesbury Hall, a mirrored painting in Thornbury Castle so go and see for yourself.
Hey there’s a few Elizabeth ones too, I saw a picture of Lizzy with her troops with a ship on her left, and then I saw it again with the same ship on her right. It’s all done with mirrors.
Q122. I have noticed that the farm fields in Wales are a lot smaller that the ones in England. Do you know the reason?
The medieval inheritance laws of both countries were different.
In Wales the inheritance of land and wealth was to all sons divided equally, so farms would be carved up by building stone walls, thus creating small holdings. This was called Gavelkind, which means divide to sons. BUT! The daughters got nothing at all.
In England the inheritance of land and wealth was to the first born son only thus causing it to stay in one piece and large. This was called Primogeniture, meaning First boy from genitals, again the daughter got nothing.
Thanks to Bob for help with this one. Yakydar.
Q123. Tell me your view of the reformation.
So 18 visitors in a mini bus from Clitheroe, Lancashire. They were mostly retired teachers full of historical questions and asking ones that they obviously had researched before they appeared. I raised a few eyebrows with my declaration that the majority of the English people were on my side when I threw out the Roman, Papal Catholic church to replace it with the Church of England Catholic Church. I was expecting that question; I had in the past researched that very question myself, not from the mass of books but from a source more in tune with the people, the Church itself. You see, the Pope then was a Borga, notorious in the dealing of blood letting, murder, revenge, theft and moral disgrace. The people, though scared, hated these people who robbed them of their living whilst the priest lived a grand life.
Take into account also the loss of good priests in the Black Death, replace them with low intelligent, second sons of nobles who wanted to get a foot into the prosperity of the Church and you’ve got the makings of decline.
I came along just at the right time, my divorce from Catherine, my dealing with a less sympathetic papal leader and boom boom; we have the reformation of the church. Yes the people were on my side, only some aristocracy with a priest in the old system resented the change along with their little herd of peasant followers scared of losing their meal ticket.
60% of priests died in the Black Death creating a holy shortage, who should fill the spaces? Supposedly educated sons of the Nobility, who could read Latin. Did they understand the words they read out at mass? NO. The reformation gave our people the Mass in English; it rid this nation of the hypocrites in Rome who ran it with an iron fist. Just how many people died at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church? Millions! In Spain with the Inquisition, in France against the Huguenots, in Germany against the Lutherans. Worst of all, against the Moors by my Father-in –Law, Ferdinand of Spain.
Much is said of the Reformation, with me as the obvious target, but I say to you all, it was inevitable because of the behaviour of the Papal system.
Q.124. I have read your file about the making of Alum for Henry after the Pope had banned the import to England. What happened to the village of Ravenscar after the making of Alum ceased?
It’s one of those sad tales of boom and bust. The boom lasted 250 years; we were exporting Alum to Europe because of the decline in Papal power and the growth of the Protestant Church throughout Europe. The invention of a new synthetic polymer based fixer soon killed off the Alum trade, although it had growth in other Chemical industries it was not enough to keep the industry going.
The Alum making site and Shale source were kept alive by changing into brickworks thought the labour force was vastly reduced. Now all that remains of the brickworks and Alum making site is excavations by archaeologists and a National Trust visitors centre.
A sad end to our first chemical industry and one of King Henry’s creative legacies.
I have made this postcard for you our of my collection of photographic evidence.
Q125. A question from Joe
I want to know why Henry VIII needed pictures and why didn’t he have a background in any of his Portraits?
A good question from an enquiring mind.
Master Hans Holbein painted King Henry VIII whenever he could get the King to pose with sufficient time; it took months to produce a good portrait and so any background out of doors would have changed with the seasons, as well as Henry would not have wanted to stand in view of other people. The backgrounds were kept bland so as to enhance the appearance of Henry. In the famous portraits, Henry has very wide shoulders, straight back and is fairly muscular; this was artistic licence to enhance Henry’s looks for the people. Henry wanted to send his portraits all over England and Wales so his people would know how he looked, so Holbein made one copy of each portrait, called a cartoon, which he place up to 6 blanks underneath. He then punched holes right through the pile of canvasses. The punched canvasses were then sent around the country for artists to dab a bag of soot on them which will go through the holes and make a rough outline to be filled in. Now there was a big mistake made in Shropshire, where the punched master was put upside down and the pictures made from it were then in mirrored image, this made the Left-Handed King of England out to be Right-Handed. Henry was not displeased with this mistake because he only ever saw himself on a day to day basis in a mirror, so he thought they were quite accurate.
If you go to Thornbury Castle or Samlesbury Hall you will find a copy of a Right Handed King Henry VIII when he was actually Left Handed.
Q.126. From Gary
How much control did King Henry the VIII have over England?
Was he successful in battles?
How rich was he?
A lot to answer for eh!
First of all I was very powerful in England, my Father had seen off most of the quarrelsome Plantagenet’s and the other ones were on our side for the battle against Richard III. The law concerning traitors was that all their land was confiscated by me, so this kept any mumblings out of earshot. The people were great admirers of my reign as they were glad to see the back of the murderous Richard and the money hoarding Henry VII, my style of showmanship was a great spectacle and one that made them proud to be citizens. The control system was easy, I ruled the Lords, and they ruled the people.
At first I was unsuccessful in battle, King Ferdinand asked me to join him in battle against the French to retrieve lands taken from Spain. When my soldiers turned up the Spanish never arrived to back us up in battle and we were wiped out. Ferdinand instead had gone to the lost land and won it back because the soldiers were fighting my army. I never trusted the Spanish after that. My big success was really a glorified siege, called the “Battle of the Spurs”, Charles the Emperor of Rome aided my armies to beat the French, but it was really his cruelty to the people that scared the enemy. I built up 25 forts along our south coast for defend us from the French and Spanish.
I was left £375 million (2006) by my miser Father; I got a further £175 million from the proceeded of the monastery dissolution.
Q127. Could you please answer these questions on Henry VIII? It is also ok for you to put them on your website.
What did the historical period in which Henry VIII lived, impact on him?
What had been Henry VIII’s role at the time and what impact did he have on society at the time.
I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about your questions, lots of incidents had profound effects on my life such as the stubbornness of Thomas More, the loss of many babies with Queen Catherine even the betrayal played on me by my Father-in-law Ferdinand. All of these were insignificant compared with the Papal decision to back Catherine in my search for a way out of that failing marriage. Remember, the Pope was a Borga, ruthless, murdering band of thugs who ruled the Catholic Church with an iron fist, killing opponents, causing death on a continental scale and far too powerful. I took away the rule of the Borga’s and created the Church of England, still Catholic but for the people, with the bonus that I declared my marriage null and void. The repercussions were incredible, armies were raised, Countries changed elegancies and brave, stubborn people went to their deaths by shunning the crown.
The Papal church had lost 60% of its clergy during the Black Death, their close communities were struck hard and they needed new priests quickly. Second and third sons of the aristocracy who never got any inheritance they easily got into the church only to use it to feather their own nests at the cost of the people. The people, being scared of the church just continued to pay up, the rich were looked after spiritually because they could afford to pay for their salvation. Along comes, Martin Luther who protested and the Pope was in trouble. The Lutherans, Protestants movement spread like wildfire across Europe, the papal threat still managing to kill many of them, but the people saw an alternative to the Popes rule. I stepped in to stop the Protestants at the Scottish and European borders and begin a crusade of a new Catholic Church, one that the people could belong to, they could read English transcribed bibles, and they could afford the lower requirements of the new priests. They were on my side.
I know I had a lot to gain from the reforming of the church, but so did the people. If the true meaning of religion would have been kept by the papal system the reformation would have failed. In my view the Borga Pope got the church he deserved.
Q128. Rebecca again, just a couple more questions if you don’t mind.
1. Has Henry VIII had a positive or negative impact / influence on modern day society?
2. What was significant about the time in which Henry VIII lived?
Also who was Thomas More?
The impact of Henry must be different from different perspectives.
1. To a Roman Catholic he reduced the influence of their Church, he took away the leadership and reduced the Monasteries to have no influence. Whether the leadership of their church was corrupt or not will not enter the heads of today’s critics.
2. To a Protestant, Henry opened the gate to their religion, even though he did not bring the Protestant movement into England he weakened the Roman Catholic Church to the extent even Mary could not restore it to the prime religion of the country.
3. To the aristocracy, 50% went with the flow, 50% resisted quietly because they had deep connections with the old church.
4. The people, all 4 million of them, they moved along. They accepted the new Church of England as their own church and not one on the fringes of the Roman Catholic Empire. They could see their leader in the flesh, they could read the Bibles and understand them, the old guard of unscrupulous priests had gone, the old leadership in the Manors had been silenced. So they were pleased with old Henry.
The fact that the people loved Catherine of Aragon so much was a blow to Henry and one that the people did not forgive easily when he divorced her for a young, English aristocrat. Ann never recovered from this hate.
Overall, the flamboyant King Henry VIII had a great influence on history, he put England on the map and gave us the Church of England, the rest of the world the Anglican Church. He gave us great sea defences and a strong navy, which we needed later on in the century. Without Henry, England would be another Spain.
The major significant thing going on in Henry’s time was the development of Communication. The Caxton press under the control of the monarchy became their propaganda tool. Elizabeth used it much more than I did, with Shakespeare delivering the biased stories in the form of entertainment.
Sir Thomas More, my chancellor and friend. A strong Roman Catholic with principles beyond the norm. He went to the block for refusing to sign a declaration to accept me as head of the Church of England. I could not persuade him out of the path he had chosen to go. My greatest regret.
Q129. From Judith.
Hi. I want to know why you sent Anne Boleyn to the tower, because she would have to be my mentor.
See the attached file.
Click here to download this file
It’s better to have a mentor who is alive, otherwise they cannot help you and you build them up onto a pedestal. It could get freaky.
Q130. Did Henry ever go sailing?
Not for a hobby or sport, sailing then was a form of transport, Henry went to France twice by ship, he also love his Mary Rose and sailed on her a couple of time in front of his new fleet/navy. As a sport, sailing was never seen as anything else but a form of transportation. Sailors had a great knowledge of the sea and how to handle their sails in winds and currents, the saying “Learning the ropes” came from young sailors learning from older more experienced men and from on the job experience. Maybe rowing was seen as athletic, but again not for the rich who were used to being taken aboard in comfort and then to be powered by strong, working class men at the oars.
Q131. From Germany, Jacob.
How many Castles and Palaces do you own?
There are many ownership issues here.
1. I inherited property owned by my Father and Mother, which they had in turn received from their Parents. 7 Greater houses, 17 lesser houses.
2. I became custodian to property owned by the Crown, accumulated over the centuries but not actually owned by the person on the throne. 14 Medieval castles but they were too far away and cold so I rarely ever visited them, if at all.
3. I bought and built private property which I own personally. The most important ones would have to be on the banks of the river Thames for easy access by barge. The Greater houses which had large halls for the court were the ones by the river, the lesser houses were used by me for hunting lodges or for my progresses.
4. I built property for the country, such as defensive forts. 20 were built along the South coast of England, mainly out of stone from the Monasteries.
5. I claimed property from traitors and their families for the Crown this was called Acts of Attainer.
Over 70 properties were either built or Attained.
6. Lastly I took over Monastery lands and buildings for my court, myself and many loyal nobles. 800 small religious houses were ceased, 80 Monasteries were taken having a minimum annual income of £200 (Tudor) or £60,000 (2006). These were either used by the new Church of England, given to loyal subjects or stripped for materials to build new forts.
Q132. Hi Henry
Where did you get all your clothes from?
I had full time clothiers working for me in my Palaces, they would bring to me new materials from Traders who came from abroad. I set up a Trading area in London for cloth to bring these Traders together.
I wore a new costume every three days after which they were burnt to avoid other people wearing them and Physicians checking them for illness evidence.
The People would make their own cloth and clothes, if they were good at it they sold them or bartered for other goods. Here is a picture taken in Yorkshire.
Q133. I have heard about St. Nicholas Owen, he being the constant companion of St. Edmund Campion. Yet he seems unknown to many people. Do you know the places he visited and where he built the escape tunnels and Priest Holes he was famous for?
This is a difficult question to answer as it is past my time as King Henry. Nicholas Owen died in the reign of King James I a Stuart and the Gunpowder plot was the main cause of his problems as it heightened the search for the man who was building the secret chambers that hid the Catholics.
Harvington Hall is best known for its priest-holes, installed around the time the house was built in the 1580s by Nicholas Owen. The holes are all situated around the Great Staircase and were created to hide Catholic priests during the reign of Elizabeth I.
Huddington Court under his care became a known refuge for priests. Two priest holes, which were probably constructed by Nicholas Owen.
Others include Coughton Court ; Baddesley Clinton House ; Hindlip Hall ; Samlesbury Hall.
Nicholas Owen used a variety of names to conceal his identity as he travelled around England--Little John, Little Michael, Andrewes, and Draper. He used the name Little because he was a small humped back man but of great strength.
When Robert Cecil realized that he had caught the famous maker of hiding holes, he expected to gain devastating intelligence against the Catholics, and he wrote his instructions accordingly: "No dealing now with a lenient hand. We will try to get from him by coaxing—if he is thus willing to contract for his life—an excellent booty of priests. If he will not confess, he shall be pressed by exquisite torture and we will wring the secret from him by the severity of his torments.“
Nicholas Owen often used existing features to produce his escape routes for example at the Baddesley Clinton mansion, Owen contrived secret trapdoors in the turrets and stairways, connecting them with the mansion’s sewer system. During a 1591 search, several priests stood up to their waists in water, hidden from searchers for four hours. In some cases, priests survived several searches of the same house. At Samlesbury Hall he used the existing underground channel across the yard where the late 16th Century buildings were being erected.
As you can see my other self, Ray has this man as his hero.
Q134. What is a Gong Tower in a Castle?
It is the tower with the toilet in it. Not exactly a toilet, more a hole in the floor and a chute out of the Castle into the surroundings. Here’s a picture I’ve made for you which shows where the chute is located.
The stench would be horrendous, many castle walls have eroded due to the ammonia from the fumes and when the stink got too much it was time to go off on a progress.
Q135. I realise you are not a sailor but do you know what a fathom is an how it was measured? Also what is a Knot?
I am an enthusiastic mathematician so this interests me greatly, therefore I can answer you directly without asking my naval councillor.
A fathom is a depth of 6 feet of water. A rope with a Lead weight on the end had markers on it at 6 foot intervals except for the first one which was only 3 feet. The markers were made of cotton and leather so the sailor could taste them in the dark or fog to see if it was cotton or leather. Yellow markers were 6 feet and red one was 3 foot spacing. The sailor would swing the rope with the lead weight and let the weight go into the sea, this was known as “swinging the Lead”, the weight would sink to the bottom and the sailor took up the slack in the rope. He then read off how many markers there were until the weight came back onto the ship. If he saw the red marker he knew the ship was in danger of running aground. Measuring the depth of sea was know as “Fathoming it out”.
A Knot is a way of measuring how fast a ship is going. A floating piece of wood has a rope tied to it with Knots every yard. A sailor throws the wood overboard and then counts out how many knots pass through his hands in a 10 second period. One knot is one nautical mile per hour. Not very accurate for both methods, but good enough to navigate with.
Q136. Did you take Hampton Court off Thomas Wolsey by force?
I did however, get the property by pressure on my chancellor Wolsey, he was in fear of his life and felt his run of luck was nearing an end so to be asked to swap Hampton Court for a lesser London house came as a loyalty gesture and prolonged his position. Not that he hadn’t put a lot into the buildings, his taste was similar to mine and the Palace was on the Thames which was perfect for my mode of transport by barge.
His silly, money saving methods were the real pain in my takeover of the building project, painting bricks to look like a regal pattern was well below my standards and needed to be over bricked. Not enough Royal emblems, no sporting facilities all these needed addressing.
My design of Tilt yard was my finest input, six huge courts, mock castles and stabling took over hundreds of acres, only one tiltyard court exists today and that hold a café for the public. The brickwork was hard to produce, blow-holes and shrinkage from poor technology plagues the build, the chimneys were designed to dissipate the heat and spiral up the smoke, my idea’s!
The changeover from Queen Ann Boleyn to my dearest Jane caused fast changes to the decoration, HA-HA-HA emblems had to be changed to HJ-HJ-HJ and so on. I found later that the workers had cheated me by not changing old emblems behind wall hangings and nowadays this can still be seen in the great hall.
My kitchens and cellars were the envy of the Royal world, they cold serve many hundred’s of courtiers at once with a grand selection of food and wine.
Hampton Court is still the finest historical house to visit in the world, go there and immerse yourself into real history.
Q.137 From your own point of view, how do you see the way history has treated you?
Far too complicated an answer without directive focusing. Being the second son of the King of England and not expecting the throne was a big factor in the way I was educated. Not only religious and political subjects but also the sciences, mathematics and the arts were on my agenda. You could say I had a well rounded education delivered by the best tutors in Europe. I could not accept that people didn’t see my views and ideas as radical new thoughts, my father quashed any notion of change and only saw the path of the Tudors as strong leaders and longevity with heirs. I wanted to change the way we lived, understand our world and science, I wanted to be with intelligent people whatever their background and status.
It was easy to see why I saw nobility as generally stupid, generations of wealth and careful in-breeding of marriage partners culminated in a gentry that had short term interests, ignored the intellectuals believing the word of priests and how they translated the Papal doctrines for their own personal gains. Could it be so difficult to relate to the past historical facts of how the church had evolved in England and how the plague had decimated the clergy, how the desperate church had given priesthoods to the nobility’s second sons. How these new unsuitable, unscrupulous priests had brought down the church to their level of incompetence and treachery to the ordinary people. I cannot understand how the recording of history has missed the point, why I as the man who stopped it in its tracks, is now the culprit of the whole episode.
I came to the throne eager to change the England of Henry VII and become the peoples hero, successful for many years but I did not calculate the importance to the people of Catherine’s personality. She was loved by everybody, respected throughout Europe and related to powerful leaders. To discard such a woman, reduce her to the widowed wife of a prince, reduce our child to noble status from Royal status was the biggest mistake of my reign. It was at this point that my place in history turned away from being the hero of the scene, to become the dysfunctional tyrant that history books expanded on to increase their sales.
Q.138. I have included here a set of questions sent in by a year 4 class today, I met them yesterday at Samlesbury Hall and we had lots of fun learning. I would not dream of insulting them by correcting any spelling mistakes, just read them and marvel at their curiousity.
With children like these around us, England will always be great.
> dear henry i hope your okay. i liked the chair because it felt like
> your brain was spinning around. hey henry what do you call a dinosaor
> that is scary. a terro daktl. can you tell me the answer to this
> questen.does henry vll have a wife?
Henry VII was my Father and of course he had my mother as his wife.
She was called Elizabeth and they were devoted to each other.
She was Princess Elizabeth of the house of York. My father was the Duke of
Lancaster and they married to stop the war of the roses. My grandmother
Margaret Beaufort organised the wedding and the marriage, she also
organised the troops for the battle of Bosworth field where my Father
defeated Richard III.
> Dear henry
> we had a gret time with you i hope you think the same.
> Me and Isaac like the brass rubbing espescially because it came up in
> It was funi when the girs did the coutsey.
> what kinds of things did Edward do in his spare time.
> hope to see you a gen from Alex and Isaac
Edward was Prince of Wales and our future King to be, he was always fussed
upon, very clever and well educated.
His food is checked, his clothes made in secret, his whereabouts always
secret. To keep him safe.
His uncles the Seymours were always with him and saw him a way to get
power, which they did. Catherine Parr married the Seymour Uncle.
> Hi henry it was briliant yesterday when we did the Egals wing.Then
> when we sat on the chear were [wats his name suferd].KNOC KNOC WHOS
> THERE BOO WHO DONT CRIE.What suplies did poor tudors have.
Tudors ate what they grew, they traded with others so their food was
plain, but plentiful.
A visiting Venetian noble reported back to the Pope that the English were
an overfed rude hard drinking people. Cheek or what!
The clothes were all had made and usually wool, colours of bright hue were
illegal for the poor, only the rich could wear such colour of status.
Houses were built by the owners, the glass in the windows was a status
symbol and would be taken with the family if they sold their house.
> Hi Henry!!Thankyou for the tremendous tour of Smallsburry Hall
> yestrday.Our favourite part of the day was when we sat on the chair
> where [we can't remember his name!]was sat for 3 days because it made
> me and Ria feel sick,dizzy and extremly cold!Ria had gousbumps from
> sitting on it.Now me and Ria have now got a question to ask you in
> great detail.What tipe of illnesses did tudor people suffer from in
> your time? we know heve a joke for you.Knock knock whoses there
> Isabell.Isabell who?Is a bell nesaserry on a bike!!
> love from jessica and riaxx
Illnesses were caused by poor medical knowledge and practitioners. Living
to 40 was average.
Illnesses from lice infection, plague, sweating sickness (flu) and over
eating poor food.
The rich had an ailment called "rich man's dropsy" This was thought to be
because of the rich food they ate, but it was because they ate off pueter
plate made of lead and were slowly being poisoned.
> hello henry
> we loved the trip you invited us to yesturday and we liked brass
> rubing and mmaking eagles wings was great to.the chair made some of us
Remember a King is always right. I of course regretted some of the things I
did, but for the people I was a good King.
I regretted having the Mary Rose refitted with carvel design and low gun
ports, my design of course. This was the reason it sank when overloaded
with too many soldiers in full heavy armour.
> hello henry,
> i enjoyed it yesterday exspecialy when we went into the spooky room
> with the scary chair made out of a whales back bone.
> what sort of animals did you like to hunt most?
On my horse I hunted wild boar and deer. Actually there was no real wild
boar left in England at the time so the keepers of my lodges would breed
them and stock the forests with them for me to hunt.
> Dear henry
> We hope you had a great time yesterday with us.I espescially liked the
> brass rubbing the best. now we want to ask you a question which was
> your best wedding and wye?
The wedding that made me cry with happiness was not an official one.
It was marrying Jane Seymour in her father's mansion as Henry Tudor. We
married again in public at Westminster two weeks later.
> To Henry
> Hello,i had a brilliant time yesterday at Samlesbury Hall.I liked the
> little picnic area where we had our dinner.I have to admit that those
> gohst stories where scary.The best thing that i did was brass
> rubbing,i did 7 pictures.Now i would like to ask you a question.Where
> was Henry VII burried?
I'm still alive!
The real Henry is buried in Windsor castle with the true love of his life
> Dear Henry
> Thank you for the lovely time yesterday.Leanne's favorite part of the
> day was brass rubbing.My favorite parts was taking the photo with you
> and eating lunch next to you.It was a great day.We hope you liked it
> to.We'd like to ask a question
> Did you travel the world as king?
> We hope we could come again from Rebecca Berwick and Leanne.
I only ever went to France twice.
Once to invade it, hehehehe
The other time to meet the King of France, Francis I and have a months
celebration of friendship this event was organised by Thomas Wolsey and we
called it the Field of the cloth of Gold.
> Hi Henry i had a great time yesterday when you tuke us on the ghost
> walk but it was a bit freaky and i had a nightmair after siting on
> that whale boned cher and i had a fun time.But i have a question for
> you where was the food stored?
Believe it or not we had a cool room. We would take the ice off the lakes
in winter and put it in a room underground and well insulated. We stored
our food there.
We bought live animals and kept them in the grounds to keep the meat
fresh. We made preserved food like Tudor Marmalade made from sugar and
honey. We used a lot of salted food and smoked food to preserve it.
> Dear Henry
> we both had a great and fun time yesturday and we loved you're gardens
> were we had are piknik.We both had a head-ake when we came off the
> whale chair it made us feel dizy,and we wanted to ask you a question
> What made you decided to behaed some wives rather than just divorce
> We both hope we see you again from Rachael and Charlotte.
Catherine Howard was definitely a traitor, she had a boyfriend called
Thomas Culpepper behind my back.
Ann Boleyn was set up by Thomas Cromwell because she wanted to give the
monastery moneys to charities and the poor whilst he wanted to keep the
money. He mislead me into believing Ann was a witch and a traitor.
> hi henry,
> We really enjoyed our visit and hope you liked us coming to.My
> (Rebecca) favourite part was going on the ghost hunt and sitting on
> the haunted chair, i felt as if i was spinning around.My (Chloe)
> favourite part was the great picnic.We would like to ask you
> something, would you have prefered to have technology when the Tudors
> were around?
> from Rebecca and Chloe
We did have Technology.
The Camera Obscura
The latest ship design Carvel
My design of castle
Making Alum flour in Yorkshire
Jetties on upper floors in houses
Spiralled chimneys to take the smoke upwards.
I'm glad you enjoyed the day, I did too
> To Henry how are you feeling? we had a great time the ghost walk was
> the best and the brass rubbing and makeing egals wings was great to.
> We had a great time charlotte did not like the chair it was scary and
> a dead body was left on it but it is a ghost know.Acacia liked all of
> it even the chair and the ghost walk.We would like to ask you a
> queshton. How did the poor tudors entertain themselfs at parties?
> love from Acacia and Charlotte.
Not a lot of parties I'm afraid.
When they celebrated a wedding or a birth they would sing, dance and drink
Sometimes they would dress up and dance around a maypole.
I'm so pleased you enjoyed your time with me.
Q.139. What could England have looked like if Queen Mary I had survived longer?
Quite a facinating scenario cold be unravelled by the thought of Mary surviving longer.
The country was nearly bankrupt thanks to the extravagance of Henry and the inneptitude of the Seymours.
Here's my imagination
What if Bloody Mary survived longer?
Reversing the reformation would have been possible had Mary survived longer. The main changes that had occurred under her Father Henry VIII, her Step Brother Edward and his Uncles the Seymours had only just took root. There were still many recusant Catholics about and these would back up her aim to reverse the religious direction the country was going.
However she was clumsy in her choice of husband. A Spanish husband and so King of England, did not go down too well in the hearts of the English, even though they loved Katherine de Aragon, the people always thought she was well Anglified and someone to trust. Not the same however for Phillip.
If I put on my “What if” hat this is how I think history would have been rewritten.
Points of clarity:
1. Mary lives for another 20 years on the throne.
2. Elizabeth survives Mary’s reign.
3. Mary is still childless, not a common occurrence is the birth of children at her age.
4. Elizabeth still comes to the throne but for only 30 year reign.
The Queen of England, Mary Tudor, will establish a stronger Papal Catholic Church in England than before the reformation. Many protestants will have died, a war with Scotland would have been won but with many casualties on both sides. Phillip never comes to England, the marriage is annulled as he wants to marry another. Mary never marries again and remains childless. Eliziabeth stays in the Tower for many years but is eventually released to a convent under house arrest. Some attempts by King James of Scotland to get Elizabeth released go unsuccessfully until Mary relents with a peace plan with Scotland and Elizabeth goes to Scotland for her own safety.
Jame’s Mother, Mary Stuart dies in mysterious circumstances whilst being wooed in her new role within Queen Mary’s court, Mary Stuart’s lover a Howard dies at the same time.
The war with Spain never happens, Holland and France are protestant and join together to fight the Spanish and her allies , England however sits on the political fence.
Mary Dies childless and Princess Elizabeth returns from Scotland to take up her throne, being a strong Protestant but clever enough to know the consequences of digging up the past, she tolerates the catholic presence but gets Parliament to allow any religion as long as they accept Elizabeth as the monarch. Elizabeth was married I Scotland and now has children, one boy and one girl. Her husband was from the Scottish nobility and was a marriage of love. They ruled England for 30 years as Queen and consort.
Upon the death of Queen Elizabeth, her son Prince Henry becomes King Henry IX, a strong Protestant ruler with an agenda to get rid of the Papal Catholics and install the true English Protestant church in its place with himself as leader. A political move to appease the French and the rest of Protestant Europe, Spain falls to Protestant rule, the Pope is defeated in battle and agrees to a watered down catholic doctrine taking into account the Protestant world and the notoriety of the Papal system.
Where would England be now in 2006 had these things actually occurred?
Our present monarch would have been from a different lineage, there would have been no civil war, no Cromwell, no execution of the King. I believe we would have followed the rest of Europe and have had a revolution, possibly on religious grounds but the outcome was the same, no monarchy.
A Parliament with a Presidential figurehead with no power for go to war.
So much for dying young eh!
Q.140. Dear Henry VIII,
Please answer the following questions for us. Please feel free to put these
into your web-site.
1. Did Henry VIII have any pets?
2. Did men or women wear make-up in Tudor times?
3. How often did Henry VIII wash?
Children in Newcastle
1. My favourite pet was a family of white greyhounds. They were Royal dogs
and no-one else was allowed to have that colour. See my Father's coat of arms it
has white greyhounds on it too, a greyhound was seen as a hunting dog which could keep up with a galloping horse, a white one was very rare. I also liked horses as long as they were single footers, trained to run not gallop, nowadays you call them Palfry's, I couldn’t stand being jogged about by a horse in full gallop. I had Hawks for hunting, not really pets but a lot of fun.
2. The women liked to be very white in complexion, it meant they were not
sun burnt like common people. The make-up was made of Lead oxide, which is
very poisonous and can react badly to sunlight, lead poisoning came also from eating off plates made from pewter and we called the poisoning “rich man’s dropsy” as it made your bones soft, hair fall out and teeth turn bluey-black. Sometimes arsenic was used too to whiten the skin, any sweat would mix and poison the lady. Men only ever used Potash mixed with goats cream to get rid of spots. Nowadays Potash is called
Potassium. Perfume was used to cover the smell of our bodies and other people in the room, thought a roaring fire and candles often overcame the smell of the courtiers. Rose water was used a lot in my court, on kerchiefs and in small cloth bundles to put over our mouths and noses when the smell got too bad, the open latrines into moats would also stink and we moved about when that was very bad too.
3. Wash? Wash? why take off all that natural oil in the skin and expose it
to diseases. I washed twice per year fully, I washed the necessary bits
every two or three days. We wore ermine fur to attract the lice off our
bodies and even had ermine under our pillows to attract lice from our hair.
My daughter Elizabeth, she washed once per month whether she needs it or not.
Q.141. Dear Henry,
Thank you for replying to our e-mail. We really enjoyed your answers. We
Hope you don't mind but we'd like to ask you some more questions. Here
1. Did people play football in Tudor times?
2. What happened to all the poo people threw outside?
3. Did children have toys in Tudor times?
4. What did you like to eat?
Thank you for your help! You are making our topic much more interesting and
Children in Newcastle
Hello again oop there in the Northeast.
1. Yes. Football had no rules; no football ground and any number of players each side. The men-folk from the village would play against the next village; the ball was placed exactly halfway between them. The teams had to get the ball between the church gates to score a goal. It was banned in my reign because villagers were getting killed or badly hurt in the brawls that always happened, villages began to hate each other too.
2. The human waste went into the ground from poor working people; the soil system was very healthy. Putting the waste into water is very unhealthy but it carried it away from the rich people to the poor people. A castle with a moat had a Gong Tower for their toilet, the waste would fall out of the castle into the moat, the ammonia would rise and keep all the moths out of the toilet room which was called the guard-robe, because of this it became know as the wardrobe (warding off the moths).
3. Toys were always in existence, mainly made of wood, tops, stilts, dice, wheeled toys. Dolls too, not stuffed furry animals though as they were unknown to the poor (no-one knew what a giraffe or a crocodile was!) Rich children had small musical instruments, cards, and small toy castles.
4. It has been wrongly reported about my gigantic meals because yes we had 15 courses but they were served at the same time so you would call a buffet nowadays. We had large banquets for visiting dignitaries, courtiers etc, but day to day meals were more subdued and only my inner council of friends would eat with me. I liked fowl and artichokes, lots of honeyed cakes.
Ok, class 5 you have had it too easy, asking the King of England difficult questions and giving him a headache. It is about time you answered my questioning.
Talk amongst yourselves and come up with class answers for these puzzling questions. There is a Royal present for your school if you get them all correct.
1. If a Tudor £1 is worth 300 21st Century £1’s and my father King Henry VII (miser) left me £1.25M Tudor, how much money did he leave me in today’s money?
2. I spent all my inheritance in 9 year’s, which is difficult without a Tudor Argos. What do you think I spent it on?
3. How many of my wives survived me? This is a trick question. What are the names?
4. How did the Mary Rose sink? There is a file on this in the website.
5. What was the real story behind the nursery rhyme “Little Jack Horner”?
6. What was the real story behind the nursery rhyme “Goosey Goosey Gander”?
7. What was the real story behind the nursery rhyme “Ring a ring of roses”? This one is so easy it is embarrassing.
8. Where was my new palace, Nonsuch Palace?
9. Why did I have my soldiers collect barrels of Men’s Pee? There is a file about Alum in the website.
10. I only preferred to ride Palfry horses, why?
If you manage to convince King Henry VIII that you Tudor Knowledge is sound and you can answer all these Royal questions, I will reward your class with a 3 Disc set of my Tudor CDROM’s.
Be careful my young courtiers many have tried before and failed to please His Majesty King Henry VIII.
Q.142. TO HENRY VIII
What I want to know is how many children you have??????
These were my legitimate children:
1510 Daughter - died
1511 Son - died
1513 Son - died
1514 Son - died
1516 Mary - Became Queen Mary I
1518 Daughter - died
1533 Elizabeth - Became Queen Elizabeth I
1534 Son - died
1535 unknown - died
1536 Son - died
1537 Edward - Became King Edward VI
These were my illegitimate children
Henry Fitzroy. Son of Bessie Blount. Became Duke of Richmond.
Henry Carey. Son of Mary Boleyn, a fairly scandalous affair this would have been, had we not kept it quiet.
Plus a couple of Daughters from serving wenches. Illegitimate girls are not counted, their mothers are married off and sent away.
Court etiquette and good manners would be to ask questions with the words Please and Thankyou.
So thank you master hooper for your enquiry.
Q143. From Texas
I have a Question to Ask His Majesty, Henry VIII, King of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and all else that doth truly matter. To wit: Sir, Growing up--What was your relationship to your parents and brother?
D.U. Houston, Texas, USA
A very pointed question indeed
My Father was scared of my intelligence, he wanted his tame son Arthur to
carry on where he left as an accountant King, whereas I was a flamboyant
extravert with brains. I hated him.
My Mother Elizabeth protected me from my fathers wrath, though she died
when I was young as did my brother Arthur, I loved her dearly so I names
my daughter with Ann Boleyn after her.
My brother Arthur was physically weak and not at all clever, I respected
him as he was older than me and about to be King, I looked after him. I
was jealous of his appointed wife to be, Katherine of Aragon and quite sad
when they married. I was very sad when he died after only 6 months of
marriage. I now could marry the girl I longed for.
I was interested in Maths, science, architecture, astronomy, so my
accountant Father was quite angry at my knowledge of things he didn't
Pray continue viewing my website I will endeavour to please your enquiring
Q144. Why did you want to get rid of the Catholic Church?
Who said that?
The Catholic Church is good, its leaders are not. Well before we the Tudors took the throne from the Plantagenet’s the leaders of the Church have been robbing the poor with promises of paradise if they pay up for the Latin readers to pray for them. My Pious Grandmother and strict Father drummed into me the very nature of the Papal control over the people of Europe, leaving no room for new ideas. I am a lateral thinker and such restrictions are bound to clash. The great Plague killed off many good priests as they lived in close proximity to each other, 60% perished, the Papal ruling for the clergy to re-establish themselves with learned men who could read Latin whether they understood it or not, led to the intake of second sons of Manors. Low of income these men began as they intended to carry on, taking money for themselves and living the rich life. Over 150 years of this ruinous condition gave rise to unrest not only amongst the people but also the good clergy. Martin Luther is the one name that comes to mind. It only took one argument between me and the Pope to create a break, a break not resisted much by the people. Remember I did not remove the Catholic Church from England, I removed the Papal control, the new Church of England was still Catholic but with me as its head and English as the written word for the people to understand.
The Protestant Church came after my reign thanks to the Seymours, my son Edward, my daughter Elizabeth and my Nephew James Stuart.
How come I get blamed for everything?
Q145 to Q151
This day is worth remembering, the Mobile castle Hampton Sport GTi has gone Bluetooth. Not an old man showing the younger audience he has some street cred, remember, Ray is an expert computer programmer right from the days of Fortan4, Cobol and Sinclair spectrums. The GTi is connected to the main computer in his office by his laptop and software through the mobile system. It does mean leaving the main computer in tick over mode and not hibernation, and hopefully nobody messes with the alone computer in his connection. BUT, this time it goes well, let us hope it stays that way.
So by laptop-software-mobile phone-modem-software-desktop computer, greetings.
Here are six questions from Romford, reading between the lines at the detail of the questioning I suspect a caller who already knows the answers, maybe college age but more likely Tudor researcher or even Tudor group conspirator. Being Henry certainly make one suspicious.
Hello, your Grace. I offer greetings from Rumford (Romford) which is in the Havering Liberty in the home county of Essex. In the time of your Majesty, I believe Sir William Parr is the Earl of Essex?
My county is steeped with Tudor history from your great self to your daughter, Elizabeth. I live just up from Havering-atte-Bower, the sight of your Royal Palace of Havering. My garden path is laid of York Stone taken from the remains of your royal hunting lodge "The Dagnams".
There have been at least three manor houses - and possibly as many as five - on the site of Dagnam Park, including a moated Elizabethan manor house in the sixteenth century.
Dagenham has been a place of Industrial wealth for this country.
The one thing that you longed for was a son and heir to continue the Tudor lineage. How do you feel knowing that your most glorious successor was not your son but your daughter, Elizabeth?
The main thing is I was not the last with the Tudor name as King. Edward was weak, both in control and health, easily manipulated by his minders and suffering an early death before he could produce a male heir, he then was the last male Tudor. Mary was powerful but flawed with hatred and revenge for the way her Mother was treated and the loss of her Papal influence; she never stood a chance to revert the flow of change in England once the people had tasted free religion without the burden of corruption. A ridiculous decision to marry a Spanish King, hated by all Englishmen would stop such an act happening again. Elizabeth, fiery red hair, strong willed and determined to succeed; I should have known she would be the one to bring this country back from the brink. I do however see her unwillingness to make decisions as a poor side to her reign; he decision to remain unmarried was flawed as she would never leave an heir. She flirted with the wrong men, never rewarded the people at the pointed end, who gave her combat success, she sat on the fence too long. I know it would upset many Elizabeth admirers for me to say this, but ruling for such a long time is not a sign of greatness, what you achieve in your time on the throne is a sign of greatness. Just what did she achieve?
Financial prosperity? Nope. The country debt from her siblings never went away.
Beat the Spanish Armada? Not without the weather, tides, bad Spanish leadership.
Schools for the people? Edward did more in his short reign.
Pick a successor? No choice really, killing Mary Stuart left only one direct successor, James of Scotland which brought more turmoil for the church that the rest of the Tudors put together. Even the council was in two minds about bypassing James.
To sum up then. Elizabeth I is very popular for reasons not connected with reality. She was a woman, pretty, less violent than her Sister Mary and there for a long time thus giving a sort of stability. But a Glorious Successor I think not.
Speaking both as a father and as a body politic, do you feel your daughter Mary's gruesome synonym "Bloody Mary" was just deserved?
Burning Protestants, killing the clergy, taking away the new freedom of the people’s church and re-establishing the corrupt Papal system. Marrying a Foreign King thus giving away her country, threatening the life of the last of the Tudor children, Elizabeth; taking the life of an innocent girl who was paraded by her Uncles as her replacement, Jane Grey.
I think the name Bloody Mary lets her off the hook too easily; it should be Bloody Fool Mary. So, yes well deserved but not hard enough. Probably one of the worst monarch’s this country has had the misfortune to have had on the throne.
With which Tudor monarch did the "Tudor Ruff" collar appear? I have seen paintings of people with very small ruffs. But, by the time we reach the 1580's, the "ruff" has trebled in size. Your daughter Elizabeth's were huge by comparison.
This too is the era of the ruff, an impressive combination of two under exploited costume inventions of the previous Century: starch and lace. Ruffs had begun very modestly in mid Century on the wealthy, primarily in France and Spain, but spread rapidly, and grew in size to the end of the Century, and into the beginning of the next.
Ruffs were made so wide that they often caused eating difficulties for the wearers, so much so that women had the happy thought of splitting the ruff in the front to make meals easier, and frame the cleavage.
No rich person in Elizabethan times felt properly dressed to impress unless he or she was wearing a ruff. This heavy collar came to England from France. Like so many Tudor clothes, it gave a strong signal about the wealth and importance of the person wearing it. The ruff started as a small ruffle or frill on shirt collars in early Tudor times. By the time Elizabeth I was queen, ruffs had grown in size, decoration and weight. Elizabeth I was a renowned fashion leader. Portraits of her show how she used her clothes to present a picture of herself as a great and important queen. A ruff was like a wheel made of decorated and pleated material, usually open at the front of the neck. Some ruffs used as much as 18 metres of cloth! Made of linen, silk or organza, ruffs had lots of lace, beads and jewels, held together with a wire frame and sewn with horsehair thread. To make sure a rich person's ruff stood up at a fashionable angle he or she had to wear a semicircular rebatos or supportass at the back of their neck. Most ruffs were white but some were starched pale colours, and a few were even black. People who were less rich gradually copied the high fashions of the Elizabethan court, but using cheaper materials and less excessive sizes. Keeping your ruff looking clean was a major job, especially as Elizabethans were very fond of make up. Servants had to take them apart, wash, starch, pleat and put them together again to keep them looking attractive. A useful small piece of clothing called the partlet collar helped to keep the ruff clean. It lay between the ruff and the wearer's neck, and was a lot easier and quicker to wash than the hefty ruff.
Whilst talking to a Historian about Ruffs, he mentioned the need to keep insects away from ones necks as this is the method of catching the Plague, keeping cool also meant having a ventilated collar design. Now put this together and the corrugated ruff collar completes the design criteria
The Palace of Whitehall, The Palace of Placentia (later Greenwich Palace), and The Palace of Westminster are synonymous with your Grace. Sheen Palace (later Richmond Palace), however. was a favourite of both your parents and your children, why did this palace not find favour with your Majesty?
I liked big roomed palaces where banquets, balls, jousting, tennis and entertainment can take place; Richmond Palace is good but too many small rooms and restricted areas. All my favourite palaces must be on the River for barge access. Hampton Court and Nonsuch all had my architectural changes made and so were more personal to me.
Your daughter, Elizabeth, wrote some of history's most stirring speeches ("It would please me best if, at my end, a marble headstone would state that this Queen, having reigned such and such a time, lived and died a virgin" and "I may have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king... and a King of England too. And think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any other prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm..."). Did, her Grace receive this divine gift from his Majesty?
Tudors+Propaganda=Stirring speeches. We invented the Spooks, the spies, the written templates of history manipulation; we were spinning before anybody recognised what was going on. May historical leaders have been good speech makers, mainly though the villains. Elizabeth was a good leader of men; she used her throne and supposedly female weakness to good purpose. I don’t believe for a single minute that any of her reported melodramatic speeches were not rehearsed or helped along by her close council. Too good for off the cuff! All written to get the men to fight, to stir them up into a fighting team.
I am currently adding the finishing touches to a set of variations on a melody written by your Grace entitled "Past Tyme withe Gode Companye" in honour of your Majesty. You are a fine player of the Virginal and your daughters also played the Virginal and the Lute. Did Mary or Elizabeth ever write down any music they wrote? If, indeed, they did write music?
Mary was not a talented writer; she did however love music though more a religious message rather than for fun. See this webpage.
Elizabeth a famous poet, rather than lyricist. See this webpage
I humbly thank your Majesty for take the time to read my messages to him.
DN (It is the policy of HenryTudor.co.uk not to print full names without permission)
Of the county of Essex.
Q152. From Clara in Norfolk uk
I know this may sound silly, but, is it true that Americans have a Royal Family and Palace?
Not a silly question at all Madam. By a strange coincidence my good buddy, the Wizard of Manhattan, Master Blackthorn who writes for my TudorDynasty magazine, he wrote the other day about the American Royal Family.
Here is a small part of his article.
“Did you know, however, that America once had a Royal Palace, too? It still does, as a matter of fact, but to get there, you have to visit Honolulu, Hawaii! 'Iolani Palace is the only official state residence of Royalty on American soil. It was the home of the Kingdom of Hawaii's last two ruling Monarchs, King David Kalakaua, who built the place in 1882, and his sister Queen Lili'uokalani, who succeeded him. Though its grandeur was a bit neglected shortly after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, the restoration of 'Iolani Palace began during the 1970s, through the efforts of various concerned individuals.”
If you want to read all the article:
His stories are most captivating and give a wonderful insight to daily American life from someone to watches.
Q153. Miss Nobles Class.
Who was your best friend and why?
We would love to see our class question reproduced on your website!
Q154. Were you and Ann Boleyn ever happy together?
Q155. That kind old Wizard of Manhattan has ask me a question.
Master Blackwolf, here your great humptyness.
Did you like eating Chocolate, especially in cakes?
Ah! Chocolate. Yes we had Chocolate but not as you do in 2006, not in solid bars or powder or even in cakes, even though I might nip down to the kitchens and ask WHY NOT! We had cocoa beans from Portugal, we would roast them then crush them into a drink, it would help us to sleep when we felt ill. The flavour was enhanced with honey and some brown sugar from our crops of sugar beet in Norfolk. It was ok, not my favourite drink but a change from Port wine and Beer. I had two chefs, one was English who would make fantastic roasts and vegetables for banquets, the other chef was French who could make smaller more complicated dishes, my favourite being roasted artichokes in Honey. I will ask him to try and make some chocolate cake, as he is very good at making cakes and pastry's.
Q156. A Lady Kathy from Texas.
What was your relationshp with your sister Margaret?
I loved my sister Margaret, she being the oldest of our brood, looked after me when I was very young until she was promised in matrimony to the King of Scotland James IV. We the English were not really at peace with Scotland and it was the arranged marriage that was planned to create a joining for peace. Margaret was apparently not happy in her early days in Scotland, as is evident in a letter she wrote to our father, Henry VII. James died at Flodden Field 9 September 1513. When James IV died, Margaret's infant son became James V. The Scottish Lords did not like the fact that their Queen was on English birth and always distrusted her intentions, this made her very unhappy with her life there.
John Stuart, Duke of Albany, used the Scottish Lord's distrust of Margaret to make himself regent and sent the Queen to flee to England in 1516 with her second husband, Archibald Douglas, the Earl of Angus, whom she had married in 1514, which was 5 years after I became King of England. She had married the Earl without my consent and I was angry with her, this also happened with my younger sister Mary when she married Charles Brandon without consent. The marriage with the Earl was dissolved in 1527. The couple had a daughter, Margaret Douglas who was the mother of HenryStuart, Lord Darnley who married Mary Queen of Scots and died in an explosion with her innocence in doubt.
Margaret Tudor took a third husband in 1528 - Henry Stewart, Lord Methven.
"This year also Margaret, queen of Scots, wife of James IV killed at Flodden in the fifth year of the king's reign, and elder sister of the king, after the death of her husband married Archibald Douglas, earl of Angus, without the consent of the King her brother or the council of Scotland, with which he was not pleased. But after that there arose such strife between the lords of Scotland that she and her husband came into England like banished persons, and wrote to the king for mercy and comfort. The king, ever inclined to mercy, sent them clothing and vessels and all things necessary, wishing them to stay in Northumberland until they knew further of his wishes. And the queen was there delivered of a fair lady called Margaret, and all the country were commanded by the king to do them pleasure."
So as you can see Margaret had a stormy life, her happiness was always in doubt and she started a family lineage which brought strife to Scotland and the Stuarts to England.
Q.157. From Helen.
What was the name of your female sugar artist who made you your moulded sugar desserts? There is a book out about her apparently, and I'd like to get it, but can't find her name anyway. You thought so highly of her you gave her a house!
Ah! Madam you have discovered my sweet tooth. The sugar sculptures were not only to eat but to show our wealth to foreign visitors.
The lady in question was called the Royal confectioner, Lucy Cornwallis.
The book I think you are looking for is entitled: The Queen of Subtleties.
I hope this helps you.
Q.158. Do any things ever get stolen from Old Manor houses like to ones you work in?
Yes. Small pieces of ornaments and things from the shop, but the main thing that is stolen is masonery from the grounds. Obviously someone is refurbishing their house or an unscrupulous supplier is selling them off. We have lost a path twice in two years, old medieval hand carved slabs are worth a lot of money and vans come in at night and steal them. See this picture I made for an article in July's magazine TudorDynasty.
Q.159. Hi Henry
Even though I’ve heard the name many times before, just what is an Almshouse?
These are Almshouses in East Coker.
Divide the word up into two, Alms and house. Alms is a way of giving charitable help and comes from the 10th Century but may have even been started in Arabic nations well before that, a quote from the Quran:
“If you give alms openly, it is well; but if you do it secretly and give to the poor, that is better.”
So an Almshouse is to house the poor people who cannot help themselves.
Q.160. Dear Henry.
A difficult question for you. Do you have a Tudor map showing where Samlesbury Hall actually is in the county of Lancashire?
Yes, here it is.
Q.161. How did they control smoke from chimneys?
Chimneys were in existence with the Romans, not high through the roof but high enough to get rid of the smoke, usually on top of an oven in a kitchen. The chimneys had their distinctive column of smoke into the atmosphere. The Saxons lived on the hills and in the forests and didn’t like giving away their position with the smoke line, so they used their thatched roof and open fire with a short inner chimney technology. Even as late as the 1400’s houses would still have thatch roofs with a central fire, a wooden chimney lined with cow dung to stop it burning. A small young lad would be responsible for applying the dung up the chimney, he was called the Black guard which became “Blaggard”. The chimney did not go out of the roof, it stopped just under the thatch. The smoke had cooled down at the top and then filtered into the atmosphere through the thatch. Obviously they liked to be away from possible view by their enemies.
Using the Chimney was a wealthy persons house, to take away the smoke, not caring about being seen and using a stone-slabbed dittonian roof. It was a regular occurrence to find small openings into the chimney breast which was a design for smoking meat. They would hang their meat joint above the fire in the chimney on a metal bar across the chimney hole. A metal door would seal it in.
Having a chimney became a sign of wealth, go see Bess of Hardwick’s hall and she how many chimneys she had! Trouble is, the Tudor brick-making was a bit hotch-potch. Too fast a cooling, too hot a baking all produced a high scrap rate and bricks that were not very stable in hot conditions. To dissipate the heat the Tudors designed their chimneys with lots of surface area, again the wealthy used to show off with their brickwork design. This show of wealth lead to the invention by some unknown builder of the spiralled brick chimney. It not only cooled easily but it turned the wind spiralling upwards and took the smoke higher.
As you know the chimney became a focal point for builders of Priest holes, but they became a well known position even then, so much so that Nicholas Owen would build a tunnel into a fireplace as a red herring, so the soldiers would find it and go away when they found it empty. There is a fine example of such a red herring in Samlesbury Hall.
Q.162. What is the worst job in the court of King Henry VIII?
Ah! Now that is a coincidence, I actually have just drafted an advertisement for my inner court.
Job Description in Ye Olde Tudor Press.
Attention all ye Graces, Lords and Gentlemen please take note that His Majestic Highness King Henry VIII is looking for suitable replacements to his staff as the previous incumbents have suddenly past away.
Vacancies: Courtier of the Stool . Three positions
Duties: The main function of this position is to look after his Majesty during his ablutions.
1. To help dress his Majesty.
2. To prepare his Majesty’s toilet stool.
3. To check his Majesty’s soil and urine for any sign of illness.
4. To clean his Majesty’s person after toilet use.
5. To freshen his Majesty’s person after toilet use.
6. To intake and analyse his Majesty’s flatulence.
7. To work as a team within the Gong Tower.
8. To keep all secrets divulged within the presence of his Majesty, on fear of death.
9. To destroy all clothing with more than three days of wear, by fire.
10. To journey with his Majesty of his progresses and to provide the above duties in places wherever he wishes.
For the successful candidate the duties being of National importance an appropriate level of remuneration will be paid.
Salary: One ounce of salt per day.
Pension: £200 per year.
Position: You will be entitled Courtier of the Stool.
Accommodation: You will sleep close to his Majesty, at the foot of his bed.
Uniform: The position requires top level quality of clothing which you must supply.
Write in personal hand writing to The Lord Chancellor, Thomas Cromwell with a stamped addressed envelope.
Closing Date: Before winter sets in.
Q.163. From Cloe
Why did you like betting on cocks so much?
Cock fighting was a national betting activity.
I always love betting, but am a poor card player and would be beaten easily by a card sharp. I used to bet with my friends on the outcome of a game of bowls but they always let me win so it was not exiting. Now Cockfighting was never fixed, and the outcome was never biased.
Nowadays cockfighting is banned and is a cruel sport just like fox hunting. I would support the ban if I were King today because you have so much more exiting activities than we had. Play stations for instance.
So the quick answer to your question my dear is:
Because the outcome was unknown and therefore more exiting.
Q.164. From Kea with a most difficult question that only I could answer.
What is your biggest weakness and your biggest strength?
A very good question and one that only I could answer. You see after being King Henry VIII now for two years I have found just what he feared the most.
Strangely the answer to both parts of your question is the same.
King Henry VIII's greatest weakness and strength was that he was always right, whether he was or not. He couldn't go back on a decision as it would look weak.
Here are some examples:
1. The Mary Rose disaster. The original ship had a clinker wooden hull with stepped overlaps. Henry told the shipyard to refit her with Portuguese styled carvel timbers with smooth sides so that gun ports cold be fitted near the waterline. The ship sank because of this design change. Why did the shipyard not tell Henry it would be a bad idea? Because he is always right.
2. Jane Seymour died 14 days after the birth of Edward, from septicimia. Henry had ordered that the baby if it was a boy should take precedence in care. The midwife took it literally and cut Jane too much to make sure Edward's birth was less dangerous. Why? Because they did what Henry said, whether they thought he was wrong or right never came into their minds.
Right though his reign, bad decisions were made in haste and had to be followed through, not surprisingly then that he became notorious.
Q.165. I saw a programme about making iron and steel in huge blast furnaces with coke and limestone with the iron ore. How on earth did they make iron in olden days good enough to make steel swords?
Here is a picture of the iron making in the 1500’s.
The process was basically the same as you saw in the documentary, there is nowadays two basic methods 1. Blast furnace and 2. Electric Arc furnace.
In 1500 there was only one method, the blast furnace. The furnace had to burn pure carbon to get rid of the impurities and to achieve the desired temperature, air was blasted into the bottom of the furnace to increase the combustion. A waterwheel drove the bellows, men loaded by hand the iron ore and the limestone. Nowadays they use Coke which is coal with the tar removed, but in my day they used Charcoal which is charred wood, so the furnace had to be in the forests. The molten iron was tapped off at the bottom through a Tuyere (Tu as in Tudor means Iron and yere is the Tap) it ran into channels and then into big moulds called Pigs, because they looked like troughs. The pig Iron was then formed into small parts to be made into weapons by the Blacksmith. Nowadays the Pigs are re-melted and mixed with alloying elements to form special steels.
Swords were only as good as their edge strength and toughness, cheaper swords were made on one piece and formed into shape on the anvil. Expensive, very tough and strong swords were made from lots of thins bars hammer welded together in one direction. Sometimes the Blacksmith would pattern the bars which would show up throughout the blade when heat treated. Only Royalty and Top Nobility could afford such swords.
Q.166. How do those arches stay up in old castles?
The keystone at the top was doing all the work, it transferred the downward forces sideways into the curved sides and to the floor.
Q.167. From Donna
Hi, I was just wondering if you could tell me why king Henry broke away from the Church of England...???
There is so much confusion around about the events of the Reformation in English History. First of all Henry did not break away from the Church of England, he in fact created it. Here’s a synopsis of the whole picture.
1200’s, England along with Europe are in the grip of the Black Death Plague. Brought here by sailors who were refused entry in the Mediterranean ports, they made their way over to England. The disease was from fleas which bit the sweaty areas of the body around the neck (Ring a ring of roses), then infested rats which spread the disease around much of the mainland killing 40% of the population. Trouble is it killed 60% of the priests because they lived in a walled monastery and the disease spread easily.
We were staunch Roman Catholics, a religion left by the Romans, banned by the Saxons and re-introduced later by the newly Anglicised population.
With such a loss of priests the church was in danger of collapsing and so the Pope demanded an immediate re-manning of priest positions by learned men who could read Latin, the language of the church. Remember that lots of people died in the epidemic and so anybody who could read was taken on by the church as new priests, no training, no moral interviews were given.
In England, Lords of manors had sons; the first born would inherit all the family wealth, not so in Wales where all sons got an equal share. So English second and third sons were the targeted pool of new priest applicants. These men were unscrupulous; they wanted money, wealth and power which were denied to them by the English inheritance laws. They took money from the poor, spent it on themselves and robbed the people. They charged money to pray for the poor, so they could go to heaven, they helped the rich and brought the church down in terms of a religion and made it a business.
Now you get to my reign, early 1500’s in Europe, priests began to object to the bad priests amongst their numbers, they protested by posting up noticed on church doors. Martin Luther was the leader of this new Protesting wave of feeling, which became the Protestant church. I objected to this Lutheranism and was rewarded by the Pope for my stand; he made me the leader of the Papal Church in England. Remember at this time that even the Popes were corrupt, they were the worst leaders imaginable, and they were called the Borga’s.
After 20 years of marriage to Catherine, 6 births with only one surviving child, Mary. Our marriage was on the rocks, I wanted a divorce, she didn’t and she had powerful relations in her family, the Holy Roman Emperor for instance. So this connection went against my request for a divorce. My new lady love was Anne Boleyn; she had the idea to annul the marriage because I had married my brother’s widow which was banned by the Catholic Church. Still no joy, the church stood firm and declared their allegiance with Catherine’s family. Therefore, I disbanded the Papal control of the Catholic Church and created a new off-shoot, called the Church of England.
Please remember this, this new church was still Catholic, the Protestant ethos was not allowed in my new religion. I allowed in the English language so the people could understand the scriptures, I stopped payments for prayer, I disbanded the rich monasteries and took their land, any monastery earning over £60,000 (2006 values) was disbanded the others changed into Church of England.
So, who really did bring the Protestant Church into England?
The Seymour’s’, brothers of Jane and uncles to the next King, Edward IV my son and heir. When he died, my daughter Mary took over the throne after a near coup by the Uncle of Lady Jane Grey. Mary tried in vain to reverse the reformation back to Papal Catholic and lots of people were killed, this is why she is called Bloody Mary. Elizabeth always sat on the fence and allowed both Catholic and Protestant religions together as long as they allowed her to be head of the church. The big culprit who came next, King James I was already a Protestant from Scotland and would not allow the Papal Catholic any extra space to develop. No wonder there was a plot against him and he blamed the Jesuits, this put an end to the official allowance of the Papal Catholics altogether. Y’know I suspect the gunpowder plot was James’ big double cross ideas from the onset, to become the hero who fought off murderers and got rid of the Jesuits at the same time. Only time will tell if I am correct.
Oh! Sorry, there I am wondering off the track. Remember I said that the Welsh had a different inheritance law. Well this is the reason why not only are their farms smaller because of dividing up for the sons, but their church is not in the Church of England design and Chapels are the order of the day. Another story methinks for another day.
There you have it in a nutshell, I hope it clears your mind to the truth and gives you new directions of study. If you discover new directions please let me know.
Q.168. Hi Henry
What was meant by “…….the cook’s main function was to keep the Lord and Lady in good humor.”
The easiest way to answer this one is by establishing the etymological background with the term “Humor”.
1340, "Fluid or juice of an animal or plant," from Anglo-Norm. humour, from O.Fr. humor, from L. umor "body fluid" (also humor, by false assoc. with humus "earth"), related to umere "be wet, moist," and to uvescere "become wet." In ancient and medieval physiology, "any of the four body fluids" (blood, phlegm, choler, and melancholy or black bile) whose relative proportions were thought to determine state of mind. This led to a sense of "mood, temporary state of mind" (first recorded 1525); the sense of "amusing quality, funniness" is first recorded 1682, probably via sense of "whim, caprice" (1565), which also produced the verb sense of "indulge," first attested 1588. "The pronunciation of the initial h is only of recent date, and is sometimes omitted ...." [OED] Humorous in the modern sense is first recorded 1705. For types of humor, see the useful table below, from H.W. Fowler ["Modern English Usage," 1926].
So the medical condition of the Lord and Lady was seen as a responsibility for the cook to produce food which kept the desired balance of the four Humors. Addition of extra salt on hot days, iron rich food etc.
Q.169. When in character, just what does an audience expect is the limit of sarcasm given out by questioners and how much instant repartee should King Henry VIII give back?
Having heard all the questions that could be levelled at the King and having experienced the response from audiences when sharp answers are delivered, it was an instant decision last week to respond to this biting questioner.
The American lady, at the front of the 100 strong crowd, chewing open mouthed drawled out “Being so fat from all those dinner courses, why do you eat so much?” Remembering instantly that she was from a Cruise Liner tour, I declared that had she asked the Beefeaters in the Tower of London where they had got their name from, Buffetiers who would guard and serve up food from the 20 courses which were all served together on one board. A BUFFET!
I then asked that is it not true that your cruise liner served up over 40 courses per buffet and they must have been much larger than my meals as you are still eating it!
The audience fell into a one second silence, then uproar as they laughed out loud, poor questioner suddenly stopped machinating the plastic chewing gum and seemed rather taken aback by the forthright response. “Gee, you really are King Henry aint ya!”
Q.170. Hi Henry.
I have just been to a Manor house with my parents, totally boring. How could anybody enjoy walking round a big house full of things that the average person cannot afford, when the people were starving too? Beats me! Oh whilst in there, I noticed a bunch of dried old weeds hanging from the bedroom ceiling, what’s that all about?
Manor houses provided shelter and food to the poor, it gave them a home in return for working the land. I agree that showing off one’s wealth is a bad side of humans, we still do it today, with our clothing, our cars, houses and even our play-stations. Yes, play-stations. Let me see if I hit a nerve or two. You have a PS2 with all the games and gizmo’s, so do your friends by now as they have been on sale for quite a while. What happens then when PS3 comes along next year, a race to be the first to rub the others noses in it and show off how cool you are to be first to have one.
It’s not changed then eh! The houses with their chimneys were a big deal to show off with as was the furniture and fittings in carved wood instead of plain. Walking round the houses should tell you how they once lived and how similar they were to what we are now.
The bunch of “dried old weeds” are herbs, they would probably be Tansy, a herb with such an aroma it would keep away the insects from the bedroom on a hot night. Used also as a remedy for kidney pains and to rid children of ringworm.
Here’s a picture of a bunch of Tansy.
The Tansy from the Daisy family.
By the way, trying to be cool can backfire and make you sound quite the opposite.
Q.171. Is it true that Tudors had a ¾ penny piece?
Yes! I know it sounds silly but it was to solve a big problem.
You see a 1 Penny piece was worth one penny in bronze. There were Half penny and farthing pieces too all worth there weight in bronze. Problem now is that the farthing or ¼ penny piece was so small too many were lost and you could buy bread or onions with a farthing. The authorities had a brain-wave, they would make ¾ penny pieces instead.
To spend a ¼ of a penny, you would pay with a penny and get a ¾ penny change, thus spending a ¼ of a penny. If you wanted to buy something for 1 ¼ pennies, then you would tender 2 pennies and get ¾ penny change and so on.
Actually I saw a real one only yesterday, a collector showed me his Tudor coinage and one was in it.
Q.172. How on earth did Tudors bore out those cast iron cannon barrels without machines?
This is a very good question, so I have produced a card for printing it off. Actually I saw the machine myself and took the pictures in the cellar of Anne of Cleves House in Lewes, Sussex.
Somewhere in Texas.
After reading your file about Alum Flour, how is it related to Aluminum?
Before I answer your question, most Brits would try to correct your use of the word Aluminum but you are CORRECT to use it! Yes we call the same metal Aluminium but your version came first.
In 1808, Sir Humphrey Davey isolated the metal from its ore and he called it Alumium, he never liked the name so in 1812 he renamed it Aluminum. Trouble is the British establishment had a lot of new metals with …ium at the end of the name, like Sodium, Calcium etc and so they got together and changed it yet again this time to Aluminium. So there you have it, American Aluminum was before British Aluminium.
Alum flour is technically Aluminium Sulphate crystals. The crystals form naturally in layers of silt which are then pressed and cooked by millions of years in the earth. The layers form the rock we know as Shale and it you split the rock along the layers you will see small shiny crystals of the Alum. When the shale is super-heated the crystals melt and find each other, the shale releases the Alum crystals. The Romans had this chemical in abundance because their Empire included Countries with volcano’s which were near the sea and so had shale layers. The black shale would turn to red shale after the super-heating and breaking this red shale up and boiling it released the Alum. The Romans called it flour because it is a white powder. There are many uses for the flour all of which was beneficial to being wealthy as the flour was very expensive and a symbol of wealth. Its uses were: Softens leather, fixes colours, calms nerves, clears skin and softens water for washing clothing.
Q.174. In the history of the world, how did you get so well known after only 38 years on the throne?
Mmm. Must be my personality.
Seriously, if you want to understand where we humans fit in the history of the world consider the beginning of the Earth as Midnight, now up to August 2006 it is 24 hours later on the same clock. How long do you think we humans have been on the Earth, even as cavemen?
77 seconds! 77 seconds! I repeat it because it is such a short time when compared to say a Rock or even a Shark. So my time as Ruler of England would begin and end in only 0.0015 of a second!
Now the real facts that you can understand better. We Tudors were in power at the same time that two inventions were developed.
1. The printing press.
2. The Camera Obscurer.
These two inventions would be used to propagate our personalities to the mass media which we controlled. We made sure books were written with us reflected in a good light and we literally cut to pieces our enemies or rivals with bad press. It back fired on me when my Daughter Elizabeth became Queen because she controlled the press and the direction playwrights wrote their public deliverances. She did not like me at all and it came across for the public in Henry VIII from William Shakespeare’s work.
I can hear you tutting from here. Look at your own country, its rulers, its press the media. The Propaganda continues.
Q.175. The fact that your Father, Henry VII was born in Pembroke and he named his first son Arthur, do you think he was trying to claim to be related to King Arthur of the Round Table fame?
I must go along with the implication that my Father was trying to gain country wide acceptance for a throne taken in battle from the Plantagenets. He had much in symbolic evidence, Pembroke Castle is only 5 miles from Merlin’s Bridge at Haverfordwest and just look at the castle there, it is the nearest design to the mythical Camelot that you will ever see. On top of a conical hill, with towers centring. By taking the Tudor colours and green and white he also made the Welsh flag with the inclusion of the Arthurian Dragon. The Cornish claim for Camelot could easily be cut to pieces because where is it? Henry said that Arthur went to Cornwall to conquer it and built a replica castle at Tintagel. Look at the map, Cornwall is but a short sea voyage from Pembroke.
The Round Table is supposed to be in Pembroke Castle, I never saw it though. Obviously I had to go along with the tale to give credence to the Tudor legacy, the 21st Century obsession with Renaissance fairs and Arthurian Legend has romanticised the truth whatever it was.
Q. 176 From "Crashtest Susan" (I won't let her drive my Motorhome!"
Q.177. Why do you wear that hat? Tony.
Why pick on me for that hat?
Go look at previous monarchs and see that a felt hat is the common garb.
Here I’ve saved you the trouble of searching the facts.
Obviously each monarch will change the hat to create a style that they like, hunting is a style that I preferred and so the feather was a feature in mine. Basically the country was in the middle of a mini Ice age, we were cold and our houses and Palaces were draughty so we wore warm clothing which includes a hat.
We Kings do not wear a crown all day y’know!
In fact I hated wearing a crown and would adapt a felt hat to have a crown over it.
Q.178. What is a Thunder box?
It was for the Manor houses and villages, the same as my Gong Tower! In other words a toilet.
When someone went to the potty in the night they then put it under their bed, in the morning it would be emptied into a thunder box with everyone’s else’s “Human night soil”. Using the name soil was very apt because it was then put into a central open hole to change into rich soil. This night soil was then used on the farm land as fertiliser, which was very good for growing vegetables.
I did find it a funny story from a castle guide, he said that the collection box should be kept away from a naked flame as the methane would occasionally explode.
Here are a couple of pictures of real thunder-boxes.
Q.179. How was Honey made for everybody?
Hey! That’s a great question, mass production was used even in the 16th Century. One wild natural Bee hive could not be relied upon to quench man’s need for sweet food. With 4 million people we needed to have a factory of hives, either on field with wooden hives or built into a wall called Hive Boles. I have place a picture below of a genuine Hive Bole wall in a Tudor mansion grounds. The wall best suited the production as it used existing structures and little land.
You must consider why Humans and animals like sweet things. It is a natural instinct to crave for food that is full of energy, because energy is life. So blame your sweet tooth on nature!
Q.180. I read in your pages that you like Artichokes, what do they look like and how are they grown?
How should I know how they are grown! I will have to ask my court merchant where he gets them from and how they grow them.
Ok, here is the Artichoke story. I like Artichokes for their flavour, rarity and exclusiveness. They are quite large, the picture shows one before it looses its flower with an adult hand behind it, the other picture shows it when it is ripe for cooking.
We baked them with honey over them which burns a bit and gives them a roasted coating. I get them from Portugal, though my gardeners are trying to grow them in Cornwall and Devonshire because of the fair climate there.
The people never had Artichokes, they were suited with their Pottage, or Hotpot. Here is a picture of their food being made.
Q.181.If the Castle was for protection against enemies, how did Iron-age people defend themselves?
Keeping in one group and building on a hill with two deep ditches around them for safety. The first ditch was called the Ankle breaker as it was full of sharp crossed pieces of wood. The second ditch was deep and steep sided so the intruder had to climb out to get to the middle and was picked off as they were defenceless. There is a famous saying which came from this ditch, as it was the last feature to stop them getting into the middle to fight the leader of the invaders would say: “Come on lads this is our last ditch chance to win!”
This is Roundwood Fort, an Iron age dwelling, see the first ditch. The trees would not have been in the ditch them just around the outer ditch. You can imagine men charging over the edge and falling on wooden traps, climbing up to find another deeper ditch in front of them. The defender would be hurling stones and spears at them. Iron would not have been used to throw at the enemy because of it being hard to make, it would be used for hand to hand weapons.
Q.183. A question for Mary Stuart but reproduced here for its interest.
For our school subject on Mary Queen of Scots we need to know the following:
What did Mary wear?
What was Mary’s bedroom like?
Why did she have a private chapel?
What duties did Mary carry out as queen of Scotland?
Who were servants to the Queen?
What were they eating for dinner?
What was her supper like?
A young 5 yrs old Princess Mary Stewart (Not Stuart Yet!) was sent to France by sea to be Educated in the Catholic French Court with a possibility of becoming the next Queen of France my marriage. She had with her four companions, all girls and all called Mary too, they became her like long friends and closest sympathisers. Their names were:
Mary Fleming ; Mary Livingstone ; Mary Beaton and Mary Seton.
Princess Mary did become Queen of France and changed her name from Stewart to the French version Stuart, from them on this was the Stuart’s proper name. Now remember that Europe was changing in it’s religion, the people were sick of being robbed by the Papal Catholic system which was very corrupt and a new Religion was sweeping across for the people. Started by Martin Luther who Protested about the corruptness of the Roman Catholic Church, the new Protestant church was formed where each country had its own leader but the people had direct access to it. Scotland became a Protestant country whilst Mary was in France, the trouble was France remained Catholic whilst she was there, so Mary was a Roman Catholic. The King of France died and Mary became the dowager Queen of France, the Scottish King died and Mary was to be their new Monarch. She accepted and the people welcomed her back, a beautiful red haired woman of high standing, her religion accepted in the privacy of her court.
At this stage the answer to your question of her Chapel is clearly seen, She worshipped privately with her catholic Priest in a Protestant Country that she ruled.
The Scottish court was divided into Protestants and Catholics here are the Names of her court, just see how they were divided:
The Protestant Lords:
Argyll; Arran; Bothwell; Boyd; Chatelherault; Crawford; Fleming; Glencairn; Herries; Huntly; Lennox; Lindsay; Livingstone; Maitland; Mar; Moray; Morton; Ochiltree; Rothes; Ruthven.
The Catholic Lords:
Atholl; Caithness; Eglington; Home; Huntly; Seton.
The coloured ones were the families of her best friends from the time in France.
Queen Mary’s bedroom had a French influence because of her love of the French may of life, here are pictures of her actual bedroom at Borthwick Castle.
Mary’s clothing was formal but heavily influenced by French love of bright colours.
The food for Royals was similar throughout Europe, lots of selection. Sometimes books misrepresent the number of courses that was eaten during a banquet, actually only one course was eaten but maybe 20 choices on the centre table. We call it a buffet nowadays, buffeters would look after the food and serve each person with what they wanted. Buffeters are now called Beefeaters. Supper came from the Roman word Supra, which means a stew which could be soaked into bread, when it is very thin it is called soup.
Mary’s Supper would be a stew made from left-overs from the dinner. The stew from a Pot was a common way of re-using food.
The Queen’s servants were a standard throughout Britain, a Councillor for legal advice, Courtiers of the stool they would look after Mary in her bathroom and toilet, lady’s in waiting would be her close companions but still her personal servant even thought they were from noble blood.
I hope I have covered all your questions enough for your school, even though you wrote to Mary all her emails are re-routed to me, King Henry VIII so I can decide which website they will appear in.
Thank you for your questions they were good ones.
Q.184. I agree with you that King Henry VIII was a leftie, his portraits show a definite dress to the left tendency. Were there more Royals who were left handed?
George II, King UK Royalty (UK)
George IV, King UK Royalty (UK) 12-Aug-1762
George VI, King UK Royalty (UK)
King VI, George UK Royalty (UK)
King VIII, Edward UK Royalty (UK)
Louis XVI, King French King
Queen Mother UK Royalty (UK) 4-Aug-1900
Prince William UK Royalty (UK) 21-Jun-1982
Rhys-Jones, Sophie UK Countess of Wessex (wife of Prince Edward) 20-Jan-1965
Queen Victoria UK Royalty (UK) 24-May-1819
Yes try, these for size. Seems to be a Royal trait.
Q.185. Hi Henry. I have been asked by my teacher to find out where the term Ruffian comes from. Can you help?
Sure can, but we have to go to the Scottish borders to find the start of the name.
Reive is a Scottish word meaning to plunder or to rob, also spelt Reave in English , which comes from the Old English reafian.
In the Scotland the word reive has been used particularly to refer to the theft of livestock, especially cattle. The border reivers were groups of raiders in the Scottish Borders with a reputation for forays into the north of England. To be robbed in such a way you would be bereft of your property. In Celtic lands such as Wales or Scotland the laws of inheritance were different to England where all was left in tact to the first son, instead all was divided up equally for all sons. This left the sons not enough land to live off, so inter-clan rustling of cattle went on and it became know as bereaved.
They also gave us the word “Blackmail” though it had been passed on from the roaming Knights who would ask for protection money instead of harming the villagers, the word came from Black meaning bad and Mail meaning meal or chain-mail, both being described by various experts of History.
Go tell your teacher all this and say hello from me.
Q.186. Hi Henry Sire.
Is it true that they buried the dead with bells just in case they woke up?
Yes indeed, you have to think what it was like then to understand the problem. There were no real doctors, nurses, ambulances or hospitals nearby, so it was the family leader who decided who was dead. Because this was too easy to make a mistake the family would hold a Wake to give the body a chance to wake up. The wake differed between the lower classes and the upper classes. The body was put into an open coffin
Either on a table or onto two matching stools called “jointed stools” in front of the roaring fire. A drink of wine was put into the hand of the body and a loud party took place to wake the dead, this is the Wake. After the party the wine would have evaporated in a straight line, also the feet of the body would have curled up with the heat of the fire, now they knew the body was dead because it had “popped their clogs”. The coffin was then lidded and taken to be buried, after a bell was put into the body’s hand. The coffin duly buried. If the body woke up, it would ring the bell or pull on a string with a bell at the end. Bodies which come back were “saved by the bell” and if you had the same face as a past dead person you were called a “dead ringer”. Like Ray I suppose.
Now there is a sinister side to this tale.
There was not enough space in churchyards because of the high mortality rate, so old graves were dug up and the coffins re-used. Many coffins had scratch marks on the inside as if the dead were trying to get out!
Wish you hadn’t asked me this question now, I’ll not sleep tonight.
Q.187. Just how dirty were people in Tudor days?
They bathed once a year whether they needed it or not!
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May (it was warmer) and were still smelling pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour.
Baths equalled a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually loose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water".
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying "dirt poor".
I washed daily in the standing up position, my daughter Elizabeth bathes once per month, reckless girl!
Q.188. Hi Henry. Did any food poison the ones who eat it?
Only if it was either deliberate or an allergy just like today. BUT, the materials that the food was prepared with or on could be very harmful.
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food. This happened most often with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes... for 400 years.
The central Pot for making the supper cold have food in it that was a week old, Potent you could say, even Putrid.
Q.189. What kind of peculiar illnesses did Tudor people have?
Medieval physicians believed that the secretions of a frog could cure a cough if they were coated on the throat of the patient. The frog was placed in the mouth of the sufferer and remained there until the physician decided that the treatment was complete. Hence “I’ve got a frog in my throat”.
The Table was called a board, a place where one would eat and talk, hence the board room, Room and board, chairman of the board, sideboard, cupboard, across the board and above board.
They never washed their boards and a lot of times worms would get into the wood. After eating off the trencher which was placed on the boards the food was contaminated with the worms, they would get "trench mouth."
The pewter plates would poison the eater, usually the rich people who could afford plates, this was called rich-man’s dropsy or as we would call it today lead poisoning.
A pitcher - A leather jug treated with tar pitch to help it hold its shape would leach out its tar and slowly poison the drinker or start stomach cancerous cells.
Q.190. Did you allow dogs into your court?
The only dogs I allowed at my court were ‘small spaniels for the ladies’." The Cavalier was a common lady's companion, held on the lap to provide warmth and attract fleas off the lady’s body. It is said the Queen's physician instructed her to keep a dog for comfort on her lap to treat a cold. The reference was to the Cavalier, known also as the Comforter or Spaniel Gentle. “The title of comforter was well earned; the dogs were placed under ladies' skirts to act as foot warmers, and it was believed that they could cure stomach ailments and other diseases.
Q.192. What kind of hats did other people wear?
Here's a picture I conjured up from a great website called
Q.193 and Q194. a) How does Henry VIII Solve His Problem of Divorcing Catherine of Aragon?
b) How Does Divorcing Catherine Of Aragon Show He's Powerful?
a) It has been a misconception regarding the nature of the “Divorce” from my fist wife Catherine. Divorce is when you are legally married and you both break the contract and become divorced, this means that any children born in the marriage are not illegitimate. Trouble my separation from Catherine was not a divorce it was an annulment. An annulment is when the marriage was not legal in the first place and any children born are considered illegitimate.
Poor Princess Mary became just plain Lady Mary after the separation, and Queen Catherine became Dowager Princess Catherine because she was previously married to my brother Prince Arthur who died after only 3 months of marriage. A dowager is the widow of a Royal.
The annulment became necessary because the Roman Catholic Church does not allow one to marry the widow of one’s brother. Some say that I used it to get rid of a wife who could not have any more children and so not a son and heir to the Tudor name. Ann Boleyn gave me the idea for the annulment; this made her a hated personality with the English, a position that she always tried in vain to mend bridges with.
b) The Roman Catholic Church did not agree with me about the evidence for annulment, I tried in vain to impress to them the nature of the problem, but the Holy Roman Emperor was a nephew of Catherine so they refused. This meant I had to try something else. I saw that the Lutherans were spreading discontent throughout Europe, so I declared the Papist Church illegal and set up the Church of England with me as the official head. Now I could grant myself an annulment. Now that’s power.
Q.195. How hard is it to be a good Jester?
Will Sommers was my Jester, and I think the best one ever, he has become the benchmark for all Jesters following him. A jester is not just a clown, a stand-up comedian, a story teller, a juggler, fire-eater, stilt walker, cynic and someone to talk to. He is all of them. To do all these things even when your are feeling ill, down or tired will become a stressful occupation. Now add to the job resentment from other budding jesters, and the Councillors who think you have the ear of the King and so too much power. A jesters life is not an easy one.
This picture depicts jesters as we all think of them.
This picture shows one Peter Kin, working hard in 2005 at Thornbury Castle.
Q.196. Henry, where did you first meet Ann Boleyn?
It could be said to be romantic, but the very place that I met Ann Boleyn is still with us in the 21st Century! And! I met her in the 1530’s no less.
It is looked after by the National Trust and is a tree.
It is called the Ankerwyke Yew, Wraysbury, Berkshire. It is a 2500-year-old yew tree and stands close to the Thames within eye-sight of Runnymede ( where King John met the barons and sealed the Magna Carta in 1215).
Q.197.I listened with great interest at your morning talk last Sunday at Samlesbury Hall, your explanation of place names was quite absorbing. I live in Standish, Lancashire and have always thought it came from the family name of Miles Standish. Is this true or is it the other way round?
Finding which way round things happened has always been a real challenge, for instance did the Southworth’s name their village near Croft or did they get named from the Village of Southworth? In this case the latter is the correct one, the village was named Southworth from Sout wort or South Pasture. In your case it’s the same. Standish means Stone Pasture land, the Standish’s were named after the place where they came from.
Here are some more for you to ponder about:
Q.198. From Abdessalan Bouda
Hi there have been more than 500 popes and I want to know something about the pope 16th if its possible thank you very much.
Only 266 Popes my friend from the date of the death of Jesus,32 AD. Here they are in one great list. But if you click on the file you will get all their stories too.
Click here to download this file
Q.199. Hi Henry, Hey I’m the last one on this page!
Was there really a Camelot and if so where was it situated. I have been to Cornwall and they claim it, Lancashire Claim it too, so what is the truth?
Truth is what we believe it to be, the stories from historical writers can have lots of false claims in them, but we cannot question them. I have studied King Arthurian legend and have come to this conclusion which settles my mind, though
some Historians would beg to differ. If you are not satisfied with my answer, I suggest you do what I did and read a lot about it, visit the places mentioned and work it out for yourself as nobody has the definitive answer.
BUT! I beg you, don’t believe the Hollywood script writers, the biggest artistic licence ever issued.
I reckon this.
When the country was run by one power, the Romans, all was calm and the wealth of the nation was positively growing alongside its technology advantages. Alas, the central core of power left to defend their own homeland and left behind a void of power. The Romanesque people of Britain started to power play and wars were started , mini-kingdoms were created. One of the ex-Romanesque soldiers was Arthur, he came to power in one of the new “tribes” and fought his way to the top. His people had their own way of building their forts and castles so their design became known as Camelot. Lancashire, Pembrokeshire and Cornwall are mentioned in Arthurian legend, so I believe he did indeed go to these places and fight there, he built a Camelot in each of them. Look at a map of Britain, Lancashire to South Wales to Cornwall (by sea) all are possible in one man’s lifetime.
So my friend, not trying to squirm out of a difficult question, my answer is that I believe there were three Camelot’s, Lancashire, Pembrokeshire and Cornwall.
The next set of questions will be from the next page.