King Henry VIII’s Overlooked Childhood
According to Mr. David Starkey, Henry VIII (the king) was far from similar to Henry VIII (the kid). Instead of researching through the records of the Royal Chamber, Starkey was able to find more details about Henry VIII’s early childhood in the Exchequer. The Royal Chamber wasn’t implemented yet until King Henry VII invades France back in 1492. By scavenging through the documents of the Exchequer, Starkey found a window where he could look at how Henry VIII was before all those wives and before becoming a king.
To Starkey, how Henry VII was raised was a very crucial part of his life because it would explain how much of an influence it had made on his way to the throne and also during his reign at the throne. Henry was brought up by his mother living together with other females. Being raised in around women, this is where Henry VIII supposedly developed respect for women. There, Henry VII lived a sheltered life -considering he had nothing to worry about. In contrast, his brother Arthur was separated from his mother from the start to be raised in preparations to take over the throne after his dad.
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The separation of Arthur and Henry VIII during childhood was supposedly the reason why Henry did not have the pressure of living under his brother’s shadow. Because they were separated, the two brothers didn’t meet much. Also, Henry VIII wasn’t even supposed to be the son to rule after King Henry VII. Therefore, Henry VIII couldn’t have known all the pressures of the royal throne because he didn’t really know his brother. Henry VIII was practically being led to his path to the throne.
Before Arthur and King Henry VII died, Henry VIII was getting popular with the people of England in the court where his dad introduced him while Arthur-who was in line for the throne- was back at Marches of Wales. In addition, since Henry was raised by his mom, a Yorkist, it helped him further unite the divided houses of Lancaster and York who was once enemies during The War of Roses. With Henry VIII in the position to be the king, the people of York could then have someone as a ruler who is a part of them.
His Yorkist blood/heredity helped him gain the support of the people of York. When he decided to divorce Catherine, that’s when everything for King Henry VIII started rolling downhill. When he wanted the priest to annul his marriage with his first wife, his way of doing it was to “break from the Catholic Church. ” With his actions, the Yorkist families who were still attached to the church stopped supporting him and went for the Reformation. To Henry VIII, he was betrayed and so he then soon became as the King Henry VIII we all know.
I think David Starkey’s research in the Exchequer about how Henry VIII’s mother, Elizabeth did have a great amount of influence in how he came to power, but not why he married six wives. Maybe I didn’t really understand this article enough, but I stand on my opinion. King Henry VIII re-married several times in order to bear an heir to the throne. Perhaps some part in his reason to re-marry was to find love in other women, but I really think that his sole purpose of re-marrying was to just bear a male heir.
With my reason, I contradict his statement of “Henry expects love and marriage to be the same. ” One way I could agree with his statement is maybe when he said that Henry VIII loves women, he meant that Henry loves women too much to just stay with one woman. Although I don’t agree with Starkey’s explanation of Henry VIII’s mother’s influence on him that “love is the same as marriage,” I do agree that it helped him with his path to the throne.
Starkey’s intricate and profound research of how the two houses of Lancaster and York in The War of Roses connected Henry VIII’s successful way to the throne was amazing. The fact that Henry was raised by a mom who was a Yorkist explained how he received the support of him being a king. Because the York still had an understandable resentment of the Lancaster and Henry Tudor/King Henry VII, considering the bloody battles they’ve had during The War of Roses, it would only make sense that the people of York to support Henry VIII who brought up with Yorkish sense.
Also, I strongly agree that King Henry VIII “was in a unique position to mend the dynastic divisions. ” Because Henry VIII was the son Henry Tudor (king of the Lancaster) and also son of Elizabeth (daughter of the Yorkist king), King Henry VIII had BOTH the blood heredity from York and Lancaster. With the blood heredity, it would make sense that he would have the support of both houses. Therefore, King Henry VIII was in the perfect position to unite those two –once divided- houses together.