Tag Archive | King Henry VIII

It’s all about money, honey!

Since I already wrote a post on the debasement of coinage during Henry’s reign, I thought I’d look up a little about coining methods, techniques and laws regarding minting during the time. At a time when there was no paper money, and certainly no plastic money or electronic money, mints were used exclusively for making coins from different metals.

Coins were produced in Roman Britain, but an English mint was only set up around 650. The mints were held by many different individuals as businesses, but eventually, by the reign of Henry, they had all consolidated into one single mint in London. Considering that the mint was held by the king, it was just added to the royal treasury. It produced copper, silver or gold coins in the name of the King and received a portion of the metal as seigniorage. Seigniorage was a kind of royalty paid to the mint for services rendered.

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Review: Mary Tudor – England’s First Queen by Linda Porter

Mary Tudor The First Queen is a biography on Mary Tudor. It looks into Mary’s life from her birth to her death and attempts to explore all facets of her life. The author, Linda Porter has tried to give her a sympathetic portrayal quite at odds with her more common ‘Bloody Mary’ image.

The style of writing is very good and flows easily from one chapter to another. The book is divided into parts each part dealing with a specific phase in Mary’s life. This makes it really easy to consult a certain thing without having to browse through the entire book.

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Review: The Last Divine Office by Geoffrey Moorhouse

The Last Divine Office is a book that talks about the monastery at Durham, attached to the Durham Cathedral, from its history to its dissolution, and after. The book explores how the dissolution affected the lives of the monks, and how things changed for everyone, both within and outside the boundaries of the monastery. The book also touches on the laws passed with respect to the Dissolution of the Monasteries and goes into detail into some of the correspondence between the various actors, depicting exactly how the dissolution took place.

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The Great Matter and Rome

It still amazes me how one man could be denied a divorce that was easily obtained by most nobles by means of various loopholes in the canon law. The intense corruption of the Catholic Church meant that such dispensations were easily achieved by rich and powerful nobles, but the same backfired on Henry. The Great Matter was divided in two phases, one when Henry tried to get Rome’s support for his divorce, and the next phase when he tried to get the work done in England by Englishmen. Wolsey was in charge of the first phase, and Cromwell of the second, bringing about the fall of the former and the rise of the latter.

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The Royal Seven Year Itch

As a follow up to Hannah’s excellent post on Henry’s need for a son, I decided to do a couple of posts on the intricacies of Henry’s divorce, also known as the Great Matter.  But a little background first, on Henry’s perception of his relationship with Catherine, with respect to the need for a son. Even though the King remained a perfect gentleman and did his duty by the Queen (namely, sleep with her and escort her on royal occasions), the bond between them was broken long before Anne Boleyn entered the picture.

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Acts of the Henrican Reformation

Henry wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, and hence started the Reformation. He dumped poor Catherine, got married and made his own church with the help of Anne, and had Elizabeth who went on to become the greatest queen evah! And then he executed poor Anne and broke all the monasteries. This is the Reformation. Alright, I am simplifying it, but after hearing so many versions of the above, I am often left pulling out my hair. There are just so many things wrong with this.

Without the divorce there would therefore have been no Reformation, which is not at all the same thing as to say that there was nothing to the Reformation but the divorce.

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My Uncle, the King: Henry VIII and His Nieces

Today, I would like to welcome author Susan Higginbotham on this blog. She had her book on Jane Grey, Her Highness the Traitor, out on 1st June, and I am sure it is going to be a good read. I am delighted that she accepted the offer of doing a guest post for our Henry fans during her blog tour. So here goes, a synopsis of Henry’s relationship with his beloved nieces. Thank you, Susan!

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Review – Henry VIII: Reformer and Tyrant by Derek Wilson

This book is supposed to be a biography of King Henry VIII. Wilson claims that based on fascinating new source material, he built up a portrait of King Henry. I was only too eager to read this book, as I had not read any Henry biography for a while now.

However, I am amazed that someone should desire to write an entire book on a subject he dislikes to such a level that he goes all out to endow that person with negative ‘thoughts’ we never can prove he had and to twist actions related to him in a way to make him appear bad, when he never did any such thing.

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Sumptuary Laws under Henry VIII

Sumptuary laws are legal acts that mark a person’s social status by legally specifying what they could wear, what they could eat, and even what kind of furniture they could have in their homes. Henry VIII’s opulent court called for such laws, but these were also applicable to those lower in rank, and even to monks and laypersons. A difference between the Tudor sumptuary laws and sumptuary laws practiced by other countries was that in England, the laws originated in Parliament, whereas in most other countries, these laws were local, and applicable only within the towns.

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