History Extra logo
The official website for BBC History Magazine and BBC History Revealed

Was Henry VIII a good king?

As part of our 'History Extra explains' series, leading historians answer the burning questions you were too afraid to ask...

Published: November 9, 2015 at 10:08 am
Try 6 issues for only £9.99 when you subscribe to BBC History Magazine or BBC History Revealed

Was Henry VIII a good king?

The success of Henry’s reign is mixed. Economically, England flourished, partially at the expense of countless monasteries and religious houses. But Henry was also a patron of the arts and humanist learning, and was a driving force behind an enthusiastic building campaign.

Advertisement

He also fortified England, building an impressive navy that would impact the reigns of Mary I and Elizabeth I. But it is perhaps his break with papal authority and his six marriages for which he is best known.

The break with Rome arguably gave England a sense of national identity, and Henry’s numerous wives and matrimonial dramas have captured our imaginations.

Lauren Mackay is the author of Inside the Tudor Court: Henry VIII and his Six Wives through the Life and Writings of the Spanish Ambassador, Eustace Chapuys (Amberley Publishing).

Advertisement

For more burning historical Q&As on the Tudors, ancient Rome, the First World War and ancient Egypt, click here.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content