Henry VIII, his Six Wives and One Big Problem




Welcome to a lesson on King Henry the VIII

Watch the video below first.

HORRIBLE HISTORIES – The Wives of Henry VIII – a funny short film, courtesy of the BBC

King Henry VIII


Writing exercise -Critical thinking question.

If you were King or Queen, and the public didn’t like how you ruled, what

would you do to gain their confidence?

Write 5-10 sentences.



Kingdom A Kingdom is a country or land which is governed by a  monarchy. In a monarchy, the King or Queen is the head of state.

Queen A Constitutional  Monarchy has the King or Queen as the head of state. However the powers   of the monarch (King or Queen)  is limited by the state (government), which usually represents the people.

Pharaoh An Absolute Monarchy is when the monarch of a country is the head of the government as well as the head of state. The monarch has the power to govern the country directly, by acts such as making the laws without asking the public.

No Smoking Laws are rules people must obey, or else face the consequence of breaking these laws. For example – be put in jail (also called prison).

Coat of Arms The Coat of Arms are the official symbols of a family, state, etc…


An heir A person who is entitled by law or by the terms to inherit something, next in line so to speak.

Throne A Throne is the chair of state for a monarch, King, Queen, Bishop.

Boot with spur


Battle of the Spurs

  – no real engagement(fight) occurred here, the French misjudged the size of Henry’s cavalry that, by the time Henry VIII arrived all they saw were the spurs of the French as the rode quickly out of Therouanne, France.

Chancellor A Chancellor is a person that is part of the head of state or can be head of state.

Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More, also lost his head by order of Henry VIII



A Tudor is a member of the Tudor dynasty that ruled England; These were the Monarchs from Henry VII to Elizabeth I (1485 to 1603).



King Henry VII left his son a fortune and Henry VIII very quickly spent it. His father had avoided expensive wars; Henry VIII could hardly wait to win a great battle.

In 1513, he took an army to France and beat the French. They called it the Battle of the Spurs because the French Knights ran away so quickly! Though, this one war used up all of his

father’s savings. Henry VIII now had to ask Parliament for more money.

However, one of Henry VIII’s first actions would have please his father. Two weeks before he was crowned, he married Catherine of Aragon. Catherine was a good wife to Henry. In 1513, while Henry was in France, the Scottish King, James IV, attacked England. The Queen got together an army and the Scots were beaten at

Flodden. James IV was killed and Queen Catherine sent Henry a present. It was the dead

King’s coat, stained with blood.

Only one thing was wrong. Henry longed for a son. He thought that England would be weak if

he died without a male heir. Other countries might attack England and beat her. Henry

wanted to feel that the future was safe. Catherine had several babies but only one lived more than a few weeks. It was a girl. They called her Mary. By 1527, Catherine was over forty and probably too old to have any more children.

Catherine of Aragon was Henry's first wife.

Anyway, she was spending more time praying and less in dancing the night away. She was no longer pretty.

By this time, Henry had fallen in love with a young girl with black eyes and long flowing hair.

Her name was Anne Boleyn. He wanted to marry her but; first, he had to divorce Catherine.

England was a Catholic country at the time, so Henry had to ask the Pope to allow his divorce. Henry’s Chancellor

tried hard to persuade the Pope but he would not agree.

So Henry did the only thing he could: he got the English Church to break away from the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope no longer had any power over it. In 1533, Henry got his divorce, after all.

Questions about the above text.

  • Did Henry think about saving money?
  • Who was Henry’s first wife.
  • Where did Battle of Spurs get it’s name from?
  • Who was defeated at the Battle of Flodden.
  • Why did Henry the VIII want to divorce his first wife?


Now read the comic strip below and then fill in the information in the table on the lives of Henry the VIII’s six wives.


Henry VIII other wives.


After you have read the comic strip print out or draw the table below. Refer to the comic strip and fill in the correct answers.

end of lesson..

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