10 Things That Will Shock You About King Henry VIII, Was he Really overweight?

10 Things That Will Shock You About King Henry VIII, Was he Really overweight?
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Lord Henry VIII is most likely the best-known English ruler ever. The subject of countless stories, TV programs, and movies , Henry VIII is most well known for being immensely fat, having an obsession with executions, and for having no less than six spouses over the span of his almost 38-year rule.

Notwithstanding, it may amaze you to discover that there was significantly more to this Tudor king  than meets the eye. Henry VIII did a lot more amid his reign than order executions and gain weight. Here, we look at ten amazing  things that we bet you were never told about this much-married monarch.

10 Henry Was An English Sex Symbol Of His Day

Henry Was An English Sex Symbol Of His Day

All of the portraits that we see today of King Henry more often than not demonstrate him as a massively  overweight old man with a beard.

However, in his younger  days, he was really known as somewhat of a sex Symbol. He wasn’t just famous with the women in light of his cash and power—Henry was likewise enormously appreciated for his great looks. Clean-shaven for quite a much of his life, Henry was exceptionally tall for the time at 191 centimeters (6’3″) and had a full head of extremely striking red hair.

Henry additionally had an athletic build because of his adoration for jousting, hunting, and tennis, and he was particularly acclaimed for his fine calves—the likeness having a six-pack today! It was simply after a jousting accident in his later years prompted changeless leg damage which kept him from practicing that he put on weight and transformed into the tremendous mountain of a man that we recognize from the movies.

9 Henry Should Never Have Been King

Henry Should Never Have Been King

Despite the fact that he is apparently the most renowned English ruler ever, Henry VIII ought to never have ascended  to the position of authority.

There are two explanations behind this. Initially, his father, Henry VII, seized the position of authority from King Richard III after the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 and in this manner wasn’t the legitimate ruler of England.

Infact, Henry VII’s claim to the royal position was extremely  tenuous; he was the great greatgrandson of King Edward III’s fourth son  with his third spouse. Should the line of succession  have continued , Henry could never have gotten close to the crown!

Henry VIII had a older sibling named Arthur, who ought to have prevailing to the honored position on his father demise. Sadly, Arthur passed on when he was only 15, leaving Henry as the main male heir.

8 Henry Ate A Shocking 5,000 Calories Every Day Before He Died

Henry Ate A Shocking 5,000 Calories Every Day Before He Died

While we know that Henry VIII was overweight in his later years, it’s difficult to envision exactly how big he was. However, a quick look at his day by day eating routine makes it simple to see exactly why the king was so big. Each and every day, he would eat around 13 different courses, mostly made up of meats like chicken, sheep, pork, rabbit, swans, peacocks, and venison.

Not only did he eat excessively, but he also drank as many as 70 pints of ale every week, together with sweetened red wine.

The total amounts to around 5,000 calories for each day, twice the present prescribed recompense for a functioning man. It’s no big surprise that one of his surviving suits of armor, which is shown at the Tower of London, has a waist size of 132 centimeters (52 in)!

7 Henry Was Surprisingly Prudish

Henry Was Surprisingly Prudish

In spite of the fact that he went through an amazing  six spouses amid his lifetime, it’s likely that Henry VIII wasn’t very adventurous  when it came to activities  in the room.

We know that Henry had numerous mistresses  throughout the years, some of whom he had children with, yet there is no confirmation that he attempted any unusual sexual practices with them.

In spite of the fact that he had an extraordinary love of women, it creates the impression that he wanted to stick to tried and tried techniques methods and was allegedly stunned by Anne Boleyn’s sexual knowledge when she  finally gave in to his demands.

In fact, her “French bedroom practices” were refered to against her when she was conveyed to trial for witchcraft and adultery and no doubt prompted her being blamed for sleeping with “a hundred men” previously being found guilty and executed by the sword.

6 Henry Was The Very First English Monarch To Write A Book

Henry Was The Very First English Monarch To Write A Book

There is no doubt at all that Henry VIII was an extremely intelligent . and well-educated  man.  The fact that he was fluent in at least three languages is well-known, , and he had a impressive knowledge  that spread over everything from religious philosophy to spanned .

However the vast majority are totally unconscious that he was the main king of England to write and distribute his own book.

In 1521, Henry VIII distributed the fairly confusingly titled Defense of the Seven Sacraments, or, to give it its Latin title, AssertioSeptem Sacramentorum,  as a response to Martin Luther’s test to the pope’s authority in publishing the Ninety-five Theses.

At 30,000 words long, Henry’s book turned into a best top seller in its day, and he was really granted the title of “Defender of the Faith” by the pope as a reward for his efforts.

5 Henry Didn’t Write The Song ‘Greensleeves’

Henry Didn't Write The Song 'Greensleeves'

For generations, people have associated the song”Greensleeves” with Henry VIII; in any case, the Tudor monarch didn’t really compose this piece of music. While this song was almost certainly penned by someone at Henry’s royal court, Henry himself was not responsible of its creation.

Nevertheless, the king was an accomplished Musician , talented at playing the lute and the recorder, and he composed various melodic songs, including “Pastime with Good Company.”

Perhaps the best surviving example of his melodic virtuoso comes as the Henry VIII Manuscript, a gathering of more than 100 instrumental pieces and tunes which were made by a number of foreign and court musicians in Henry VIII’s entourage. Very nearly 33% of this collection, were composed  by King Henry himself.

4 Henry Had Severe Health Anxiety

Henry Had Severe Health Anxiety

Even  when he was young and healthy, Henry had a terrible fear of death and illness. He was especially  afraid of catching the plague or sweating sickness, two diseases  which were overflowing in England amid Henry’s time. He was so desperate to avoid infection that he kept well away from anyone who may have been exposed to an illness, and when an bout of the sweating sickness arrived in London amid 1517 and 1518, Henry left the city for just about an full year.

He even rejected at one point to see his diplomats since he was so perplexed of getting the sweating sickness , and in spite of his extraordinary enthusiasm for Anne Boleyn in 1528, he declined to go anyplace close to her until the point that she had made a full recuperation from the sickness.

It’s possible that the death of his sibling Arthur at the younger age of 15 was the reason for Henry’s hypochondria, yet his dreadful fear of disease was great to the point that he required his doctors to analyze him each morning of his life.

He even learned as much as he could about the medicine of the day, making his own particular cures from a concealed bureau of ingredients in his apartments.

3 Henry May Have Had Blood That Was Kell-Positive

Henry May Have Had Blood That Was Kell-Positive

One of the facts that everybody thinks about Henry VIII was his trouble in producing a male heir to his position of authority, yet today, it is trusted that, indeed, it was Henry’s blood that was to be blame for the issue. There is a cutting edge hypothesis which proposes that Henry may have had an rare  blood type which was sure for the Kell antigen group.

This would have implied that on the off chance that he got a lady pregnant and the resulting baby was likewise Kell-positive, their mother would then create Kell antibodies which would assault future embryos.

Since Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn both encountered several miscarriages in later pregnancies, and Henry’s two sons, the legitimate Edward VI and Henry Fitzroy, his illegitimate son with his mistress Bessie Blount, were both the result of first pregnancies, this theory is a strong possibility.

2 Henry May Have Suffered From McLeod Syndrome

Henry May Have Suffered From McLeod Syndrome

Most people are aware that Henry VIII had an awful temper and was prone to outbursts of rage, yet the purposes behind this stay obscure.

Henry was famous in his day for his unpredictable behavior, particularly amid his later life, and his subjects regularly encountered his fury firsthand. He Beheaded a larger number of People amid his rule than some other British monarch, and a significant number of the Peoples who met their horrifying end at his hands were his dearest closest and relatives.

Not only did he sentence two of his Wife to an inauspicious Death,but he also signed death warrants for a number of his intimate advisors and companions, including Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More.

Recent theories have suggested that Henry may have suffered From a condition called McLeod disorder, which causes psychological weaknesses and additionally various other physical issues, for example, mobility issues, which Henry likewise experienced.

Since McLeod disorder likewise has links to People who have Kell-positive blood, it looks progressively likely that Henry may have been a sufferer of this uncommon condition.

1 Henry Turned Beards Into A Status Symbol

Henry Turned Beards Into A Status Symbol

Portraits  of England’s best-known monarch for the most part portray him wearing an amazing set of whiskers.In any case, it isn’t broadly realized that Henry presented an expense which was imposed on the wearing of whiskers and which transformed beard tax into a materialistic trifle overnight.

There have been some seriously  unusual taxes over the years, yet Henry’s beard tax has must be one of the most interesting. In 1535, the king requested that taxes be paid by any man who wore a beard, 

and the amount charged varied depending on the social status of its wearer, meaning that every man who wanted to be viewed as high-status immediately decided to grow their facial hair.

So, there you have it—ten amazing things that you never knew about England’s not-so merry monarch. The next time you see a movie or TV show featuring this Tudor king, you’ll know a little more about what made him tick!


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P. Natasha Covers Classical Archaeology news and has been with Histecho since 2017. She has a Master's degree in MA Archaeology from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program. A California native, she also holds a Bachelor of science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.