Henry VIII is the King who changed most and changed England most as well. The King himself changed from the young, handsome and athletic “virtuous prince”, who was hailed by Thomas More as the liberator of his country, into the grotesquely bloated, brutal tyrant of his maturity, who judicially murdered More, two of his own wives, and hundreds of his subjects.
The change inflicted on England was even greater as, standing his own religion on its head, he broke the kingdom’s thousand-year-old allegiance to Rome, dissolved the monasteries and made himself “Supreme Head on Earth” of the schismatic national Church of England. This lecture, which takes on added resonance from Markenfield’s past as a recusant house, asks why Henry changed and how he got away with revolutionary change he forced on England. And offers radically new and surprising answers.
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