Location: King Henry VIII's report card

Discussion: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIIIReported This is a featured thread

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MsSquirrly
MsSquirrly
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Aug 24 2008, 12:44 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 24 2008, 12:44 PM EDT
The tudor period is very much revered by the English more especially for the "The Golden Age" of Elizabeth but also for Henry and I was just thinking today, really what did Henry do for England? What (apart from Elizabeth) was his legacy? If you break it up into the Good ...the Bad ...and the Ugly. There really isn't much in the Good Category.

Good:
He was reponsible for the early establishment of an English Navy
Protestants will say the split with Rome was a good thing but of course Catholics would disagree.

Bad:
He was responsible for - the dissolution of the Monastries. Some of the most beautiful Cathedrals & Churches damaged.
- the break with Rome which isolated England & caused long protracted conflicts with Spain through the 16th & 17th centuries.
- his constant need for wars & his lavish lifestyle bled the coffers of England dry.
- he was not an effective mililtary commander or diplomat & engaged in many very expensive military ventures in France which accomplished absolutely nothing.
- he was hated by his people as he grew older.
- he was immoral and yet in complete denial of the fact.
- he discarded women like they were a pair of old shoes that were worn out and he needed a new pair.
- he professed to "love" many people (ie. Thomas More, Anne Boleyn, Katherine, Mary, Elizabeth) & yet treated them abominably, even to killing them.

Ugly :
- He abused the judicial system to have innocent people murdered. People who either just wouldn't compromise their conscience or because they stood in the way of what he wanted.
- It was recorded that he had over 70.000 people executed.

It is very hard to find positive things to say about this King's reign. Can anyone else come up with some "good" things?
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heverhoney
heverhoney
1. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Aug 24 2008, 1:00 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 24 2008, 1:00 PM EDT
To add to the good, he supported the renaissance in England in its early stages when it needed nurturing. He surrounded himself with men who championed the new ways of thinking and his patronage of the arts, humanists, and other tenets of renaissance culture made many of the great thinkers, such as Erasmus and More, household names for common English folk. 48  out of 75 found this valuable. Do you?    
MsSquirrly
MsSquirrly
2. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Aug 24 2008, 1:07 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 24 2008, 1:07 PM EDT
"To add to the good, he supported the renaissance in England in its early stages when it needed nurturing. He surrounded himself with men who championed the new ways of thinking and his patronage of the arts, humanists, and other tenets of renaissance culture made many of the great thinkers, such as Erasmus and More, household names for common English folk."
At least he didnt kill Erasmus. LOL Sorry bad joke. Yes tis true he was the first real renaissance king.
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coronation
coronation
3. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Aug 24 2008, 1:19 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 24 2008, 1:19 PM EDT
It's really heard to say anything good that Henry did. Anything good he did do he would just as quick undo it when he felt like it!!! 11  out of 71 found this valuable. Do you?    
LNor19
LNor19
4. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Aug 24 2008, 1:23 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 24 2008, 1:23 PM EDT
Good:
-Bringing his daughter's Mary and Elizabeth back in the line of sucsession and acknowedging them in good faith.

Bad/Ugly:
-Bastardizing Mary and Elizabeth in the first place
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offwithherhead
5. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Aug 25 2008, 5:47 AM EDT | Post edited: Aug 25 2008, 5:47 AM EDT
As far as a good thing, what about marrying Katherine of Aragon after his father's death. He married her after she had been largely ignored and discarded for several years under Henry VII's rule (after Arthur's death). I realize he treated her terribly later, but their marriage was a good one for many years. 19  out of 45 found this valuable. Do you?    
lettice
lettice
6. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Aug 26 2008, 6:33 AM EDT | Post edited: Aug 26 2008, 6:33 AM EDT
"As far as a good thing, what about marrying Katherine of Aragon after his father's death. He married her after she had been largely ignored and discarded for several years under Henry VII's rule (after Arthur's death). I realize he treated her terribly later, but their marriage was a good one for many years."
I believe his motive for marrying C of A was for a Spanish-English alliance against France. He had an ulterior motive.
Henry was a learned Monarch. He was a more positive influence as a younger man. He wanted to go down in history as a King all would remember. He achieved that goal, but for all the wrong reasons! At least there was Elizabeth.
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MsSquirrly
MsSquirrly
7. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Aug 30 2008, 7:57 AM EDT | Post edited: Aug 30 2008, 7:57 AM EDT
I found another thing for the "Good":

He instituted state education for children.
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lettice
lettice
8. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Sep 1 2008, 6:29 AM EDT | Post edited: Sep 1 2008, 6:29 AM EDT
"I found another thing for the "Good":

He instituted state education for children."
Good point Ms Squirrly and one I was not aware of. I learn something new every day on this wiki.
Where can I read more about this?
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MadameDeMerteuil
MadameDeMerteuil
9. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Sep 3 2008, 1:17 AM EDT | Post edited: Sep 3 2008, 1:17 AM EDT
Good:
-His foreign policy established England on the European map as an independant power of some importance despite the weakness of his treasury and armies (especially if compared with France and the Empire)
-His break with Rome indirectly strenghthened the Crown and put an end to the medieval structure of Power in England. This is the start of the Modern era for the country. An important mark of modernity being the absolute power of the King or Queen.
-His interest in all things education and knowledge: his children benefited from an excellent education. Even the girls...and that was a rarity at the time.

Bad:
-The way the break with Rome occured: brutal duissolution of Monasteries, theft of resources in favour of the Treasury, executions.
-The megalomaniac way the King ended up using his expanded powers: he abused them when he could have used the opportunity to establish his rule as a benevolent and good ruler. Henry had the freedom to be a precursor of the enlightened ruler if he had wanted to be...but he obviously did not (he even had the humanist education to be a good ruler, so he has no excuse for making the wrong choices)

Ugly:
his treatment of people who crossed him or whom he thought he needed to be rid of: he executed friends and lovers, pushed away his children, showed indifference at best and cruelty at worst when it came to his subjects in general. All the executions were not necessary.

Interestingly, Elizabeth grew up into being who she was partially because of Henry's awful behaviour towards her. But I wouldn't say that counts as a good point for Henry. What made Elizabeth's strength also caused her a lot of mental distress. And that is certainly not a good thing.
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hrm_elizabeth
hrm_elizabeth
10. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Feb 15 2009, 5:19 PM EST | Post edited: Feb 15 2009, 5:19 PM EST
Good:
- Henry VIII's life was so compelling and interesting that it has caused countless tv shows and movies about him, including "The Tudors" and without that, we would not be on this wiki together.
- Henry had some amazing children. Each one was very intelligent and amazing in their own way.
- Henry signed & read every single document in Star Chamber cases.

Bad/Ugly:
- The body count in his reign included tens of thousands he had executed.
- He had his close friend (Sir Thomas More) and two wives executed.
- Having his daughters declared as bastards.
- Henry was very cantankerous at times.
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OliverCromwell
OliverCromwell
11. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Feb 15 2009, 8:18 PM EST | Post edited: Feb 15 2009, 8:18 PM EST
GOOD:

*He was an accomplished songwriter, and while it's unlikely that he wrote "Greensleeves" he wrote many popular pieces such as "Pastime With Good Company".

*He rocked an excellent beard.
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karenofbethany
karenofbethany
12. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Feb 16 2009, 12:00 AM EST | Post edited: Feb 16 2009, 12:00 AM EST
Good: All of the bad and ugly things he did should have taught (or should teach) future monarchs and others (including the present day) how NOT to behave seeing the evil consequences of his actions. Sometimes a really bad situation can shake people out of their complacency into something positive....!??? 10  out of 28 found this valuable. Do you?    
LadyLizzy
LadyLizzy
13. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Feb 16 2009, 12:29 AM EST | Post edited: Feb 16 2009, 12:29 AM EST
Good points: fostering of arts and music

Bad points: number of executions

Ugly points: his complete selfishness, his cruelty, his capriciousness and the unforgivable way how he treated his wives and his children!
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Reggie19
14. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Feb 17 2009, 10:26 AM EST | Post edited: Feb 17 2009, 10:26 AM EST
"Good:
-Bringing his daughter's Mary and Elizabeth back in the line of sucsession and acknowedging them in good faith.

Bad/Ugly:
-Bastardizing Mary and Elizabeth in the first place
"
He only did that due to Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr's influence, don't think he would have done it otherwise, at least not with Elizabeth, Mary maybe, but he hated Anne so much that he would taake it out on Elizabeth at the end of the day by excluding the poor girl!
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beardedlady
beardedlady
15. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Feb 17 2009, 11:18 AM EST | Post edited: Feb 17 2009, 11:18 AM EST
I know I am always defending Henry but I must add to this list….

THE GOOD
Education and literacy
Latin and French were the standard languages in Henry VIII’s court. English was spoken but there were so many different dialects that a man from Yorkshire might not be able to understand the English of a man from Cumbrian. Henry VIII’s decision to allow the Tyndale bible to be printed unified English into one dialect. In fact, if it were not for Henry’s decision to print the Tyndale bible then people from all over the world would not be allowed to communicate in one language on this very board.

Henry pretty much introduced the concept of state education. When he dissolved the monasteries, he used the money to found a group of schools called the Kings Schools. Talented yet poor children could go to these schools on scholarship. Famous poor but brilliant children who went to these schools include Christopher Marlow and William Harvey. Just think…if it were not for Henry then we might not have discovered that blood circulates for a long time which brings me to # 2….

Medical and Scientific Progress
Little was known about anatomy in the early 16th century because the Catholic Church had forbade dissection. Poor Galen was stuck dissecting pigs and trying to apply this knowledge to the human body. If you have ever looked inside a pig than you would agree that it is a tad different. Henry VIII’s rein was a giant step toward anatomical knowledge. Henry established the College of Barber Surgeons and gave them a number of corpses for dissection each year.
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beardedlady
beardedlady
16. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Feb 17 2009, 11:21 AM EST | Post edited: Feb 17 2009, 11:21 AM EST
omg, I wrote so much good that it wouldn't let me write anymore.

ok on to the bad...

The Ugly: He was utterly contradictory.

He allowed the bible to be printed in English but upheld the mass in Latin. He upheld the sacraments yet attacked idolatry. His methods were brutal and he had become a tyrant but….a lot of good came out of change.

I would argue that we can thank Henry for the separation church and state (which most people would argue is a good thing when you take a look at the Spanish inquisition.) IMO, the dissolution of the monasteries was the first step toward the ideals we value today. Ostensibly, the 16th century church was corrupt. Simony was rampant and it didn’t take Luther nailing his complaints to a door to figure out it was time for the Pope to stop funding his parties with the sale of indulgences. (I agree this had an ugly side too but I think other people have already made that point)

and of course I had to end on the good :)
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beardedlady
beardedlady
17. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Feb 17 2009, 11:23 AM EST | Post edited: Feb 17 2009, 11:23 AM EST
and please excuse all my typos. I had to type fast because I am trying to cook dinner while writing. 11  out of 36 found this valuable. Do you?    
Conyle
Conyle
18. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Feb 17 2009, 12:50 PM EST | Post edited: Feb 17 2009, 12:50 PM EST
"
Education and literacy
Latin and French were the standard languages in Henry VIII’s court. English was spoken but there were so many different dialects that a man from Yorkshire might not be able to understand the English of a man from Cumbrian. Henry VIII’s decision to allow the Tyndale bible to be printed unified English into one dialect. In fact, if it were not for Henry’s decision to print the Tyndale bible then people from all over the world would not be allowed to communicate in one language on this very board.
"
Aw man...I was going to add that one. =)

I just learned this recently while watching a documentary. Glad I looked through the responses first to see if anyone else mentioned it.
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beardedlady
beardedlady
19. RE: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Henry VIII
Feb 18 2009, 1:50 AM EST | Post edited: Feb 18 2009, 1:50 AM EST
Do you remember the name of the documentary? I am sure there is more we are forgetting. We covered - art, music, literacy, science, medicine, military....

here is an appendage question - Do you think Francis I was a better example of the first "Renaissance King" or Henry VIII? I think everyone already knows whom I think wins that title. :)

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