Rex Factor header image 1
September 8, 2011 @ 9:13 am

36. Henry VIII


In 1509, England's most (in)famous monarch comes to the throne - Henry VIII. Henry dominates the popular imagination even to this day and his reign dramatically altered the course of English history. It all started very pleasantly, with a good-looking and athletic king on the verge of his 18th birthday taking over to great acclaim, but his lack of a male heir led to his annulment of Catherine of Aragon, marriage to Anne Boleyn and the Reformation, where England broke from Rome and the Catholic Church. From 1536, his reign was a succession of dramas, including the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the Pilgrimage of Grace, numerous executions (including some of his six wives) and an ongoing rivalry with France and Spain. He is perhaps England's most famous king, but is he worthy of the Rex Factor?

As ever, lots of characters crop up in the episode, so check out our who's who to keep track of them all:

Share | Download(Loading)

  • David Nolan

    I enjoyed your Henry VIII episode. It occurred to me when listening to it that you should perhaps have included a “contribution to English tourism” category in your scoring model. Henry would have scored highly here. The dissolution of the monasteries created many picturesque ruins, such as Fountains Abbey which I visited a couple of months ago. These ruins are now popular tourist destinations. Then there is Hampton Court, one of our most popular historic attractions, built by Wolsey but extended by Henry and, arguably, made all the more interesting by its association with the second Tudor monarch.

    A tourism category would also come in useful when assessing later constitutional monarchs - a problem you recently alluded to on Twitter. Too late now, I know.

    Sep 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm
  • martin

    and what about a category about contribution to musical interpretation - ie Rick Wakeman’s 6 wives of henri 8

    Sep 22, 2011 at 7:47 pm
  • rexfactor

    Two very interesting ideas, Henry VIII definitely leaves a cultural mark that is still strong today (both in terms of what he left behind and what he inspired centuries later).

    Not sure we can give him too much credit for the picturesque ruins of the monasteries, though - surely they’d be even more impressive if they were still in one piece!

    Sep 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm
  • Shlomo Bar-Ayal

    Just thought that I’d drop a line.

    I find your podcasts to be very good and informative. Just a thought.

    I do not remember if this was on the Podcast of Henry VII or Henry VIII

    When you mentioned the expulsion of the Jews of Spain you referred to it as the Inquisition. Actually the Inquisition began in 1391 and it was an internal Catholic affair. That means that the Inquisition could not touch you if you were not a Catholic. The Jews who were in danger from the Inquisition were those who had converted to Catholicism. Jews who had not converted were left alone. That is why the Expulsion took place in 1492. Whereas the Inquisition was a matter for the Church the Expulsion was a State matter.

    It is a common mistake. Think of the Inquisition in terms of a purge, like the ones that the Communists did in the 30’s and 40’s. Only members of the Party were targeted.

    This is a common mistake. Keep up the good work.

    Oct 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm
Loading Downloads


Follow Rex Factor on