passion

Much has been written over the centuries about Henry VIII and his six wives. From divorces to beheadings, Henry’s treatment of the women in his life is infamous. Here we introduce you to documents relating to turning points in three of Henry’s marriages, all of which demonstrate the political ramifications of Henry’s love life.

Women were not the only passion in Henry’s life. He loved to spend money, unlike his father Henry VII. Records show that he spent vast amounts of money on armour and ordnance, as well as extravagant displays of wealth. One of our most important documents from Henry’s reign, the Valor Ecclesiasticus, shows how Henry calculated the worth of the church in England before dissolving the monasteries, a decision that has made a long-lasting impact that survives today.