216 Love and Marriage

    The story of a love affair – probably. In 1514 Henry married off his 18 year old sister to the gouty, siphilitic, toothless 50+ year old Louis and sent herRead More

    215 Hero of War

    In 1513 there were two English victories. One of them would have a profound effect on English history. The other one was mainly a mad dash in pursuit of aRead More

    214 The Road to War

    The path of Renaissance diplomacy was both torturous and without scruple; as Henry finds out as he thirsts for glory. Renaissance Italy There’s a bit of a geography lesson this time –Read More

    213 Background to War

    Historians have identified the 16th and 17th centuries as a time of revolutionary change in Europe, driven by military technology. We talk a bit about that, and about the personalitiesRead More

    212 Pleasure and Liberty

    Henry VIII was released by this accession to the courtly, chivalric life of the hunt, and masque, and tournaments. In this he was encouraged by by Council – while his father’s ‘peaceRead More

    210 Bloody Beast

    How Henry has been assessed by historians through the ages, and the controversies of his reign. And assessments of the man himself. The famous Holbein mural was designed to greetRead More

    209 Exploration

    Through the 15th century, Portugal explored the African coast in search of the Indies and the fabulous wealth of the trading networks with the East – such as those ofRead More

    208 I Heart Henry

    What happened when Henry was gone. And the report card – was Henry an incompetent tyrant, a fun loving  saviour of England’s future – or something in between? Should weRead More

    207 The Underworld

    While the young prince Henry built a group of aristocratic companions and longed desperately for the joust, his father drove his hatchet men Dudley and Empson ever further into the darkRead More

    206 Descent to the Underworld

    Henry had found two hatchet men to replace Reginald Bray – Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley. They spread their tentacles and contacts through London and England, and used the Council LearnedRead More

    205 Do Not Let Me Perish

    In the early 1500’s Henry VII saw many of his closest confidentes and supporters die. Catherine of Aragon was to be one of those who suffered as a result. He alsoRead More

    203 The Spanish Princess

    After negotiations that would win prizes, it was finally time for Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth’s pride and joy Prince Arthur  to marry the Spanish Princess, Catherine of Aragon. CatherineRead More

    201 Poyning’s Law

    Ireland in 1495 was almost 3 societies living side by side. We take a trip to Ireland, hear about the Great Earl, and the law that became known as Poyning’sRead More

    200 Printin and Perkin

    The appearance of a new pretender – Perkin Warbeck in Ireland was to distort Henry VII’s domestic and foreign policy for the rest of the 1490’s. Some Dramatis Personae CharlesRead More

    199 The New Men

    Henry VII’s ambitions were to rule in the French style – to better control and increase his income. He gathered around him bureaucrats – new men he could trust and whoRead More

    198 Mothers and Wives

    In 1485  and 1486 Henry established the foundations of his reign through parliament, and established his household. The relationship between his wife and his mother would always be a matter of someRead More


    197 The Story of Henry VII

    When he won the throne of England, Henry had spent most of his life under guard, and was an adventurer. His efforts were therefore bent towards establishing the legitimacy ofRead More


    194 The Wars of the Roses

    When to declare the Wars of the Roses all finished and done? There are as many choices as there are for start dates. 1485 and the Battle of Bosworth has beenRead More