Henry VIII in 1516



Henry VIII became king of England in 1509.  What was he like?


After you have read studied the Sources below, answer the question sheet by clicking on the 'Time to Work' icon at the top of the page.


The following websites will help you research further:


Character of Henry VIII:

History Learning site on Henry VIII - the man


An interpretation of Henry VIII's 'Majesty with Menace', by historian Professor Ronald Hutton




1  A description by the ambassador from Venice

This is the Report of the Venetian Ambassador (1516).

Mouseover the words in brown bold if you need to check what they mean.

His majesty is the most handsome prince I ever saw.  He is taller than usual, with a very strong calf to his leg.

His face is very fair and bright, and he has auburn hair which he combs straight and short in the French fashion.  His round face is so beautiful that it would suit a pretty woman, although his throat is rather long and thick.


He was born on 28 June 1491, so he will be 25 the month after next.


He speaks French, English and Latin, and a little Italian.   He plays well on the lute and the harpsichord, and sings from music at sight.  He is a better archer than any man in England, and he jousts marvellously.


I tell you he is in every way a most talented prince.  


2  A Portrait of Henry VIII

Painted in 1536 by Hans Holbein, the court painter.