Henry VIII: The Mind of a Tyrant (1 and 2, of 4 ) 2009 Ch 4
Henry VIII: The Mind of a Tyrant 1/4 - Prince (1485-1509)
Ch.4 – 6 April 2009
392.72 MB /48 mins
To mark the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's accession to the throne, Dr David Starkey travels across Europe to understand the inner life of this feared English king. In this episode David Starkey follows the dramatic events of Henry's childhood, events that shaped his personality and his attitude to kingship.
In 1485, on the field at Bosworth, Henry's father, Henry Tudor, seized the crown from the defeated Yorkist king Richard III. To us, this event marks the end of the Wars of the Roses but to contemporaries it was not clear that this bitter dynastic struggle was truly over. Henry, Tudor's second son, was created Duke of York to link the royal house to the defeated faction.
But Henry had a rival in the shape of Perkin Warbeck, who claimed to be the real Duke of York and rightful king. Henry Tudor would have to defend his throne twice in battle, and his son's life depended on the outcome. The death of his brother Arthur made Henry Prince of Wales, and his father's heir and rival.
Henry VIII: The Mind of a Tyrant 2/4 - Warrior (1509-1525)
Channel 4 - 13 April 2009
392 mgs/48 mins
Henry's father had won and defended the crown in battle. For Henry, this was the mark of true regal legitimacy and he was determined to emulate his father and win even greater glory. However, to wage war Henry had to free himself from the councillors he had inherited from his father and be his own man.
Starkey traces Henry's quest to become a major player in Europe, his successes at the Battle of the Spurs and the Field of the Cloth of Gold and his eventual humiliation after the Battle of Pavia.
Throughout these years, his relationship with the brilliant, Machiavellian Thomas Wolsey was central to his reign. But even Wolsey could not disguise the relative impotence of England and her monarchy compared to the great European powers.
These foreign disappointments were mirrored by the gradual deterioration in Henry's marriage. If Henry had died, like so many, of the sweating sickness in 1525, he would have barely registered in history, his reign a feeble coda to the story of England's medieval monarchy.
But events were about to take an extraordinary turn. Henry would remake himself, his throne and his kingdom - and all for love.