Documentary Notes – ‘Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer’ Part 2


Henry VIII c.1542.
Henry VIII c.1542.

String of failed marriages and a religious revolution

Imagery and reputation

1533 Henry VIII anxious about the Tudor dynasty – no son to succeed him so ditched key advisors, split from Rome, divorced his wife and married Anne Boleyn

Powerful and controlling monarch, successful dynasty

Tapestry, art and palaces designed but plundered religious houses

New image had to be forged quickly as his future depended on it

Wrath of the pope and catholic European nations and English people – Rome refused to sanction divorce so Henry left it behind

Supreme Head of the Church of England

Henry vulnerable so built sea forts and the basis of the royal navy

Army of painters, builders and designers through palaces and paintings

Henry VIII interested in art by story – everything he commissioned told the story of his own self importance

Learn things about Henry from the art he commissioned Continue reading “Documentary Notes – ‘Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer’ Part 2”

Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty Part 1 – Henry II – 27/11/2014


Henry II
Henry II

300 and more years they crushed all competition
Plantagenets = greatest dynasty of all time
Ambition, jealousy, hatred, revenge – forged England as a nation
Henry II 1154-1189
European superpower and betrayal within his own family
1153 England failing, Matilda lost to Stephen
Henry II was Matilda’s son, sails to England with an invasion force, crown rightfully his
Fiery temper, very ambitious
Within a year, Stephen dead and Henry crowned, but doesn’t speak English
Problems with barons raiding and looting – future depends on bringing barons to heel
Wigmore Castle – Hugh Mortimer last baron to hold out, Henry lays siege but doesn’t want to destroy
Mortimer folds and Henry gives him power

Formidable ally – Eleanor of Aquitaine is his wife, already have one son – political player in her own right
Plantagenet empire from Scotland to the Pyrenees – maintain control?
Use clerks to do his work, basis of the civil service, National Archives show basis of control Continue reading “Britain’s Bloodiest Dynasty Part 1 – Henry II – 27/11/2014”

My Notes from Episode 1 of ‘The Plantagenets’ Shown on BBC 17.03.2014


All 15 Plantagenet kings were supposedly descended from the Countess of Anjou.
Family politics and dynastic ambition.
War, justice, parliament and architecture.
Anjou (West France) 12th century. 1128 Matilda, daughter of Henry I of France ordered to marry Geoffrey of Anjou. After a year they separated but she eventually gave him 3 sons.
Fight for the throne – Matilda named heir but throne seized by Stephen = civil war ‘the Anarchy’.
1142 Stephen besieged Matilda for 3 months – she crept away.

Eleanor of Aquitaine from the Hulton Archive
Eleanor of Aquitaine from the Hulton Archive

Fighting stopped when Matilda’s son, Henry, came of age – married Eleanor of Aquitane, who had initially married Louis VII of France.
Henry and Eleanor had a lot of land in France and four sons.
Wanted to win the English crown.
Many joined the Plantagenets. Henry and Stephen met at Wallingford Castle, but the armies refused to fight.
Stephen recognised Henry as heir. In 1154 Henry became Henry II of England. Continue reading “My Notes from Episode 1 of ‘The Plantagenets’ Shown on BBC 17.03.2014”