24 Jan:
Henry VIII’s Head Injury

Henry VIII is typically remembered as he was at the end of his life – weighing in at a colossal 28 stone, with ulcerated legs, failing eyesight and an explosive temper. But, prior to the jousting accident he suffered 24th January, 1536, history had recorded him as merry, affable and physically attractive.

Jousting was his favourite sport, but after being knocked off his horse and falling unconscious for two hours, he appears to have become increasingly erratic, irritable and cruel – not least to his wife Anne Boleyn and her four famous successors.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly suggest why the identity of Henry’s jousting opponent was not recorded; explain why the Vatican were really quite excited by Henry’s head injury; and ask whether the King’s demeanour really did change significantly, or whether he was ALWAYS a bit of a jerk… 

Further Reading:

• ‘The jousting accident that turned Henry VIII into a tyrant’ (The Independent, 2009): https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/the-jousting-accident-that-turned-henry-viii-into-a-tyrant-1670421.html

• ‘Henry VIII: ‘brain injury caused by jousting to blame for erratic behaviour and possible impotence’’ (HistoryExtra, 2016): https://www.historyextra.com/period/tudor/henry-viii-brain-injury-caused-by-jousting-to-blame-for-erratic-behaviour-and-possible-impotence/

• ‘Full Metal Jousting – The Biggest Hits’ (The History Channel, 2012): 

Tags: | | | | |