The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163109   Message #3887931
Posted By: DaveRo
10-Nov-17 - 05:25 PM
Thread Name: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
David Starkey certainly knows a lot about Henry VIII, and doesn't use words carelessly, but I'm surprised by 'tyrant'. The meaning of tyrant has changed since the Greeks invented it, but I think that to be a tyrant you have to usurp power or rule unrestrained by existing law. Henry certainly changed the law over his reign to suit himself and to maintain his dynasty, and to break from the papacy, thereby altering the theoretical and practical basis if his authority, but he used 'legal' methods to do it. I suspect the 'tyrant' in the title is mainly to grab attention.

Henry certainly did 'take England protestant' - and in a more decisive way than in the Holy Roman Empire in what is now Germany. And it was brutal for English Catholics. But perhaps less brutal than the subsequent Wars if Religion between protestants and Catholics in France.