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BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant

robomatic 10 Nov 17 - 03:17 PM
Raedwulf 10 Nov 17 - 04:11 PM
Donuel 10 Nov 17 - 04:15 PM
DaveRo 10 Nov 17 - 05:25 PM
Thompson 11 Nov 17 - 05:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Nov 17 - 08:22 AM
Stu 11 Nov 17 - 08:35 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Nov 17 - 08:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Nov 17 - 09:39 AM
The Sandman 11 Nov 17 - 02:10 PM
leeneia 11 Nov 17 - 02:39 PM
Joe Offer 11 Nov 17 - 03:11 PM
DaveRo 11 Nov 17 - 03:17 PM
DaveRo 11 Nov 17 - 03:40 PM
Joe Offer 11 Nov 17 - 05:18 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Nov 17 - 05:38 PM
Raedwulf 11 Nov 17 - 05:45 PM
Joe Offer 11 Nov 17 - 06:46 PM
Raedwulf 11 Nov 17 - 06:59 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Nov 17 - 08:47 PM
Joe Offer 11 Nov 17 - 11:48 PM
Acorn4 12 Nov 17 - 03:17 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 Nov 17 - 04:24 AM
Stu 12 Nov 17 - 04:34 AM
DaveRo 12 Nov 17 - 04:52 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 Nov 17 - 05:18 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Nov 17 - 06:51 AM
Raedwulf 12 Nov 17 - 07:34 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Nov 17 - 07:45 AM
Stu 12 Nov 17 - 08:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 Nov 17 - 08:42 AM
DaveRo 12 Nov 17 - 12:56 PM
Raedwulf 12 Nov 17 - 02:41 PM
Raedwulf 12 Nov 17 - 02:58 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Nov 17 - 04:16 PM
Raedwulf 12 Nov 17 - 05:18 PM
Stu 13 Nov 17 - 05:37 AM
Stu 13 Nov 17 - 09:55 AM
robomatic 13 Nov 17 - 03:14 PM
Raedwulf 13 Nov 17 - 04:51 PM
EBarnacle 14 Nov 17 - 04:42 PM
Monique 14 Nov 17 - 05:43 PM
Joe Offer 15 Nov 17 - 02:59 AM
Stu 15 Nov 17 - 07:24 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Nov 17 - 07:32 AM
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Subject: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 03:17 PM

I've just been watching a BBC 4-part documentary on Henry VIII by a fellow named Starkey: "Inside the Mind of a Tyrant" I was taken aback by the title- I knew Henry was a tough guy, but I'd always had an admiration for him for his achievements. This documentary had many fascinating bits of news for me, such as:

1) There is an incredible amount of contemporary documentation on Henry and pretty much everyone else of the time because there were detailed records kept of decrees by English courtiers and Henry himself.
2) There is an incredible amount of contemporary documentation on the English court taken down by European 'spies' who sent detailed coded dispatches back to their governments which are still available.
3) Henry not only took England Protestant but had a great deal of personal involvement in the new theological paradigm. He launched it because of his problems getting a divorce from Catherine, but also because Anne Boleyn was very much in favor of the new direction, and after her demise it turned out there were many others at least as radical as she.
4) Henry instituted the new religion, currently known as "Church of England" with a lot of blood and terror. The documentary did not go into numbers, but made it clear that Henry had people killed throughout England, making sure to include both Roman Catholics and too-radical Protestants. By making himself head of the Church, Henry was taking charge of his subjects' souls as well as their bodies.
5) One of the things I found most moving were cases where some of the important condemned people sent personal letters to Henry begging him for an execution that was merely 'death' as opposed to more exotic punishments for treason such as drawing and quartering.

The above does not change my opinion of Henry, but fleshes out what power really meant in the Europe of the past, and what it means in many parts of the world today. Henry was of course a ruler and person of his time, and he exercised his power in aid of definite goals.

Have any of you seen this documentary and formed opinions of it. Are we living in the world created by Henry VIII?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Raedwulf
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 04:11 PM

As far as I recall, Henry didn't take England protestant. Henry remained catholic. He just disestablished us from Rome. I could well be wrong & am certainly open to correction! But bear in mind that Copper-nose was already 26 when Martin Luther banged nails into that church door. Ed VI & Liz I were both protestant, but I'm less than certain as to the extent that Hal himself was...


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 04:15 PM

It could happen to you or Joe or me.
Anytime a person is given power their empathy shrinks, they rationalize abuse and corruption. Absolute power changes a person absolutely. imho

If Henry took aim at religion I think it was because he did not want clergy power to reign over his own, not just because he wanted a divorce.
Now why did this not seem to happen to Obama? Because he was not nurtured all his life with power/money like Trump.

I have watched the 50 part series on Showtime but haven't seen yours

power and money, few can escape the arrogance of wealth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: DaveRo
Date: 10 Nov 17 - 05:25 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Thompson
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 05:20 AM

Henry and his daughters were monsters. Stalin was only trotting behind them in terms of killings - consider Irish landowners as the kulaks and you'll get an idea - and Elizabeth especially killed many of her courtiers. It wasn't for nothing that she normally slept under her bed holding a sword; she herself reckoned the number of assassination plans against her at 200.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 08:22 AM

There were,as I remember, 72 thousand executions in England during his reign. Given the tiny population of England , about 3 million, - I'd say tyrant was drawing it pretty mild. Absolute bastard is a term which springs readily to mind.

I'm Tudor history nut. I 've loved all of Starkey and Lucy Worsley's programmes. I've visited Hampton Court twice this year. and the great hall at Westminster, The Tower of London and Tower Hill, where poor old Thomas Cromwell and Sir Thomas More got the chop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Stu
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 08:35 AM

The dissolution of the monasteries was one of the greatest acts of terror and cultural vandalism ever inflicted on the people of this country. We lost so much in that one act of petulance and many still rue the whole thing to this very day.

Henry was another egotistical bully whose cock-waving idiocy altered the course of history, and the repercussions are still felt today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 08:41 AM

Interesting bloke, Starkey. When it comes to historical interpretation I'd trust his integrity and objectivity to a tee, interesting and engaging, but when he shows up on Question Time (for example) he comes across as an obnoxious, detestable loudmouth. A man of two halves!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 09:39 AM

life's like that Steve, just cos you can play the banjo or make a decent cup of tea, or have some great talent like that - it doesn't mean you're not an arsehole.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 02:10 PM

all the tudors were despicable unlike richard the third


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 02:39 PM

Henry took the throne at the age of 18. If I had a son, I would permit him to start driving a car at 18. Ruling a nation? No.

When we study history up to about 1800, it is important to remember that many important rulers were young - teenagers to 35. The results can be awful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 03:11 PM

I think Henry VIII would have been insulted to be called "Protestant." He was head of the Church of England. The Church of England gradually moved into Protestantism after the death of Henry VII, and had a setback during the reign of Henry's Catholic daughter Mary. The Church of England didn't become reliably Protestant until James I became King of England in 1603. The C of E drifted back towards Catholicism in the Oxford Movement of the 19th century. Nowadays, it sometimes seems more Roman than the Romans.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: DaveRo
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 03:17 PM

Big Al Whittle wrote: There were,as I remember, 72 thousand executions in England during his reign.
You remember? Plausible estimate - but probably inflated by Catholic propaganda in France and Spain.
Thompson wrote: Stalin was only trotting behind them in terms of killings
"Between 200,000 to 600,000 people died at the hands of the Soviet government during the Purge. (wikiP)
Stu wrote: The dissolution of the monasteries was one of the greatest acts of terror and cultural vandalism ever inflicted on the people of this country.
Terror? Henry wanted their riches - he didn't murder the monks and nuns AFAIK. Cultural vandalism - possibly - but he didn't foresee the leisure industry and tbe National Trust.
The Sandman wrote: all the tudors were despicable unlike richard the third
Henry VII wasn't so bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: DaveRo
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 03:40 PM

Joe: I defer to your theological knowledge. But wasn't the 'protest' in 'protestant' against the authority and infallibility of the pope, and didn't Henry - by declaring himself head of the church, and appointed personally by God rather than being subservient to and dependant on the pope for his religious authority - a protestant? Even if he didn't think of himself as one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 05:18 PM

Hi, Dave - Henry VIII didn't institute any doctrinal or liturgical changes. His differences with Rome were mostly political, at a time when the Popes were very political.

Infallibility didn't become a dogmatic teaching until 1870, although the concept was widely held for quite some time before that. I don't know what opinions of infallibility were in 1534. Let's just say the Pope had a lot of sway back then.

"Protestant" implies reform, and Henry didn't reform anything. He just disaffiliated the Church of England from the Church of Rome. National churches have always held a degree of autonomy, but Henry made that autonomy more official (kinda like Catalonia, ya know...)

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 05:38 PM

i understood that Stalin murdered 2 million kulaks and then there were the purges of all state enemies.

whether he killed a larger proportion of his subjects than Henry 8th i don't knpw!

what a pair though!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Raedwulf
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 05:45 PM

As you may gather, DaveRo, I'm with Joe (or he is with me!). As far as I recall, Hal was never a Protestant with a capital P. Not even a protestant with a small p. He disestablished for political / dynastic / matrimonial reasons, call it how you will.

Whilst he made himself Head of the Church, the liturgy & dogma didn't change much, if at all (I'm not an expert on this, so I remain open to correction!). He remained catholic, he just stopped obeying Rome. Perhaps I was unclear in my first comment, but that's what I meant. He didn't go over to any Lutheran or Protestant doctrine; he just stuck two fingers up at the pope. AFAIK...


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 06:46 PM

Now, a good word to describe many of the Popes of the time, is "notorious." I can't say I can find much sympathy for them....

Alexander VI Borgia was Pope 1492-1503, and holds the undisputed title of Worst Pope of All Time. The next Pope, Pius III, died after less than a month in office. The next guy, Pius II, was Pope 1503-1513, was known as "The Warrior Pope" and "The Fearsome Pope." I saw one depiction of him in a gold suit of armor.

Next came Leo X (1513-1521), famous for granting indulgences to those who donated to the reconstruction of St. Peter's Basilica - that inspired Luther to post his 95 Theses. Leo was followed by several Popes of varying levels of notoriety. I should note Julius III (Pope from 1550-1555), who had an interesting relationship with an adopted "nephew." One of my favorites was Pius V (Pope from 1566-72). Pius V has his name on more churches in Rome, than the Richard Dalys have on public buildings in Chicago.

It's great fun to study the notorious Popes of the 16th century. No wonder there was a Reformation.



-Joe, seminary-educated Catholic-


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Raedwulf
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 06:59 PM

Much as I hate to disagree, Joe (what am I saying?! I love disagreeing! ;-) ), "Worst Pope of All Time" is about as undisputed as Heavyweight Champion of the World". Try the below. Your best contenders only rank #5 & #6! ;-)


Ten worst popes of all time


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 08:47 PM

Ten worst popes? Well, we were in Florence in May and we marvelled at the works that the all-powerful Medici family commissioned, including much of Michelangelo's output (we sought out nearly all of it). But what was one of the richest and most influential families in Europe, bankers and politicos that they were, also generated three popes. Hmm. But at least the Medicis, once their influence waned, bequeathed all that art to the world. Kudos. I'll let others argue about their religious machinations. But I don't think you have to look back safely to medieval times to find rotten popes. John-Paul II presided over the institutional sex abuse scandal for many years and did next to nothing. Pius XII colluded with a fascist regime (as did his predecessor) and silently oversaw the removal of hundreds of Jews from under his nose in Vatican City to death camps. He also oversaw the expediting of escape routes to South America at the end of the war for Nazi war criminals, and let's not mention the baleful role of the Church in the Spanish Civil War. Oddly, these guys seem to be first in line for sainthood...


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 11:48 PM

I'll stick with Alexander VI Borgia, who helped make the Spanish Inquisition into an art form, fathered Lucretia and Cesare Borgia, and no doubt conspired with Ferdinand and Isabella to expel the Jews AND the Moors from Spain.

The others on Raedwulf's list are certainly contenders, but I think history will show Steve Shaw's list to be Hitchens bullshit propaganda. John Paul ignored the sex abuse scandal due to blindness, not malfeasance. I didn't like John Paul II because of his regressive conservativism, but I don't think he was a bad guy. Pius XII and his predecessor Pius XI dealt with the reality of Fascism in quiet, prudent ways - ways that may well have saved tens of thousands of lives. In his infallible hindsight, St. Hitchens would have preferred papal grandstanding - but then Hitchens (and Shaw) would have found fault with that, too.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Acorn4
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 03:17 AM

I seem to recall that the figure of 70,000 executions was quoted by Hugh Trevor Roper and this worked out at 1 in 25 of the population.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 04:24 AM

Well I don't really agree Joe.

The big thing Henry did for us, protestant wise was the English prayer book and the translated bible Once the translation was widely available, i think it was fairly obvious the Pope was about as infallible as I am with The Times Crossword.

Henry was, at least to my understanding, by nature a Catholic. He loved the judgemental nature of the cult, and arrogated that for him self. The trouble is of course fundamentally with Jesus himself. For a bloke who said Judge not lest ye be judged, he was pretty judgemental himself. Who hasn't felt themselves to be the the chaff the needs to be winnowed from the wheat, the salt that has lost its savour.

it feeds every thought process of clinical depression known to man or woman.

Cromwell was very much a protestant, and he was the only one smart enough to disentangle Henry from Rome. After Cromwell's fall. Henry tried to back pedal on protestant reforms, but he had no one smart enough to cross the t's and dot the i's philosophically or legally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Stu
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 04:34 AM

"and Henry didn't reform anything"

He reformed lots, especially how the monarch ruled the country as well as the break with Rome; a brief scan of the acts of parliament during his reign would give some idea of the breadth of his reforms. And there's the destruction. And the death and torture.

It's called the English Reformation for a reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: DaveRo
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 04:52 AM

Acorn4 wrote: I seem to recall that the figure of 70,000 executions was quoted by Hugh Trevor Roper and this worked out at 1 in 25 of the population.
Population of England in 1547 - about 3 million (ref) so 1 in 40 - not far off.

But "the often-quoted figure of 72,000 executions during his reign is inflated" according to wikiP though the source, footnote 160, is not accessible. That the inflation was Catholic propaganda is just my guess.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 05:18 AM

oh good....only one forty people executed! what a pussycat!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 06:51 AM

I don't doubt the awfulness of past popes, Joe, and admit that the ones I named couldn't hold a candle to some of those medieval/renaissance guys in that regard. However, using the possible future saving of lives as an excuse for expedience doesn't wash with me. It's the same excuse that was disingenuously used to exonerate the bombings of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There's also the murky question of antisemitism in the Church and its part leading to the events of the mid-20th century. This culminated in Pius XII putting the interests of the Vatican before the lives of millions of Jews. He vacillated for years in the face of fascism in Italy and of the Nazis before and during the war. Bad things are done by bad men sure enough, but they usually bring a lot of institutional baggage to the commission of those misdeeds. Mussolini and Hitler played Pius XII magnificently. Anyway, back to Henry. Apologies for the diversion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Raedwulf
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 07:34 AM

Whilst I've no idea what Hitchens wrote, Steve, I have to agree with Joe in his judgement of XI & XII. Not sure why you have a down on XI at all. Yes he made a concordat with the Reich (he made quite a few concordats, all of them pretty much treated as "scraps of paper" by the other party when it suited). He also condemned them for betraying its terms. In fact, he wrote several protests against the Nazis, from 1933 onward, and turned against Mussolini when he started adopting Nazi racial policies in 1938.

XII is a bit more equivocal, but as Joe says, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Given XII's situation, what do you think you would have done? Spiritual authority is one thing, but it's not much of a weapon when the other side has weapons & no respect for said spiritual authority! Stuck inside one fascist state with another even bigger & nastier fascist state just over the border that's been persecuting your clergy & congregation for years... What do you do?

By the way, Big Al, I presume you mean Cranmer, not Cromwell! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 07:45 AM

I don't mind discussing this, but this thread isn't really the right place. Just one small point: in getting to know what I know about Pius XII, I've never gleaned any information from Christopher Hitchens, not a scrap. About Hell's Angel, yes. Pius XII, definitely no. A new thread on this would be doomed to spasms of defensive behaviour and horrible fights and I'm not starting one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Stu
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 08:20 AM

Agreed. Take your popes elsewhere ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 08:42 AM

No I was thinking of Thomas Cromwell - hero and central character in Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall.

Cranmer was a cleric enlisted by Cromwell to find a theological justification for the severence with Rome. Cromwell did all the political stuff and dirty tricks..


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: DaveRo
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 12:56 PM

Joe Offer wrote: His differences with Rome were mostly political, at a time when the Popes were very political.
I'll try and persuade you that Henry was a protestant - even if he didn't call himself one, and that protestantism was a political stance, not a religious confession.

Over the past couple of years I've visited sites in Europe - Aaachen, Viena, Regansburg, Gozlar - which are associated with the Holy Roman Empire. This year I decided to try and understand what the Holy Roman Empire actually was. So I've been reading a thick book 'The Holy Roman Empire' by Peter H Wilson - which I recommend. It covers the 1000 years from the Empire's foundation by Charlemagne to its abolition to stop Napoleon becoming Emperor. Voltaire quipped that it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire - but it was actually all three, just not as a modern person might expect.

The 'Holy' bit is because the Empire was ruled jointly by the pope and the emperor - the pope having religeous authority and the emperor secular authority. There was a tension between the two, ranging from wary cooperation to outright warfare - with anti-popes, and anti-emperors - with the general trend being the appropriation by the emperor - and from the emperor by his sub-ordinate kings, dukes, princes, landgraves - of powers initially held by the pope: the appointment of bishops and clergy, the control and ownership of papal lands, religious buildings, etc. So the role of the pope has always been political - I'd say it was primarily political.

Luther's theses (1517) were rejected by the at the Diet of Worms (1521) the emperor Charles V issuing the Edict of Worms which forbade dissemination of his ideas. Too late - in the four intervening years, and earlier, his ideas had caught on in several principalities of the German part of the empire. The edict was relaxed at the Diet of Speyer (1526) when the princes of the Lutheran principalities were given (or assumed) the right to continue their reformation. At a subsequent Diet in Speyer (1529) the Catholic princes ganged up on the Lutheran ones to get the Edict of Worms enforced. The Lutheran princes put forward their 'protestation' at that meeting, but it was ignored. The six 'protestant' princes then formed the Schmalkaldic League in 1531 for mutual self defence, but were defeated by Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg in 1547.

So from the coining of the word 'protestant' in 1529 to the death of Henry VIII in 1547 'protestant' was not a religious doctrine, or a confession, as it has become. It was a political movement, and it's focus was the preservation of the principalities' autonomy in religious matters against the pope and the catholic emperor. It was, perhaps, the 'political wing of Lutheranism'.

England was not part of the empire, but Henry would have been well aware of these events. In breaking with Rome in 1532-4, he had the same objectives as the protestant princes. No, he wouldn't have called himself a protestant, that was a German political movement. Protestants were against papal influence, and for religious autonomy - and so was Henry. In terms of religion he certainly wasn't a Lutheran but once he broke from Rome, even if he followed identical religious practices as before - which seems likely - he was no longer a catholic, because catholicism required subjection to the pope.
Joe Offer wrote: Infallibility didn't become a dogmatic teaching until 1870
My mistake: I meant papal supremacy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Raedwulf
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 02:41 PM

Fair enough, Al. I'd forgotten about him! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Raedwulf
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 02:58 PM

Interesting argument, DaveRo. I'm still not entirely convinced, but I don't think you & I or you & Joe are differing that much. One definite quibble - "So the role of the pope has always been political - I'd say it was primarily political." I'd agree that there has always been a significant political element in the papacy; in its elections, in its activities. At times, with rather... irreligious popes at the helm, it might have been 'primarily', but not generally, I think.

And another definite quibble. I accept the argument that 'protestantism' can certainly, with hindsight, be viewed & defined as a political movement. That isn't, though, to say that it was seen that way by the people that followed it. Hal wasn't much of a christian in his behaviour, whatever he thought his denomination was. And, as I've already said, his actions had all to do with political / dynastic reasons. But its over-egging things if you want to suggest that all those that broke with Rome and / or followed his lead thought the same way.

And, minor quibble, because I've never been certain as to whether there really is a distinction... The phrase has always been "Roman Catholic". Which implies it is possible to be catholic without acknowledging the primacy of the Vatican. So yes, I do think it is possible for Hal to have considered himself still catholic whilst giving the pope two fingers!


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 04:16 PM

I think Henry would have given you an argument. I think he probably thought of himself as a very devout Christian prince.

He always justified even his most monstrous cruelties with what we now see as total self deluded bullshit. However he DID convince himself quite successfully.

I don't think he had a moment's doubt that his entire life had been entirely virtuous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Raedwulf
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 05:18 PM

Oh, I'm sure he always thought of himself as devout, Al! So did a lot of other complete bastards. But if you compare their behaviour with what scripture said they ought to be doing... ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Stu
Date: 13 Nov 17 - 05:37 AM

"However he DID convince himself quite successfully."

This is a trait that seems many powerful people share. They send people to war, bomb civilians, decimate communities and lord knows what else, but still convince themselves they are upstanding Christian/whatever people, even though they flout the most basic tenets of whatever moral code they profess to follow. I suppose it's the only way they can sleep at night.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Stu
Date: 13 Nov 17 - 09:55 AM

Didn't Henry VIII ban football on Sundays because folk preferred playing to doing compulsory archery practice? What a git.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: robomatic
Date: 13 Nov 17 - 03:14 PM

Didn't Henry VIII also establish the Royal Navy and didn't he institute a more modern form of English government via 'closet' advisors currently known as "The Cabinet"? (Which of course means he had a lot to do with the current form of the North American governments).

As to 'mind of a Tyrant' I think Starkey's use of this word might reflect that when he embarked on his reign he was a secular ruler, but in disestablishing the Roman Catholic Church and establishing the C of E, he appropriated religious power and divine status. But apparently no English/ British ruler has claimed Infallibility.

Real interesting comments, folks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Raedwulf
Date: 13 Nov 17 - 04:51 PM

No, Stu, he didn't. The football ban (which wasn't specific to Sundays, although that was definitely an archery practice day) was, I think, Eddie III. Despite the Mary Rose haul, the longbow was fading from the battlefield by Hal's time. And another damn good reason for banning football at the time was the violence & disorder that went with it. Plus ca change! ;-)

Having canvassed a few re-enactor friends (I am one as well, if somewhat lapsed these days), we are all of the same mind. To wit, the split from Rome may have had a political & dynastic basis, but we all think there was no doctrinal change & Hal remained catterlick, if not Roman of that ilk...


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: EBarnacle
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 04:42 PM

L'Etat est moi. As stated by his contemporary, Louis.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Monique
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 05:43 PM

Louis was born 91 years after Henry's death...


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 02:59 AM

I think I'd say that the Popes were primarily political figures until the loss of the Papal States in 1870. Especially during the Renaissance, they were members of the wealthiest families of Europe. They had little interest in theology or doctrine, although there was some emphasis by the Church in actual religion after the Council of Trent (1545-1564). Actual religious practices and faith existed in local parish churches, but certainly not in the leadership of the Church.
Henry VIII was very proud to bear the title Defender of the Faith, and most likely was every bit as pious as the Pope was. But there was very little religion in religion back then.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Stu
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 07:24 AM

Fascinating stuff. I'm learning from this thread, thanks to all the contributors. I find Tudor times a fascinating part of our history. Corrected on the football. Never liked the plantagenets anyway, most of them hardly spoke the lingo.

Some of the longbows on the Mary Rose had a draw of around 180lbs, which is phenomenal; I have a longbow with a 50lb draw and thats pretty powerful (much more so than comparable composite bows) but I would never be able to draw a 180lb bow (I have always lacked upper body strength). It must have been awesome to see a volley of arrow loosed and terrifying to be in the receiving end of that volley.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 07:32 AM

i suppose it depends how you define religious practices.

the Pope was more religious than Henry in that he kept monastries and abbeys and sruff like that, whereas Henry was just stuffing loot in his coffers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: EBarnacle
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 08:20 AM

Chronologically, you are correct. However, both believed explicitly in the absolute right of the king to do as he pleased. Louis and Henry were both kings during the period of Protestant emergence, which ultimately led to the multiplication of religious sects and weakened the power of the king and continued the various religious wars, including the 30 years war. Until the period of tolerance, the king's religion was the state religion and all of the European kings were Catholic.
The beginnings of religious tolerance were sown under Elizabeth's successors. Until then, it was dangerous to be "different." Note the establishment of the American colonies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: Thompson
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 11:18 AM

"Religious tolerance" among Elizabeth's successors? Gawp! Would they be the crowd that tried to bring castration for priests into law, that hunted down many priests (Catholic priests, that is), that made it the law that Dissenters and Catholics couldn't take part in professions or much legal trade?? Would they be the ones who greeted Aston, the aged commander of the "Old English" defenders of Drogheda, by wrenching off Aston's wooden leg and beating him to death with it (this was done by Oliver Cromwell's son-in-law) and then going on to slaughter every human creature living in the town?


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: DaveRo
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 01:11 PM

EBarnacle wrote: Until the period of tolerance, the king's religion was the state religion and all of the European kings were Catholic.
That is true if you only include rulers called 'kings' but east of France there were few Kingdoms (Bohemia, Hungary, and Croatia in the 16th Century). The Emperor was, actually, elected - though by this date the Habsburgs had fixed things so that only they were rich enough to be emperor. And some of the electors, who were mostly called princes, were protestant though the emperor-of-the-day, Charles V (and all subsequent emperors) were Catholic.

The arguments between the Catholic and 'protestant' princes I described in my earlier post were resolved (ish) by the Peace Of Augsburg (1555 - during Mary's reign in England). This was presided over by Charles V's younger brother Ferdinand (he'd also been in charge at the two diets in Speyer and became emperor after Charles V's abdicated.)

Essentially the Peace_Of_Augsburg said the the religion of the ruler would become the religion of it's people. So six (?) German principalities became Lutheran. It was a landmark settlement, which allowed the empire to avoid much of the religious bloodshed that took place in France and England.

This is from that wiki page
Some historians maintain Ferdinand had also been touched by the reformed philosophies, and was probably the closest the Holy Roman Empire ever came to a Protestant emperor; he remained nominally a Catholic throughout his life, although reportedly he refused last rites on his deathbed. Other historians maintain he was as Catholic as his brother, but tended to see religion as outside the political sphere
Apologies for the digression from England and Henry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Henry VIII - The Mind of a Tyrant
From: EBarnacle
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 01:36 PM

True. I should have stated Western Europe. I was thinking of James when I wrote the post. The American colonies were initially settled by dissenters and commercial interests [if you include Newfoundland] although the first couple of attempts failed.
Getting back to Henry, it might be said that he created the atmosphere which people left in order to seek a healthier climate.


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