Henry VIII was born in Greenwich, lived in a number of palaces in London and across the UK throughout his life, and died in Whitehall at the age of 55. He had become obese since his famous jousting accident and resulting leg wound he suffered in Greenwich.
Where was Henry VIII born?
His father and first Tudor king, Henry VII, had built large developments on the site, covering the whole palace with a new facing of red brick. It became a favourite palace of the Tudors, partly because it was close to the royal shipyards on the River Thames.
Both of Henry’s daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, were born at Greenwich. It was also the location for two of Henry’s marriages: with his first and fourth wives, Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves.
Greenwich Palace was Henry VIII’s principal London base until the Palace of Whitehall was built in the 1530s.
How did Henry VIII die and how old was he?
Henry VIII was 55 when he died, a death many believe was hastened by his obesity.
For much of the King’s life, he was a fit man and as a young prince he was both cultured and supremely athletic.
He loved martial sports and was a keen jouster and Greenwich suited his lifestyle. In 1515 he stocked Greenwich Park with deer which have remained part of the site to this day. For his entertainment he built kennels, stables, tennis courts and a cockpit. He even built two towers for mock assaults connected to a gallery where the Greenwich armour was kept.
In 1516 he built a tiltyard tournament ground.
Did you know? ‘Tilt’ means to push or overthrow.
Two bouts of jousting severely impacted Henry’s health, one of which happened in a famous incident in Greenwich in 1536. At this point he was in his 40s. Clad in armour, Henry came off his horse which then fell on top of him, also clad in armour. He was knocked unconscious for two hours.
According to legend, when the King awoke he had become the bullying tyrant he is now known for being. This event also marked the end of his sporting life - he never jousted again.
Where did Henry VIII die?
Henry VIII died in Whitehall Palace, London. Though he died from natural causes, his health was poor; he had become obese and the leg wound from his jousting accident had become ulcerated.
Where is Henry VIII buried?
Henry VIII’s body remains in a vault under the Quire in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle near his third wife, Jane Seymour.