In these notes, written as a holiday task, it is not intended to give an exhaustive record of the events of Henry’s reign; but rather to offer an impression of the more prominent personages in Shakespeare’s play; and perhaps to aid the playgoer in a fuller appreciation of the conditions which governed their actions.
in the most practical affairs of life, Henry "acted as pilot and wore a sailor's coat and trousers, made of cloth of gold, and a gold chain with the inscription, 'Dieu est mon droit,' to which was suspended a whistle which he blew nearly as loud as a trumpet." A strange picture!
He was a practical architect, and Whitehall Palace and many other great buildings owed their masonry to his hand.
He spoke French, Spanish, Italian and Latin with great perfection.
He said many wise things. Of the much-debated Divorce, Henry said: "The law of every man's conscience be but a private Court, yet it is the highest and supreme Court for judgment or justice." As the most unjust wars have often produced the greatest heroisms, so the vilest causes have often produced the profoundest utterances.
He appears to have been at peace with himself and complacent towards God. In 1541, during his temporary happiness with Catherine Howard, he attended mass in the chapel, and "receiving his Maker, gav