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Why Did Henry VIII Travel with a Locksmith?

Henry VIII is one of the most iconic kings of England. He was a powerful and charismatic king who was also credited for establishing the Royal Navy. As the years passed, his mental health deteriorated. This raised questions about his many quirks and oddities. One of his quirks included paranoia, which led him to be very cautious about his safety. But did you know why he always brought a locksmith with him? 

As Henry VIII approached midlife, he became extremely paranoid. Whenever he visited or stayed in other castles, his personal locksmith would install a new lock on his door.

Who was Henry VIII?

Henry VIII was born on June 28, 1491. He was the second son of Henry VII and Edward IV’s daughter, Elizabeth. Historians claimed that Henry already knew that he would be the next king since he was a child because his elder brother died unexpectedly in 1502. He was known to be a great learner and excelled in sporting activities. Upon his ascension to the throne in 1509, Henry was standing at six feet tall and had an incredible physique. He was known to be an avid athlete, huntsman, and dancer.

In his third year as king, he joined Ferdinand II of Aragon, his first father-in-law, to wage war against the French. Despite not displaying any military prowess, the king recognized that the illusion of a victory was as important as winning the war.

It was known that Henry had a taste for leisurely activities. He often enjoyed sports and dancing. He was incredibly knowledgeable about several things. He loved to read and learn. 

However, the king’s support for Thomas Wosley couldn’t be shaken, even though his popularity as a monarchy steadily declined. This contributed to the decline of Henry’s popularity at the time. He remained king until he died on January 28, 1547. (Source: Britannica)

Interesting Facts About the Tudor Monarch

Henry VIII was very popular in his time. This is due to his actions that were received both positively and negatively. Here are a few facts that the ruler is known for. (Source: Royal Museums Greenwich)

Henry had Six Wives

In his desire to have an heir to the throne, Henry had a total of six wives in his lifetime. He also saw this as an excellent opportunity to create and maintain critical political alliances. However, this caused a negative backlash to the king, especially how he treated some of his wives.

Katherine of Aragon was the king’s first wife. Their marriage ended in an annulment because Katherine failed to produce a male heir. The Pope did not grant their annulment, so Henry officially started his church, the Church of England.

Henry was Paranoid

Multiple accounts proved that the famous king was paranoid, and his paranoia increased as his mental state declined in his older years. One example of his paranoia was when he ordered his second wife, Anne Boleyn, to be beheaded. Anne could not provide Henry with a male heir, and to aggravate the situation, advisors played on the king’s paranoia, claiming that she was unfaithful.

Another example of Henry’s paranoia was bringing his locksmith when he visited other castles and places. When the king stayed in his soon-to-be second wife’s castle, he had his personal locksmith install a unique lock in his chambers, as he was worried about the assassination. (Source: Hever Castle)

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