England's armor : Henry VIII's armor and his wars

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


Henry VIII, King of England, was a ruler who did not like having second-rate armor among his collection and decided to create his own royal armory so he did not have to rely on other armories across the English Channel. This thesis has been separated into three parts. The first part is an annotated bibliography of all of the sources that I used in the catalog and the essay. They give a summary of what the source contains whether it be a website, journal or book. The second part is the catalog that discusses eleven works of art and their relation to Henry VIII and the English armory at Greenwich. The armor is listed in chronological order from 1500 to 1540 before the armory was founded to the late reign of Henry VIII. Throughout the twenty-eight year reign of Henry VIII English armor design became its own identity, which had originated across the Channel in Southern Germany and Northern Italy. The third part of the thesis is the argument regarding a history painting of Henry's invasion of Northern France in 1513 titled the Battle of the Spurs ca. 1513. Incorporating the catalog and the annotated bibliography, the argument discusses the possible origins of who painted it and what armor the figures are wearing including Henry VIII. It is painting of a historical event, but we need to approach the painting as a mere representation on paint and not fact. That goes the same for the armor. The catalog is meant to help us differentiate German armor from English armor and to give the reader a foundation of what English armor is. The argument also looks to other paintings and prints from Italy, Spain, and Germany to compare the armor and the structure of the landscape, placement of figures and iconography. Armor in England became its own design through Henry VIII's ambition to make England an armor-producing nation.




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