What were Henry VIII’s hobbies and interests at court? | Tudor History | Schools and Teachers


(door slams) – Oh no! I’m late! (huffs) I’m late. After a busy day working
as a history reporter, I rushed to get a burger
with my friend, Christina and protest about that
thing we care about, and in the meantime, I’ve missed the last 12 series of Love Ocean. (sighs) Maybe I wouldn’t be so late if I wasn’t constantly
narrating my own life. But wait! What if this is the key to
my big report on Henry VIII! He must have been at least a busy as me, with as many cool interests and hobbies, and friends to hang out with. Let’s investigate. (upbeat band music) (upbeat band music) (upbeat band music) (upbeat band music) (swiping sound) (drum roll) This is Tracey Tooley. First rule of history
reporting is to get the facts! Am I right Gary the Cameraman? – [Cameraman] My name’s Dave. – Classic fact. Okay, courtiers. Courtiers were the people
who gather round King Henry, to support his interests and hobbies. Henry wanted his courtiers
to be the best in science, the arts, and politics, to make him, and England, look good. – Rubbish! – The king only cared about three things. – [Both] Sports, hunting, and partaaay! Ya! (laughing) – Do you mind not
interrupting this report? Who do you think you are? – [Both] (singing) We’re The Lad Squadron! The Squadron of Lads! A jolly roly-poly bunch
of bounders and cads! We get so drunk, we think
our Mums are our Dads! – Gentlemen of the Privy
Chamber, Henry Norris. – Francis Bryan. – [Both] We’re the Squadron of Lads! – And this is the real King Henry. – It’s a hundred-percent “genu-wine” – replica of – [Both] a wine fountain! Lad Squadron! – Great, Henry had a wine fountain for his courtiers, that’s super helpful. – No no no, but it wasn’t
just any wine fountain. – This fountain was installed at – [Both] The Field of the Cloth of Gold. (magical chimes) (angelic voices) (burping) – It was literally the
biggest festival ever! – Ya, we all went over to France, big Henny dressed up a Hercules (laughs). For jousting tournaments. – Like when you lost your eye. – Ya, not THAT jousting tournament. – Oh ya, sorry, ya. – Feasting, games. – It was like a peace festival to the friendship between King Hen, and the French king Francis. – Yes, it was actually
like very spiritual, and like ya. – [Both] Deep sigh. – So, even Henry’s biggest parties had a political side to them? – No, this was mainly about the sports, and the bants. But we did so much fencing! – En garde! (laughs) – And when things get too manly, even for fencing, – [Both] we dance! – This is actually a very manly and non-embarrassing activty. – Ya, it’s brilliant. – Okay, I really should. – [Both] Tennis time! – This is called Real Tennis. – The “real” bit means royal,
cause it’s the sport of kings. – And the rules are
very, very complicated. – So let’s begin at the beginning. First, there’s no “eye” in team. – No “eye” in team. – Lads. I mean, guys. I think there’s more to Henry than these weird games and
just drinking all the time. I’m out of here. – But Trace, we were gonna go hunting. – Ya, shoot some deer Tray-Tray. – Ride on a horse, Trace. Trace! Great girl. – Ya. – Really great girl. She could like totally be in our squadron. – [Both] Sigh. (singing) We’re the Lad Squadron! The Squadron of Lads! A jolly roly poly bunch
of bounders and cads! Yaa, ya! – You know, in my crazy
life as a history reporter, I have a saying: “time flies”. But what if time is too heavy to fly, because it’s stuck in a really big clock? (clock chime sounds) This incredible astronomical clock at Hampton Court Palace shows that Henry was into some cutting-edge
science and technology. It was built by this
really clever Frenchman, Nicholas Oursian. Monsieur Nick! Your clock has 24 numbers,
one for each hour of the day! But why does it have all these planets? It’s not Mars-o-clock. – (in French accent) Mais, bein sûr! My clock shows the Earth at
the center of the universe, and the Moon and the
planets in orbit around it. – But you do know that,
after the clock was built, the scientist Copernicus
showed that the Sun is at the center of the Solar System. – That is heresy. I do not believe you. – Okay, well have you considered… (angelic voices) – Zut alors! The Earth goes around the Sun! Oh, my masterpiece is ruined! – Hey, cheer up champ, the clock’s still great for other things! What about uh, the tides
of the River Thames! – Ah, yes, well, Henry
always wanted to know whether it was high tide, or low tide, so that he could get to and
from London by river barge. – That’s great! And the clock is still
a pretty trendy piece of tech to have around his palace. It must have made Henry look really clever and sophisticated to his rivals. – Mm, Mademoiselle Tracey, you are right! I am a genius! – I wasn’t implying… – I am going to go a build another clock! Au revoir. – As well as his interests in science, Henry was a pretty good musician. His famous songbook contains music that he wrote as a young man. (distant flute music) Oh my goodness! That’s one of his tunes. Could it be Henry himself? Eek! – Tray-Tray! – Wow Trace, we didn’t
expect to see you here! – Ya, we were literally
like, listening to music, cause we’re like, – [Both] really sensitive I guess. – Sensitive sigh. – Argh! Where did you even find
those modern speakers? You’re from the 16th century! – In a bin! Trace! – Forget it, bro. Maybe she’s like actually
just too good for us. – [Both] (sadly singing)
We’re the Lad Squadron… The Squadron of Lads… (sighs) (happy violin music) – So Henry brought a wide range
of instruments at his court. In the early years of his
reign, the court was buzzing with music and scientific discovery, as well as hunting,
sports, and big parties. But what do you make of this? Do you think Henry really was the “lad” that some of his friends
make him out to be? Or was he an intellectual? Or an artist? This is Tracy Tooley, truly trying to tap into the truth of the time. Ta-ta from me, and Gary. – [Dave] Ugh, I’m Dave. – (tuts) Gary, YOU’RE the best. (tuts) (upbeat band music)

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