Henry VIII – Narcissist or just Misunderstood?

Ha! Who am I kidding? Course he was a narc!

The following article is based on the teachings and words of HG Tudor (I am assured that there is no relation!). You may find this writing here on The Greaters to be helpful.

A great deal of words has been written on Henry VIII. I am no expert just for the record – but I know enough about the ‘nuts and bolts’ of his life to make some hopefully reasoned and informed comments.

I do not wish to delve too deeply into the world of his politics. That is way to big and area to cover and unlike his intimate relationships, many hands might be involved in decisions he made. Plus, I write about NPD abuse. I have no intention of becoming the next David Starkey!

So I will focus in this writing on largely his second wife, Anne Boleyn.

What I have taken is from H8 Wikipedia section. Now don’t panic, this is just for dates and facts that are largely undisputed. Let’s pick up the story just after his elder brother Arthur’s death and the question of what should now happen to Catherine of Aragon, Arthur’s wife.

Catherine of Aragon (Marriage 11 June 1509 – 23 May 1533)

Henry VII died on 21 April 1509, and the 17-year-old Henry succeeded him as king. Soon after his father’s burial on 10 May, Henry suddenly declared that he would indeed marry Catherine, leaving unresolved several issues concerning the papal dispensation and a missing part of the marriage portion. The new king maintained that it had been his father’s dying wish that he marry Catherine. Whether or not this was true, it was certainly convenient.

Sudden declaration appears to have surprised others, unresolved issues suggest wiggle room later on and uncertainty on his father’s dying wish suggests, Machiavellianism.

We do know the roots of the Reformation were sewn into the fabric of this marriage. Catherine was certainty viewed as an appliance but in those times it is not indicative of narcissistic behaviour, only how society was functioning at that time.

Two days after his coronation, Henry arrested his father’s two most unpopular ministers, Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley. They were charged with high treason and were executed in 1510. That’s very fast behaviour. The new King is flexing his muscles and succeeding. This shows confidence and a ‘go-getting’ approach. Narc traits certainly.

When considering H8’s behaviours regarding not just when the formal (marriage) relationship began but when he first encountered all six wives. This is quite the headache and is indicative of a someone with NPD who is operating a complex fuel network. (Was H8 a Greater?)

Catherine of course ‘failed’ H8 by not producing a male heir. H8 displays considerable patience with her over 26 years. Again the mark of a Greater. Finally, in 1526 he meets Anne and the rest is history.

Catherine is callously disengaged from after many loyal years. (Appliance mindset thinking, lack of affective empathy for either his daughter or wife. Displays cognitive empathy by ensuring Catherine is well looked after. Only because Spain was watching though and to a certain extent his own subjects who seemed to genuinely love her.

Anne Boleyn (Marriage 28 May 1533 – 17 May 1536)

Anne resisted the King’s attempts to seduce her in 1526, and she refused to become his mistress as her sister Mary Boleyn had been. H8 is being defied. Rather than force the issue he waits patiently for his opportunity. Indicative of remarkable control over his fury. Shows awareness of boundaries which are respected, seducing sister shows his Somatic side. That he attempts to do it more than once in the same family is again indicative of a large fuel network plus entitlement.

Henry and Anne were not married (informally) until 1532. It is remarkable that H8 spent so long pursuing her but he did. They married formally in 1533. By which time she was pregnant with first child.

Here are H8 and Anne’s children

Queen Elizabeth I 7 September 1533
Unnamed son Autumn 1534 miscarriage without explanation
Unnamed son 29 January 1536 miscarriage believed male, 16 weeks

Unlike Catherine, Anne was not the first wife not was she a foreigner She had spent a considerable time at the French Court though and may well have been regarded with some suspicion for this alone. Her family were wealthy and influential but only to a point. They were part of one faction at Court and Anne was their prize.

Anne’s ‘failure’ to produce a male cost them all dear.

H8 had split the Church for Anne and for a male Heir. He had waited a long time for her and had caused untold strife throughout Europe in order to do so. What H8 does next is interesting.

Firstly, he does not grant Anne the lassitude that Catherine received. Why? he simply does not need to. He is now both Head of Church and of State. Anne’s was failing him, he could divorce her but he gives her one final chance.

It’s interesting to note that Catherine is afforded six chances to get it right whilst Anne only three. I suspect that the fate of Anne was being cast directly after the miscarriage of the second child and the first boy. By now, he had nine children inside of wedlock with two females surviving, a third, a boy, only lived a couple of months. The rest (5/9 in total) were late miscarriages or still births.

It must have been on his mind that some may start to question his own virility? Even in a world which believed it was the females role to determine sex. The baby still needed some input from Dad! This would be risking igniting H8’s inner fury. That would be a big slur on his character. But still he stayed his hand.

After struggling for years to get the male heir he craved, I perceive he would not allow Anne the same luxury as Catherine. I believe it was after the second child and first boy was miscarried (ostensibly brought on by a jousting accident in which H8 was knocked unconscious), it was then the decision had been made.

One more try. It would take nearly two years (1536) for the third child, also a boy and also a miscarriage to put the wheels in motion. The unnamed boy was born Jan 36. Anne was beheaded in May 36. That is fast work. I strongly suspect that the two ish years between 34 and 36 where the point that the smear campaign against Anne had begun in earnest.

Jan to May is really too short a time for a woman who was Queen to be wrenched off the pedastal and placed in the Tower and then onto trial before being found guilty on the most outrageous of lies.

And they were outrageous; incest, adultery and even witchcraft. H8 was sparing nothing here. The charges were trumped up after January’s events but in order for the allegations to be believed, the smear had to be in place first.

Those lies were unbelievable. Anne was clearly a smart woman who ensured her own position by NOT giving into Henry. It would be therefore bizarre that she would risk her own precarious position after the first miscarriage by sleeping with her own brother.

It is likely they were close but not sexually. Accusing Anne of incest also neatly deflects (remember that?) from the issue of H8’s own virility. He could blame the second miscarriage on ‘unnatural practices’ and nothing to do with him, Guv’nor. She would have needed to be an utter fool to have carried on right underneath the eyes of all the kings spies and informers.

[Speculation; it’s entirely possible he deployed this Power Play in reverse. When a woman holds the position of ‘The Royal Mistress’ she must be married. What if H8 passed of one of his male illegitimate children as his own when actually, it wasn’t really? This sows doubt and confusion in the Courts mind about Henry’s potency. As it has done for centuries ever since.]

Anne had failed. and failed for the last time. I suspect that H8 knew this would happen (chance would dictate it) and what he needed to do right now was achieve a few aims all in one go. I perceive these to be the following;

  • Remove Anne from the throne so he could marry another and beget his long craved for son.
  • Ensure that any mention of his lack of virility was not discussed by…
  • …perpetrating Anne to be the very devil herself and thus it’s all her fault (sound familiar)
  • Possibly to ensure her permanent silence
  • He wanted to punish Anne for her failure as appliance.

For in his eyes, Anne had failed and after everything he had done for her. The only thing he wanted was a live boy. H8 did not get this. Ergo, she must be punished and made an example of. And removed as quickly and expediently as possible.

Anne’s spectacular and quick fall from grace only appears to be fast because of the time span. But in reality, that span was much greater, possibly even up top 18 months before. Maybe even longer. Had there always been rumours swirling around her. Other noble families were now about to take advantage of her plight.

It might have been better for H8 and a better ‘look’ for his facade to simply have divorced her and banished Anne to some godforsaken castle up north. It would have shown him as a wise and just king. But no, H8 did not care. One might say that the ignition of fury against another is indicative of a lesser. Not in this case, for one, a lesser would not be able to sustain so many appliances. Nor demonstrate remarkable tenacity and patience. Plus, I strongly suspect that Anne was clever enough, certainly political enough to not go quietly.

We would see Henry flash over again with Catherine Howard and again it was regarding personal humiliation wrapped up as Treason. It is certainly more complex in Anne’s case but there may be a commonality between them which stretches into the roots of why they were both beheaded.

The nobles were quick to accept the smear against Anne even if they possibly saw it for what it was. It furthered their own political advancement so all good. Of course, to a certain extent Anne would not have helped herself with her known wit, her intelligence and her looks plus some posh French manners.

Anne went to the scaffold on 19th May, 1536. H8 married Jane Seymour on the 30 May 1536. An astonishingly quick turn around. Henry had form for this of course, wearing yellow and white the day after his first wife’s death. Again, as if we needed anymore evidence that he had NPD, this showed an astonishing level of lack of facade management and lack of affective empathy. He clearly had cognitive empathy as he was a patient monarch when needed. Combined together this displays again, Machiavellianism, a sense of entitlement, superiority and grandiosity. This was a tyrant in the making.

When all the factors are taken into account, his first long marriage, his second short one by comparison, his patience, his cunning and guile. the numerous mistresses and alleged illegitimate children. the execution of two wives, an almost unbelievable smear campaign against Anne and four other marriages; there is only one school he could belong to; The Greaters.

If any further evidence was needed, we could examine his own personal character but I shall leave others to do so. Suffice it to say he was very charismatic, very good looking in his youth. an author, a thinker, a sportsman girted in several areas.

When you put together his prodigious excess in the chambre department, his astonishing intellectual and sporting feats he can really only conceivably fall into one cadre; Elite.

So there you have it. Hentry VIII was probably a GEN.

Hope you enjoyed this and do let me know what you think in the comments!

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