Creating an Imaginary Archive
Today’s episode is brought to you by Lizzie, an artist who works in museums. Lizzie has picked out some beautiful documents to inspire her work. You can take part at any time you like, and don’t forget to check the equipment list before you start.
- Hole punch & string
Follow these instructions for Lizzie’s creative activity. Using the document images as inspiration, you will be able to create mini boxes for your archive treasures.
So here we have a striking image of Henry sitting on his throne, looking very much the monarch completely in charge. You can see that it is actually part of a much larger document. It is taken from a very iconic/significant document called the Valor Ecclesiasticus, Now, these are not very familiar words that we use today, but it means ‘Church Valuation’.
Henry VIII set up a new religion, the Church of England, because he wanted to divorce his first wife Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. By creating the Church of England, Henry VIII didn’t have to listen to the Pope anymore. The Pope was the Head of the Catholic church and very important. He had said that Henry was not allowed to divorce Catherine and marry Anne.
Henry was in charge of this new religion and called himself Head of the Church of England. This meant he could divorce Catherine and do what he wanted! He was also able to take money and land from the Church (as they were very rich!) and use it for his own means/ spend it the way he wanted to. This is why he had the Valor created, as it is a record of how much value the church had.
The image you can see of Henry certainly portrays him as a very powerful and important king. Look at how he is sat right in the middle of the image, much bigger than anyone else, and with all of his courtiers around him – they look like they are hanging onto every word he is saying!
This is actually part of a much larger document, if I zoom out now, you can see that it is surround by more illustrations and writing. This is part of the title page of the Valour, and was highly decorated, much like the rest of the document. Note the Tudor rose & dragon and lion crest.
If you’d like to learn more about King Henry VIII, take a look at our Time Travel TV episode: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/students/time-travel-tv/tudors-image-of-a-king/
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