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HENRY VIII. Court life. HAMPTON COURT. HAMPTON COURT, Richmond upon Thames. A royal palace A mansion A manor house Crenelated castle Keep vs dungeon Main entrance / portal / gate Alleyway Chimneys Openings.

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henry viii


Court life

hampton court richmond upon thames
HAMPTON COURT, Richmond upon Thames

A royal palace

A mansion

A manor house


Keep vs dungeon

Main entrance / portal / gate





When he died in 1547 Henry VIII had more than 60 houses, Hampton Court Palace was the most sumptuously decorated. The palace was one of the most modern, sophisticated and magnificent in England.

  • There were tennis courts, bowling alleys and pleasure gardens for recreation, a hunting park, kitchens covering 36,000 square feet, a fine chapel, a vast communal dining room (the Great Hall) and a multiple garderobe (or lavatory).
  • All of Henry’s six wives came to the palace and most had new and lavish lodgings. The King rebuilt his own rooms at least half a dozen times.
  • The palace also provided accommodation for a large number of courtiers, visitors and servants. 
  • Henry used Hampton Court to impress.
life at court
  • The court was a great place for Henry to show how rich and important he was. This would make people from other countries see him as very powerful. It would put off people from plotting to take his throne.
  • All the activities at court were planned to show Henry's talents and interests. So the court was a centre for art, music, dance, poetry and tournaments. The court was the most fashionable place in the land.
  • Henry had artists and musicians at court. Hans Holbein was the court painter by 1536. He may have painted as many as 150 portraits of the king, his wives and family and courtiers. Holbein also designed furniture, jewellery, buttons, buckles and the king's state robes.
life at court1
  • Courtiers were the richest and most important people in the country. They had to be rich to come to court. They would need to give the king presents that cost a lot of money.
  • They had to wear expensive clothes made from silk, velvet and lace. They were often decorated with jewels, embroidery and fur. Courtiers and royalty moved in a stiff way.
  • Courtiers wanted to be near the king because it was a chance to be noticed and to make a good impression. In return, they might get jobs and titles for their family and friends. When Catherine Parr married Henry, her uncle, William was made a baron. The rewards at court were great if you had friends in high places.
  • All Tudor kings and queens chose their servants from those who were closest to them. This is why the court was the centre of power.
life at court2
  • Life at court was not safe. Henry had complete power over his servants and ministers. If they upset him or did not obey him, he would punish them. Sometimes people were put to death. The court was often the centre of secrets and squabbles between courtiers. Everyone wanted to be in favour with the king.
  • Courtiers had their own rooms in Henry's palaces. They brought their own servants with them who often had to make do with sleeping in the corridors. When Henry stayed at Hampton Court, up to a thousand people attended court. Hampton Court had three large kitchens.
translate the following sentences
Translate the following sentences:
  • Pour montrer combien il était riche, le roi organisait des fêtes somptueuses.
  • Le roi affirmait son autorité pour dissuader ses rivaux de comploter contre lui.
  • A la cour, des tournois étaient organisés.
  • Les vêtements d’apparat du roi étaient dessinés par des artistes étrangers.
  • Avoir des amis haut placés à la cour vous permettait de recevoir des titres.
  • Pour bénéficier des faveurs du roi, les courtisans étaient prêts aux pires querelles.
  • Jusqu’à 1 000 personnes fréquentaient le cour pendant le règne du roi Henri VIII.

Be sitting on a throne

Be dressed / clad in ceremonial costume embroideredgarments

A pilardecoratedwooden panels

A tapestry

A symetrical composition: there are two arches on eachside of the throne

A fool

The scenefeatures / portrays Henry VIII with Jane Seymour (represented on the left) and histhreechildren: Edward, Mary and Elizabeth.

all the king s fools by suzannah lipscomb published in history today volume 61 issue 8 2011
All the King’s FoolsBy Suzannah Lipscomb | Published in History TodayVolume: 61 Issue: 82011

At Hampton Court Palace there is a beautiful painting dating from 1545 that shows Henry VIII with his long-dead, favourite wife, Jane Seymour, his son Edward and his daughters Mary and Elizabeth. There are two other figures, strikingly framed by the two archways in the wings. One is a man in red hose with cropped ginger hair, who has a monkey poised to check his head for lice. He can be identified as William Somer, the king’s fool. The bald woman on the left, whose attention has been gripped by something in the distance, is probably ‘Jane the Fool’, fool to Anne Boleyn, Princess Mary and Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth and actual wife at the time. Their inclusion in this royal dynastic portrait suggests that fools had a distinct, privileged and vital role to play at the Tudor court.


grammaire ordre et place des adjectifs
GRAMMAIRE: ordre et place des adjectifs
  • Adjectifs épithètes: du plus subjectif au plus objectif (a beautiful fur-linedstole; an impressive embroideredgown); du plus temporaire au plus permanent (a youngastutemonarch; a sporty English man). Ordre des adjectifs descriptifs: TACOM (taille, âge, couleur, origine, matière).


Sauf s’ils sont suivis d’un complément (The king’sthrone, coveredwithsilkfabric, wasdesigned by Holbein himself).

  • Adjectifs attributs: Henry VIII was versatile and knowledgeable; helooked impressive.
  • Insérez les adjectifs et adverbes dans les phrases données:

Jane Seymour isdressed in a state costume.

ADJ: embroidered , dark-brown

ADV: beautifully

This painting used to decorate the hall of Hampton Court.

ADJ: composed; large-scale; medieval; magnificent

ADV: masterfully

A portrait of the King, painted by his court painter, woulddecorate the entrance hall.

ADJ: Flemish; idealized; dressedlavishly; favourite; vast; monumental

ADV: incredibly