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Portrait of Henry VIII. Source: Public Domain

Did you Know About Henry VIII's Ulcerated Leg? (Video)


The story of King Henry VIII's ulcerated leg offers a glimpse into the complexities of his reign. Following a jousting accident in 1536, the monarch's once-promising demeanor took a downturn, marked by excruciating pain and a shift in temperament. Despite the efforts of royal physicians, the leg ulcers persisted, plaguing Henry for years to come. Historians speculate that the injuries, compounded by his penchant for tight clothing and obesity-inducing diet, contributed to his declining health.

While some theories suggest syphilis as a possible culprit, modern scholarship tends to discredit this notion, focusing instead on the tangible factors such as fractures and clothing choices. The treatment methods of the time, including cauterization without anesthesia, underscore the primitive nature of medical care in the 16th century.

Henry's deteriorating physical condition intertwined with his political maneuvers, with dissenters risking execution for discussing his health unfavorably. The monarch's overindulgence in food and drink, coupled with a refusal to heed medical advice, likely exacerbated his health issues.

Ultimately, Henry VIII's demise at age 55 from renal failure marks the end of a tumultuous reign characterized by both power and suffering. His story serves as a cautionary tale of the perils of unchecked authority and the fragility of human health in the face of historical adversity.

Top image: Portrait of Henry VIII.                Source: Public Domain

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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