Henry never showed any capacity as a general, and his foreign policy was a failure.
A warmonger who was constantly at odds with neighbouring nations, Henry laid waste to his vast inheritance thanks to numerous foreign misadventures. He fostered an atmosphere of fear and suspicion, and people were right to be scared, given how many executions took place under his reign.
David Starkey, author of Henry: Virtuous Prince, puts things in equally strong terms.
His enthusiastic patronage of the arts in England, and serious passion for music, painting and poetry, helped drag our country into a new age of creativity. One abbot was dragged through the streets by a horse, before having his head cut off and impaled on the abbey gates. He certainly stamped his personality upon the nation, but how should we remember the Tudor titan?
A possible explanation?