Henry VIII Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How did Henry VIII spend his money? i am studying him and school and i need to know.

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Phillip Holland eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Henry VIII spent lavishly on parties and banquets.  In today's money, his annual alcohol budget was close to 7.5 million dollars.  The king liked to feast on exotic meat, such as beaver tail and whale meat.  Of course, all of this had to be spiced with the latest exotic additives from Asia, such as saffron and pepper.  These imports were quite expensive and were not available for many peasants.  Henry also built palaces to demonstrate his greatness and he expanded the size of the royal navy, thus putting England on the path to maritime greatness.  Henry VIII also fought a costly war with Francis I of France during the 1540s.  

In his personal life, Henry VIII was married six times.  His divorce of Anne of Cleves cost him approximately sixty million dollars.  Given the king's ornate tastes, he also gave extravagant gifts to his future brides.  While monarchs who lived during the sixteenth century liked to entertain in grand style, Henry VIII was notable for his rich tastes.  

Edith Sykes eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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When Henry VIII inherited the crown from his father, the monarch's finances were in good order.  But Henry VIII's approach to governing England was different from his father's. 

He had extravagant taste in clothes, jewels and furs.  He was considered the best dressed sovereign in the world. He liked to throw lavish parties and spent money with abandon. He loved to eat and surrounded himself with huge quantities of good food and drink.

He spent huge sums on festivals and tournaments to impress  others and to express his power in his kingdom and in the world.

He also spent money on increasing England's Navy from 5 ships to 53 ships. 

And, of course, he spent money on his wives, wooing and marrying, supporting and getting rid of wives he no longer needed. 

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