Can you beat your kids at Henry VIII's Horrible Histories half-term quiz?

HE was a formidable character who looms large over British history – but how much do you really know about Henry VIII and the times he lived in?

Horrible Histories: Henry VIII’s Secret Diary lets readers delve into the mind of the terrible Tudor king, as told by bestselling author Terry Deary.

You will discover lots about the rotten ruler’s thoughts on feasting, fighting, hunting, his wives and more.

This half term, why not test your wits with this fun family quiz and see if your score is fit for a king?


1. Which of these foul foods was served at Henry VIII’s feasts?

a) Baked badgers’ feet

b) Grilled beavers’ tails

c) Roasted rabbits’ rumps

2. How many people played on each side in a game of Tudor “football”?

a) 5

b) 15

c) 150

3. What were the ingredients of Henry VIII’s Umble Pie served to servants?

a) Heart, liver, tongue, feet, ears and brains

b) Beef, oysters, bacon and rabbit

c) Dried fruit and pastry

4. After the English fought the Scots at the Battle of Flodden, what was Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, given as a trophy?

a) King James’s blood-soaked coat

b) King James’s blood-soaked hat

c) King James’s blood-soaked cat

5. Which of these was NOT a real Tudor “cure” for the plague?

a) Drink the medicine of ten-year-old treacle

b) Squash a frog and trickle the juice in your ear

c) Shave a chicken’s bottom and strap it to the plague sore

6. What did Henry do while the people of London were dying of the sweating sickness?

a) Give inspiring speeches to wish them well

b) Offer them extra money to help

c) Move to his country house and go hunting

7. What evil execution was made lawful by Henry?

a) Throwing off a bridge

b) Boiling alive

c) Stampeding with cows

8. What was Henry’s final “kindness” to second wife Anne Boleyn?

a) She was set free

b) She was imprisoned in a castle

c) She was beheaded by a swordsman

9. What did Henry do to England’s monasteries?

a) Closed them down

b) Closed them down and sold the land

c) Closed them down, sold the land and killed the monks

10. What did Henry do on the day that his former favoured minister Thomas Cromwell was executed?

a) Play tennis

b) Go hunting

c) Marry his fifth wife

11. What were Henry VIII’s last words?

a) I am sorry

b) Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

c) Monks, monks, monks



1. B. Along with whale meat, wild boar, roast tongue, leg of pork, roast deer, meat pie . . .  and that was just the first course.

2. C. Henry enjoyed watching his subjects play football. Rival villages of about 150-a-side used to play in a field with a ball. The first team to score two goals won.

3. All of them!

4. A. While Henry was fighting in France, King James of Scotland (married to Henry’s sister) invaded the North of England and was fought to the death at the Battle of Flodden. Henry was furious at his wife’s joy at the invasion.

5. B. There were lots of Tudor “cures” for the plague but some were even worse than the sickness itself!

6. C. The sweating sickness claimed many London lives. And when his second wife, Anne Boleyn, showed symptoms he abandoned her for a country house to hunt stags.

7. B. Henry changed the law so poisoning was punished by being boiled alive.

8. C. Instead of the usual axe-wielding executioner, who often took several hacks, horrible Henry sent for an expert French swordsman who took just one stroke.

9. C. Throughout his reign, Henry had problems with religion. He made a fortune from selling monastery land. When some monks joined a rebellion he hanged them from the towers as an example.

10. C. Having ordered Cromwell’s execution, Henry married Catherine Howard on the same day. He had her executed two years later (by axe) and buried next to her cousin . . . Anne Boleyn.

11. C. Henry died on 28 January 1547, married to his sixth wife. He had a fever, many ailments and the guilt of his horribly bloodthirsty rule where it is thought over 57,000 were executed on his command.

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