The Trial of Henry VIII

According to Napoleon Bonaparte, “history is the version of past events that people have agreed upon.” It is the job of the historian to examine the people and events of the past, not as we have perceived them to be, but as they actually occurred. This is especially true regarding controversial characters and issues. This is our opportunity to call the dead to account for their lives and put their legacies on trial using accounts and artifacts relating to the lives they led. This is History on Trial.

Accused: Henry Tudor.

Born June 28, 1491 at Greenwich Palace in Greenwich, England.

Died January 28, 1947 at London, England.


Complaint: Henry Tudor, otherwise known as Henry VIII is accused of being one of history’s villains. An eternal legacy tainted with the sins of his life’s actions. According to the laws of history, as taken from the Canadian Constitution Act of 1982, Henry Tudor is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal. This is that trial.

The People of History versus Henry VIII

Judges will each examine two of the eight witnesses. They will need to comb through the information provided on each of these witnesses so that they can effectively cross examine them during the trial.

 

The remaining students are broken up into eight groups representing each of the witnesses. They will develop their testimonies based on both the primary and secondary sources provided. Additional research is encouraged! In the following class, each witness will provide a testimony. Each testimony should probably be four or five minutes and should use both the primary and secondary sources provided.

 

The People call all of their witnesses first. Both ways have their advantages. After each witness gives their testimony, they will be cross examined by the judges with their prepared questions. It is very important that both judges and witnesses are filling out their trial transcripts during all of the testimony!

 

At the end have the judges each speak in turn and present their verdict. Will Cortes be sent to the half of history’s evil doers, or will he instead be vindicated by history’s courts?

 

Witnesses

Prosecution

1) Anne Boleyn - Second Wife of Henry VIII
2) Pope Clement VII - Head of the Catholic Church in Rome
3) Queen Mary I aka Bloody Mary - Daughter of Henry VIII
4) Catherine Howard - Fifth Wife of Henry VIII

Defense

1) Catherine of Aragon - First Wife of Henry VIII
2) Archbishop Thomas Cranmer - Head of the Church of England
3) Queen Elizabeth I - Daughter of Henry VIII
4) King Henry VIII

The defense and prosecution teams, two students each,will each examine two of the eight witnesses. They will need to comb through the information provided on each of these witnesses so that they can effectively cross examine them during the trial.

 

The remaining students are broken up into eight groups representing each of the witnesses. They will develop their testimonies based on both the primary and secondary sources provided. Additional research is encouraged! In the following class, each witness will provide a testimony. Each testimony should probably be four or five minutes and should use both the primary and secondary sources provided.

The People call all of their witnesses first. After each witness gives their testimony, they will be cross examined by the opposing lawyers with their prepared questions. It is very important that both lawyers and witnesses are filling out their trial transcripts during all of the testimony!

 

At the end a jury of five students will be selected randomly and each will speak in turn and present their verdict. Will Henry be sent to the half of history’s evil doers, or will he instead be vindicated by history’s courts?

Contact Mr. Berrigan

Tel: 403-938-1400

berriganm@fsd38.ab.ca

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© 2015 by Matthew Berrigan .