When visiting the Tower of London a few years ago my young daughter wanted to get a Henry VIII t-shirt. Hmmm. Kitschy. Sure, I get it…wait a minute! No. No way. I told her, do not let the British tourism industry make you forget that Henry VIII was a truly evil person. A reeeally bad guy.
Further evidence of this was found recently in a 16th century warrant book that generally details the bureaucratic tedium of the day's crimes. But a discovery was found in a passage that gives specific orders from the king himself, on how his wife, Anne Boleyn was to be executed.
From The Guardian:
In this document, the king stipulated that, although his queen had been "adjudged to death… by burning of fire… or decapitation", he had been "moved by pity" to spare her the more painful death of being "burned by fire". But he continued: "We, however, command that… the head of the same Anne shall be… cut off."
Tracy Borman, a leading Tudor historian, described the warrant book as an astonishing discovery, reinforcing the image of Henry VIII as a "pathological monster".
Boleyn was incarcerated in the Tower of London on 2 May 1536 for adultery. At her trial, she was depicted as unable to control her "carnal lusts". She refuted the charges but was found guilty of treason and condemned to be burned or beheaded at "the King's pleasure".
So yeah, no Hitler t-shirts. No Pol Pot t-shirts. And, dammit, no Henry VIII t-shirts!