Henry VII was handsome and had an almost divine nature….


“….Polydore Vergil was one of the first to record the appearance of the king [Henry VII]: “His body was slender but strong and solid, a little above average in height. His appearance was handsome, particularly when his expression was happy in conversation. He had blue eyes, few teeth, and sparse hair. His intellect was great and clever, and he was not averse to learning, his spirit excellent and bold even amidst the greatest perils, and his overall nature was almost divine.” [5] We can verify the reliability of the description that has survived to this day by looking, for example, at the most famous portrait of Henry VII from the National Portrait Gallery in London (Fig. 3 above). The king’s face is entirely consistent with the description of Polydorus Virgil: sunken lips and small folds around the mouth are characteristic in the absence of teeth….”

“….[5] Polydore Vergil, Anglica Historia, ed. Dana F. Sutton (Library of Humanistic Texts at the Philological Museum of University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute, 2005) .…”

The above is an extract from a short article you’ll find if you follow this link. The article concerns the way Henry set about promoting (read ‘doctoring’) his image as soon as Bosworth was over and done with. Well, as over as it ever would be throughout his reign, because various members of the House of York didn’t allow him much peace and quiet. Good for them.

As for Vergil’s judgement…well, no comment really. Henry Tudor had “….an almost divine nature?….” He was handsome? Um, this is Henry Tudor we’re talking about? Good grief. “….Few teeth and sparse hair….” Aha, that bit sounds familiar. I always knew that if he removed that hat there’d be a shiny bald pate beneath! The article also states that “….Attempts to capture the appearance of the monarch were made in parallel with the deification of his appearance….”  

Henry went on to further his own glorification when his first son was born Henry nipped in quickly to call him Arthur. Get it? Henry was connected to the great King Arthur! Clever Henry.

He was certainly a very intelligent man, that much has never been in doubt. But to manage to have himself described as handsome and almost divine was surely an unbelievable tour de force!

Anyway, the article is worth checking.



  1. I suspect he was probably better-looking before he got TB. He isn’t that dissimilar from Richard (you can see they’re related!), apart from the beaky Beauchamp nose.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nose probably came from the Valois side of the family, only theirs were much more so. But the high cheekbones are absolutely Plantagenet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Self-praise (or indeed lackey praise) is no recommendation. Although it was not his fault if he looked like Plug from the Beano. The inner soul is what really matters.

    Liked by 1 person

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