Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type




First Advisor

Prof. Paul Hammer

Second Advisor

Prof. John Willis

Third Advisor

Prof. Leland Giovannelli


The following thesis explores the relationship between medicine and power through a thorough examination of King Henry VIII of England and his contributions to early modern English medicine. This study delves into current historical debate regarding the variable health of King Henry, examines the medical politics in early Tudor society, addresses the medicinal interests of the king, and speculates on the motivations behind the king’s patronage of medicine. Through this thesis, an interwoven tapestry of King Henry’s influence on medicine in 16th century England is shown by examination of his preoccupation with the subject, coupled with the power of the office he holds.