Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014
Armour of Henry VIII for the field and tilt
This armour was made in the Royal workshops at Greenwich under the direction of Erasmus Kyrkenar. The Royal workshops were founded by Henry VIII (1491-1547) in 1517. It was probably made for the jousts in celebration of the King's marriage to Anne of Cleves in January 1539/40.
As a young man, Henry VIII was outstandingly athletic and excelled in the arts of the tournament. His commanding presence was due in part to his great height (1.9 metres, or 6 feet 2 inches), which set him apart from most of his contemporaries. After a jousting accident in 1536 he grew corpulent, but four years later at the age of 49, the King was reported to have found a new vigour, rising early and spending long hours each day in the saddle.
Comprises close helmet with integral gorget-plates and a fall, gorget, breastplate with skirt and tassets permanently attached, backplate, culet, complete leg harness, asymetrical pauldrons with removable haute-pieces, complete vambraces, grandguard, pasguard and manifer (these last three for the tilt).