Researchers want to exhume Henry VIII's body


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American researchers hope to exhume the body of Henry VIII in a bid to prove a rare genetic disease was behind his famously bad temper.

Henry VIII The Tudor king married six times and ordered the beheading of two of his spouses – Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.

He has long been regarded as a tyrant, but bio-archaeologist Catrina Whitley and anthropologist Kyra Kramer believe his behaviour may have been a symptom of illness rather than simply the result of poor character.

They claim Henry suffered from McLeod’s Syndrome and hope to gain permission to dig up his body to perform DNA tests.

Dr Whitley told the Sunday Express the condition can cause schizophrenic behaviour and usually becomes apparent around the time of the sufferer’s 40th birthday.

‘Henry was 41 when he married Anne Boleyn. The turning point for Henry was around his 40th birthday. I believe the charges he made against Anne were the result of psychosis,’ said Dr. Whitley.

The king, who died in 1547 at the age of 55, is buried at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, so the researchers will need the Queen’s permission for an exhumation.

Source: Metro/UK [February 13, 2011]


  1. I would be very interested in seeing an exhumation. The health problems that Henry endured in later years could be due to disease, but I also believe poisoning could be a very high probability.



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