Should Henry VIII have been removed from the throne?

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By Eileen Jones — Playwright and author

This resource supports the Y5/6 transition unit: Persuasion, presenting arguments for and against the question: ‘Should Henry VIII have been removed from the throne?’ It provides background facts, and a summing up by the leader of the investigation into the case.


These teachers’ notes accompany the PRINT ONLY guided reading leaflet in Literacy Time PLUS Ages 9 to 11, July 2008.

The activity sheet offers an additional set of facts for the cold case: ‘Should Elizabeth I have been tried for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots?’ which the children can investigate.

Before reading

  • Write the question: ‘Should Henry VIII be removed from the throne?’ on the board. Ask for ideas/opinions. Can the children explain their views using prior knowledge?
  • In role as leader of the Special Investigation Unit, hand out the memo (on the first page of the leaflet) to your investigators.
  • Explain that you will revisit the question at the end to see if any of them have changed their minds after viewing the evidence.
  • Decide which part of the text to look at first.
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