Sorry, you can't see the animation, but here's a still image:

Detail from a painting of the Mary Rose at Portsmouth by William Bishop.
(The reflection is a Java applet - click on the picture to stop and start the animation.)

Henry VIII came to the throne in 1509. He was only 19 years old when he became King of England.

One of the first things he did as King was to build up his navy. Both the French and the Scots had powerful navies and England was open to attack from both the North and the South.

During the Middle Ages, England owned large parts of France, but by Henry's reign they only held on to the land around Calais.

Henry VIII still had a claim to the crown of France, and he wanted to go to war with the French, perhaps mostly to show that he should be taken seriously as King.

First though, he had to strengthen his navy.