A 17th-century cavalry- man charging into battle atop a white charger opens fire with his wheel lock pistol in this painting by Dutch artist Pieter Meulener.

King Henry VIII

The Wheel Lock: Birth of the Combat Pistol

By William J. McPeak

By the late 15th Century, early firearm designers were already looking at ideas for semi-automatic weapons. The matchlock had been the first mechanism to make a shoulder-aimed firearm, the arquebus, possible. Read more

King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII of England and the Siege of Boulogne: His Last War

By Bob Swain

In November 1541, roughly three years before the Siege of Boulogne, King Henry VIII of England suffered one of the most severe shocks of his life when he was shown a report alleging that his plumpish 19-year-old queen, Catherine Howard, had been intimate with other men before their marriage. Read more

King Henry VIII

Thomas Howard, Third Duke of Norfolk

By Robert L. Swain

On a sweltering evening in early July 1553, the  late King Henry VIII’s only legitimate son, the sickly 15-year-old Edward VI, died an agonizing death from tuberculosis, possibly complicated by measles. Read more

King Henry VIII

Sailing Ships and Artillery

By Eric Niderost

The Battle of the Nile represents the apogee of the Age of Fighting Sail, a peak that was confirmed at Trafalgar seven years later. Read more