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Biography of Sir Thomas More

Portrait of Thomas More

Sir Thomas More was a sixteenth century statesman and writer best known for “Utopia”.

When and Where was he Born?

7th February 1477, London, England.

Family Background:

Sir Thomas More was the eldest son of John More, a lawyer.

Education:

St. Anthony’s School, Threadneedle Street, London. The household of John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury. Oxford University under the tutelage of John Colet and Thomas Linacre. Completed legal studies at Lincoln’s Inn, London.

Timeline of Sir Thomas More:

1505: He marries Jane Colt at Royden Parish Church.

1506: Thomas More becomes a Member of Parliament and Under-Sheriff of London in the reign of King Henry the Seventh.

1511: Death of his first wife. He marries Alice Middleton at the Parish Church of St. Stephen, Walbrook.

1514: More is introduced to King Henry the Eighth by Thomas Wolsey and becomes Master of Requests.

1516: He writes his most famous work, “Utopia”.

1521: He becomes Treasurer of the Exchequer.

1525: More becomes Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He is also made Speaker of the House of Commons and goes on several diplomatic missions to the French Court of King Francis the First.

1529: More is created Lord Chancellor at the fall of Cardinal Wolsey despite his desire not to take the post.

Thomas More Statue
Statue of Sir Thomas More outside Chelsea Old Church on Chelsea Embankment, London (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1532: He resigns the Chancellorship as he doesn’t agree with the religious views then being taken by the King.

1534: King Henry the Eighth is created head of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith. More doesn’t recognise any ruler of the church other than the Pope and is tried for High Treason. He is imprisoned in the Tower of London for a year but still refuses to recant.

When and Where Did he Die?

6th July 1535, He was executed by beheading at Tower Hill, London, England.

Age at Death:

57.

Written Works:

1512: “Life of John Picus, Earl of Mirandula “(Translation).
1513: “History of King Richard the Third”.
1516: “Utopia” (In Latin) 1551 (In English).
1529: “Dialogue of Diverse Matters.” “The Supplication of Souls (Against Fisher’s The Supplication of Beggars).”
1532: “Confutation of Tyndale.”
1533: “The Apology of Sir Thomas More, Knight.”
1543: “History of Richard the Third” (Reproduced in Hardying’s Chronicle of England).
1553: “Dialogue of Comfort.”
1559: “Works Written in English” (Edited by William Rastell).

Marriages:

  1. 1505 to Jane Colt at Royden Parish Church.
  2. 1511 to Alice Middleton at the Parish Church of St. Stephen, Walbrook.

Site of Grave:

St. Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London, England (Head in St. Dunstan’s Church, Canterbury, Kent, England.

Places of Interest:

LONDON:

The Tower of London.
Statue outside Chelsea Old Church, Chelsea Embankment.

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