Sir Thomas More
b.6 Feb 1478
- H. Sir Thomas More - 1535
- W. Alice
Facts and Events
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Sir Thomas More (; 7 February 14786 July 1535), known to Roman Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII and Lord Chancellor from October 1529 to 16 May 1532. More opposed the Protestant Reformation, in particular the theology of Martin Luther and William Tyndale, whose books he burned and whose followers he persecuted. More also wrote Utopia, published in 1516, about the political system of an ideal and imaginary island nation. More later opposed the King's separation from the Catholic Church and refused to accept him as Supreme Head of the Church of England because it disparaged papal authority and Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Tried for treason, More was convicted on perjured testimony and beheaded.
Pope Pius XI canonised More in 1935 as a martyr of the schism that separated the Church of England from Rome; Pope John Paul II in 2000 declared More the "heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians". Since 1980, the Church of England has remembered More liturgically as a Reformation martyr. In 2002, he was placed at number 37 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 MORE, Thomas I (1477/78-1535), of London and Chelsea, Mdx., in The History of Parliament.
- Stephen, Leslie, ed, and Sidney, ed Lee. Dictionary of National Biography. (London: Smith, Elder, 1885-1900), 49:429-449.
- In 1505, aged twenty-seven, More married his first wife, Jane Colt, ten years his junior. According to More's son-in-law and first biographer William Roper, More had wanted to marry John Colt's second daughter, but felt that Jane would be humiliated if one of her younger sisters was married before she was. The marriage was happy and they had four children; three daughters - Margaret (More's favourite child, affectionately known as Meg), Elizabeth (Beth), Cicely (Cecy) and a son, John (Jack). In addition to his own children, More also adopted an orphaned girl, Margaret Giggs. He was a very devoted father, always asking his children to write to him when he was away, even if they did not have anything particular to tell him, and unable to bring himself to beat them with anything more than a peacock feather. Unusual for the time, he put as much effort into educating his daughters as he did his son, declaring that women were just as intelligent as men. Jane died in 1511 and More remarried almost immediately, so that his children would have a mother. His second wife, Alice Middleton, was a widow seven years his senior. She and More had no children together, although he adopted her daughter, also named Alice. More said that his new wife was "nec bella nec puella" - literally, "neither a pearl nor a girl", meaning that Alice possessed neither beauty nor youth. Erasmus cruelly described her nose as "the hooked beak of the harpy". Despite the fact that their characters were very different, More and his wife apparently became very affectionate towards one another, although he was unable to educate her as he had educated Jane. In his epitaph, which he wrote himself, More praised Jane for bearing him four children, and Alice for being a loving stepmother. He declared that he could not tell who he loved best, and expressed the hope that they would all be reunited in death.