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Sir Thomas More (; 7 February 14786 July 1535), known to Catholics as Saint Thomas More since 1935, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and was Lord Chancellor from October 1529 to 16 May 1532. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935 as one of the early martyrs of the schism that separated the English Church from Catholicism in the 16th century. In 2000, Pope John Paul II declared him Patron of Catholic Statesmen and Politicians.
Thomas More was an opponent of the Protestant Reformation, in particular of Martin Luther and William Tyndale. However, since 1980, he is also commemorated by the Anglican Church.
More coined the word "utopia" – a name he gave to the ideal and imaginary island nation, the political system of which he described in Utopia, published in 1516. He opposed the King's separation from the Catholic Church and refused to accept the king as Supreme Head of the Church of England, a title which had been given by parliament through the Act of Supremacy of 1534. He was imprisoned in 1534 for his refusal to take the oath required by the First Succession Act, because the act disparaged Papal Authority and Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. In 1535, he was tried for treason, convicted on perjured testimony, and beheaded. He also helped originate the phrase "grasp at straws" to mean "desperately trying even useless things", in Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation.
Intellectuals and statesmen across Europe were stunned by More's execution. Erasmus saluted him as one "whose soul was more pure than any snow, whose genius was such that England never had and never again will have its like". Two centuries later Jonathan Swift said he was "the person of the greatest virtue this kingdom ever produced," a sentiment with which Samuel Johnson agreed. Historian Hugh Trevor-Roper said in 1977 that More was "the first great Englishman whom we feel that we know, the most saintly of humanists, the most human of saints, the universal man of our cool northern renaissance."
Was born on Milk St,Cheapside,London.Knighted in1521.Moved to Bucklersbury in1505,Crosby Place,Bishopsgate in1511,&to Chelsea in 1523.Lord Chancellor of England in 1529,&resigned in 1532.Beheaded 7/6/1535, on Tower Hill,by King Henry VIII,for not agreeing with the kings wishes for a divorce.All of his property was confiscated by the King.Was canonized by the catholic church, in 1935, for this martyrdom.
Facts about this person:
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.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ancestry.com. One World Tree (sm). (Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., n.d.).
Online publication - Ancestry.com. OneWorldTree [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc.