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Sir Thomas More Biography



Born in London in 1478, Sir Thomas More was a lawyer's son who went on to complete studies at Oxford before becoming a lawyer himself, having decided against his first career choice of becoming a monk. He served as one of the two under-sheriffs of London between 1510 and 1518, being pledged to the service of the king in 1517. Thomas More became one of the most trusted and respected advisors of Henry VIII and served him a number of capacities including as secretary, speech writer, diplomat, interpreter and confidant. He was granted his knighthood in 1521 and became the speaker of the House of Commons in 1523.

Sir Thomas More Works

Sir Thomas More was a respected scholar and wrote a number of books including 'The History of Richard III' in 1515 and 'Utopia' which is widely considered to be his best work, in 1516. The work described a world where an imaginary republic is ruled by reason, not through fear or tyranny. This would be a world much different from England and the rest of Europe at that time. He was a strong defender of the Catholic church and published a number of pamphlets calling for the banning of unorthodox books and against heresy. While he was Lord Chancellor for Henry VIII he also took part in their interrogation of detained heretics himself.

Sir Thomas More Quotes

There are many quotes which can be ascribed to Sir Thomas More, many of which are taken from his book 'Utopia'. However there are also lots which do not come from his written work but from daily life. He is quoted as saying "The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." As well as "Love rules without rules". There are many quotes which reference God and religion as well as about how the world would be a better place of there were more peace, and the world was ruled by reasonable people rather than Kings willing to wage war for each others lands.

Sir Thomas More Death

Sir Thomas More being of the Catholic faith was against the idea of Henry VIII being able to divorce his first wife. At the time that Henry was petitioning the pope for a divorce, More was Lord Chancellor, he resigned his position when Henry declared that he was the 'Head of the English church' which allowed him to dissolve his marriage.

His strong beliefs meant that he continued to argue against a royal divorce and especially against a split from Rome and the pope. He was arrested in 1534 after refusing to swear an oath which meant that he would have to go against his beliefs. He was requested to swear an oath which included the acceptance of Henry's divorce as well as acceptance of the new religion. He was subsequently tried for treason and sentenced to death. His trial took place in Westminster and his subsequent execution took place on Tower Hill on July 6th 1535.

   
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