Sir Thomas More

Thomas More, born in medieval London, son of a high court judge, became an international figure whose intellectual gifts transcended those of his contemporaries. Praised by his colleagues as “A Man for All Seasons,” he became a man for all ages.

More served as High Steward of Oxford University and Cambridge University, Member of Parliament and Speaker of the House of Commons, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Member of the King’s Council, and Lord Chancellor of England. But he is perhaps best remembered for his trial, conviction, and subsequent martyrdom. At issue was a question of conscience: More refused to recognize the validity of Henry VII’s second marriage and would not swear allegiance to the king as head of the Church of England.

Today, we remember Thomas More as a lawyer and scholar; a man of culture and the author of Utopia; a Renaissance humanist and Christian theologian; a family man and, yes, a saint—the king’s good servant and God’s first.

Life of Thomas More (1478 -1535):

1478 – Born in London
1490 – Serves as Page to the Archbishop of Canterbury
1492 – Studies at Oxford
1494 – Studies law at New Inn
1504 – Serves as Member of Parliament
1505 – Marries Jane Colt
1510 – Serves as Under-Sheriff of London
1511 – After Jane’s death, marries Alice Middleton
1515 – Serves as Envoy to Flanders
1516 – Publishes Utopia
1521 – Knighted as Under-Treasurer to the King
1523 – Serves as Speaker of the House of Commons
1529 – Serves as Lord Chancellor
1532 – Resigns Chancellorship
1534 – Imprisoned in the Tower of London
1535 – Convicted of high treason and beheaded