Thomas More

Thomas More (1478 - 1535)

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Sir Thomas "Saint Thomas" More aka Moore
Born in Milk Street, London, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Englonde, Cheshire, Englandmap
Husband of — married about [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Tower of London, London, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 12 Jan 2014
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Categories: Lord Chancellors of England | Catholic Martyrs of the English Reformation | Saints | Catholics | Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster | Notables.

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Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535) was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important counselor to Henry VIII and Lord Chancellor from October 1529 to 16 May 1532. More opposed the Protestant Reformation and the King's separation from the Catholic Church, and refused to accept him as Supreme Head of the Church of England. Tried for treason, More was convicted on perjured testimony and beheaded. Pope Pius XI canonized More in 1935 as a martyr.

Born in Milk Street in London, on 7 February 1478, Thomas More was the son of Sir John More, a successful lawyer and later judge, and his wife Agnes (née Graunger). More married Jane Colt in 1505. She was nearly ten years younger. The couple had four children before Jane died in 1511: Margaret, Elizabeth, Cicely, and John. Within thirty days More had married the rich widow Alice Middleton as his second wife. More had no children from his second marriage, although he raised Alice's daughter from her previous marriage as his own.

He was elected to Parliament in 1504, eventually rising to the position of Speaker of the House of Commons in 1523. More was knighted by Henry the VIII in 1521. He became a Sub-Treasurer to the King that same year. Sir Thomas More was appointed the Lord Chancellor of England in 1529. He held this post until 1532 when he resigned due to differences with the King.

In 1533, More refused to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn as the Queen of England. He was charged with high treason for denying the validity of the Act of Supremacy. The Act of Supremacy stated that the divorce of Catherine of Aragon was legal and, contrary to the law of God, the marriage to Anne Boleyn is confirmed. The act also required persons of all stations take an oath swearing to maintain this act of succession. Thomas More refused to take the oath. On 1 July 1535, More was tried before a panel of judges that included the new Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas Audley, as well as Anne Boleyn's father, brother, and uncle. He was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered (the usual punishment for traitors who were not the nobility), but the King commuted this to execution by decapitation. The execution took place on 6 July 1535 at the Tower of London.


  • Chalmers, Alexander. The General Biographical Dictionary. 32 volumes. London: J. Nichols and Son, 1812-1817 Volume 22, Pg 358-381

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Sir Thomas More
Sir Thomas More


On 23 Jul 2017 at 06:04 GMT Vivienne Caldwell wrote:

For a discussion of Jane/Joan's name see Germain Marc'hadour, More's first wife... Jane? or Joan? Moreana, Volume 29 (Number 109) Issue 1, Page 3-22,

On 22 Mar 2016 at 13:00 GMT Matthew Fletcher wrote:

The biography (following Wikipedia, which follows Peter Ackroyd) erroneously gives Thomas's first wife as Jane. Joan is correct as can be seen in More's own inscription in Chelsea Old Church.

Thomas is 24 degrees from Rosa Parks, 25 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 14 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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