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Sir Thomas More or as he was also recognized, Saint Thomas More after being venerated in the Catholic Church, was born on February 7, 1478.
Sir Thomas More was a well-known English social philosopher, lawyer, judge, statesman, author, and notable Renaissance humanist. Thomas More gained further recognition in 1529 when he began to serve as the lord chancellor after the term of Thomas Wolsey.
A large section of the society remembers Thomas More as the author of 'Utopia', a fictional text which described the political system of an imaginary island state. The text was published in 1516 and helped Sir Thomas More gain unprecedented fame.
Thomas More is notably recognized for opposing the Protestant Reformation movement and being against the idea of King Henry separating from the Catholic church. Thomas More also opposed the thought of accepting Henry as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Writers and philosophers like G.K. Chesterton had predicted Thomas More to become the greatest character in English history. People remember Thomas More for not taking the Oath of Supremacy which ultimately led to his death as he was convicted of committing treason and eventually executed on July 6, 1535, at Tower Hill, London, England at the age of 57.
Thomas More is regarded as one of the greatest saints of recent times, he is highly respected for supporting the Catholic church as the one true faith and standing against the Reformation. As an author, Sir Thomas More was working on the History of King Richard III from 1512-1519, although it was published after the death of Thomas More, the text is better recognized for its literary skill than its historical accuracy. In December 1886, Thomas More along with John Fisher and 52 other English martyrs was beatified by Pope Leo XIII. Later in 1935, Fisher and Thomas More were canonized by Pope Pius XI and since then July 9 is celebrated as the feast day of Thomas More.
Many people remember Thomas More's last words when he was executed, the England-born lawyer's last words were 'I die the King's good servant, and God's first.' More famously believed in the argumentation, theology, and the ecclesiastical laws of the church.
Thomas More spent his childhood living in Milk Street, London where he was born to Agnes and Sir John More. Thomas More's father, Sir John More was a respected person, he was initially a lawyer and later a judge by profession. The couple had six children, Thomas More was the second of them.
Thomas More gained his education at one of the best schools in England at that time, St. Anthony's School. At the age of 12, from 1490-1492, Thomas More served as a household page to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor of England, John Morton. John Morton was well known for supporting the ideology of New Learning which was later popularized as humanism. Morton also believed that Thomas More had high potential within himself and had thus nominated him for a seat at the prestigious University of Oxford. Thomas More joined Oxford in 1492 to gain classical education and studied under William Grocyn and Thomas Linacre to become proficient in Greek and Latin. But after spending only two years at Oxford, More's father insisted that he come back to London and begin his legal training at New Inn.
Thomas More spent the next few years of his life as a student at one of the Inns of Court named Lincoln's Inn and was eventually called to the bar in 1502. But during 1503 and 1504, Thomas More had thoughts about quitting his legal career and living the rest of his life as a monk. During these days, More often joined the spiritual exercises of monks and lived near the famous Carthusian monastery.
Thomas More was born to Sir John More and Agnes.
More married for the first time in 1505 to Jane Colt. The couple initially lived in a portion of a house in London that More had taken on lease. Eventually, More took over the entire house and lived there for the next couple of decades until he moved to Chelsea. Thomas More is famously recognized for educating his wife, Jane on the topics of literature and music as he wished for her to have a better education than she had received previously. The couple had a total of four children together, John, Margaret, Cicely, and Elizabeth. Upsettingly, Jane Colt passed away only six years after their marriage in 1511.
Thomas More then took a step that turned a lot of heads, he married a widow named Alice Middleton only 30 days after Jane had passed away. Thomas More had gone against the advice of his close friends in marrying Alice Middleton so quickly. The couple did not have any children together but More looked after Alice Middleton's daughter from her previous marriage as his own child. More was now not only the father of his own four children but looked after Middleton's daughter and was the guardian of two girls, Margaret Giggs and Anne Cresacre.
Whenever More was away anywhere in England due to work, he would write letters to his children and encourage them to do the same. Thomas More at times came to the limelight for providing the same level of classical education to his daughters that he provided to his sons. He also expressed his happiness to his daughters when he came across their academic accomplishments.
More stood for parliamentary elections in 1504 and was elected as the representative of Great Yarmouth. In 1510, More emerged as an undersheriff of London, earning him great fame and uplifting his image as an honest public servant.
In 1514, More gained further recognition as he became the Master of Requests and was simultaneously appointed as one of the Privy Counsellors. Once More became the personal adviser and secretary to King Henry VIII, his influence grew by leaps and bounds as he oversaw drafting documents, welcoming diplomats from across the world, and at the same time served as a liaison between Lord chancellor Wolsey and the King.
Thomas More is also well-known for his literary works, many of which were published before his death while some were published after his execution. These literary works include 'Letter to Brixius', 'The Confutation of Tyndale's Answer', 'A Merry Jest', 'A Dialogue Concerning Heresies', 'Utopia', 'Debellation of Salem and Bizance', 'Letter Against Frith', 'Latin Poems', and many more.
Some of More's works that were published after his death are 'Treatise Upon the Passion', 'The History of King Richard III', 'De Tristitia Christi', 'Treatise on the Blessed Body', 'The Four Last Things', 'Instructions and Prayers', and 'A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation'.
Thomas More is highly respected to date for not compromising his moral values just for pleasing the King. More was recognized as the supreme counselor and chancellor, the Saint knew that true allegiance didn't mean blindly accepting everything that the authority wanted. King Henry knew that Thomas More was a highly respected individual and no one would question his integrity, he thus tried his best to win over the Supreme chancellor but ultimately failed as More ended up resigning from his post as the chancellor.
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