Sign in or
Sir Thomas More
|See also: The Tudors Cast | The Tudors Episode Guide|
Sir Thomas More as played by Jeremy Northam
Lord Chancellor of England, Lawyer, Author, Statesman, Humanist Scholar and Catholic Saint (Canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935)
| Born February 7, 1478 - Executed July 6, 1535 (by Order of King Henry VIII) |
Character's Backstory: Born in London, Thomas More was the son of Sir John More, a successful lawyer and judge at the Court of King's Bench. Thomas studied Latin and Logic for two years at Oxford University under the patronage of John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury. At Oxford he met many prominent intellectuals. Among them was Erasmus, with whom he was to carry on a lifelong correspondence. Thomas then returned to London, where he studied the law under his father. After entrance into the English legal establishment of Lincoln's Inn in 1496, Thomas More was called to the bar--thereby becoming a 'barrister'--in 1501. Like his father before him, More became a very successful lawyer. More entered Parliament at the age of 21, and was made Master of the Requests in 1514. He was the author of "Utopia" (1516), among many other notable literary works.
His last writings were De Tristitia Christi, a Devout Prayer (penned in 1535, shortly before his death), and A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation, written while in the Tower. More was the most renowned intellectual personage in England in his day.
Gentility: Secretary and personal advisor to King Henry VIII.
Master of the Requests, 1514. Knighted, 1521. Lord Chancellor of England from 1529 to 1532. In 1532, he resigned the Chancellorship for reasons of faith, as well as personal reasons that could have affected his moral beliefs and his conscience.
Serious and highly intellectual. Devoted family man. Very religious, had once considered becoming a priest, staunchly adherent to his ideals and moral practices. Had an unbending will with respect to matters of faith. His daughter, Margaret More--later Margaret Roper--was his favorite child. However, More also caused heretics to be burned alive.
More's biographer Peter Ackroyd said : "More embodied the old order of hierarchy and authority at the very moment when it began to collapse all around him."
His good friend Erasmus once said: "What did nature ever create milder, sweeter and happier than the genius of Thomas More? All the birds come to him to be fed. There is not any man living so affectionate to his children as he, and he loveth his wife as if she were a girl of fifteen."
Signature Look: Hat; also 'S' gold collar of Chancellorship.
Honesty, integrity, unshakeable religious faith, inflexibility with respect to moral principles. Unlike other men, at the end of his life he admitted his mistakes: He stated in a letter to his daughter Margaret that whatever punishment came to him was because of his sins, so God should therefore judge him for all the wrongs he had committed in his life. Perhaps, at the end, he recognized that he might not have been as right as he always thought himself to be in his decisions concerning others.
Severe and at times 'hair-splitting' in judgment. Extreme and inflexible in his beliefs. Unbending in his opinions with respect to reformers; later in life he may have repented of his harshness towards them. This regret was never directly stated, but may be gleaned indirectly from the contents of one of his last letters. The letter was written to Margaret (More) Roper, his favorite child and confidant. More could come across as somewhat arrogant, particularly with respect to his religious and political views.
‘it was Henry who with increasingly passion saw More as a political enemy and threat and resolved that, if he did not submit, he would be destroyed’ ~ G.W. Bernard
Want to add to this profile?
Click EasyEdit to update this page!
(Don't see the EasyEdit button above? Sign in or Sign up.)
John More, respected lawyer and King's Bench judge. Son of William More and Johanna Joye.
Agnes Graunger, daughter of Thomas Graunger.
1) Jane Colt, married in 1505. More had three daughters and a son by Jane. She died in 1511.
2) Alice Middleton, a widow.
Thomas More's first wife was Jane Colt. The story about More's preference for Jane's younger sister, and that he took Jane out of pity because she was older and still unmarried, is very likely apocryphal. Thomas and Jane were wed in 1505. This marriage was shortlived since Jane Colt More died in 1511, after only six years of marriage. She gave More four children: three daughters and a son. All four were still small children when their mother died.
The same year that Sir Thomas became a widower (1511), he remarried. His second wife was a widow named Alice Middleton. More apparently lived happily with Dame Alice for the rest of his life; he adopted her daughter from her previous marriage. Alice had a bad temper and used caustic language. More could not change this trait; however, Alice was said to be an excellent household manager. She was also a good stepmother to More's children and a good mother to her own daughter.
By Jane Colt: Margaret 'Meg' (Roper by marriage); Elizabeth (Dauncey by marriage); Cecily (Heron by marriage); and John (who married Anne Cresacre).
By More's marriage to his second wife Alice Middleton (the Elder), he became stepfather to Alice Middleton the Younger [married names: 1) Elryngton, and 2) Alington].
More was also adoptive father to Margaret 'Mercy' Giggs (Clement by marriage), who was the orphaned daughter of a midwife. Margaret Giggs was the only member of the family to witness More's execution.
More was as affectionate a father to Alice Middleton the Younger and Margaret Giggs, as he was to his biological children.
King Henry VIII.
Queen Katherine of Aragon
Princess Mary Tudor
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester. Also later canonized as a Saint.
Margaret 'Meg' Roper, More's oldest and favorite child. She became Sir Thomas' biographer along with her husband, William Roper.
Elizabeth Barton, the 'Nun of Kent.' Also executed by order of King Henry VIII, in 1534.
Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam: Another renowned humanist and reformer of the Catholic Church. Not only was Erasmus a close friend of Sir Thomas, but he also corresponded by letter with More's daughter Margaret Roper. To the present day, More and Erasmus remain two of the most renowned philosophers of the Counter-Reformation.
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
The Boleyn family (Thomas, George, and Anne)
Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury
Together, Cromwell and Cranmer engineered Sir Thomas' imprisonment in 1534; they finally persuaded King Henry to approve More's execution in 1535.
UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTER QUOTES from history:
DEFINING EPISODES | MEMORABLE SCENES
|For more on Sir Thomas More, click the links below:|
PHOTOS and PAINTINGS
| || |
Thomas More is portrayed earlier in life
in this lesser known painting by Hans Holbein the Younger.
The More Family
For more on Sir Thomas More, click the links below:
Latest page update: made by Neta07
, Mar 16 2012, 9:10 PM EDT
(about this update
About This Update
Edited by Neta07
1 widget added
- complete history)
Keyword tags: anne boleyn charles brandon gabrielle anwar henry viii jeremy northam jonathan rhys meyers margaret tudor natalie dormer sam neill showtime the tudors the tudors tudors characters
More Info: links to this page
|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|stephenshayes||Sir Thomas More CORRECTION!||1||Sep 23 2010, 2:28 PM EDT by marwd|
Thread started: Jun 16 2010, 10:33 PM EDT Watch
I do Apologize..as to the last post, my husband is a direct descendant of John (not Margaret) More...Margaret must be my family (tee hee..not More).
0 out of 2 found this valuable. Do you?
|WilliamBly||Sir Thomas More||6||Jun 16 2010, 9:20 PM EDT by stephenshayes|
Thread started: Nov 6 2009, 8:01 PM EST Watch
I am a direct descendant of Sir Thomas More,a fact confirmed by ancestry.com. My last name is of English origin and so are all my relatives on my dad's side of the family. It's through my great grandparents, Lee and Eva Morse Peters, that I am related to Sir Thomas. I trace
my lineage to More's son, John. As a Roman Catholic, it's an honor to be related to this great man and saint.
2 out of 2 found this valuable. Do you?
|Walsingham||More and Cromwell - Protagonists or Victims of Fate?||18||Jul 15 2009, 12:42 PM EDT by CarolineZ|
Thread started: Mar 2 2009, 6:12 PM EST Watch
I've often wondered of the relationship between these men. They are often portrayed as protagonists, and to some degree they were. In some cases, as in Bolt's play and Zimmerman's film of A Man for All Seasons, Cromwell is very much the villain to More's saint. But the truth is more complex, and we see a sense of that in The Tudors, where it is not Cromwell who is "out to get" More, but rather an indifferent observer who disagrees with his views on the church.
Were they in fact simply thrown together in time by fate to oppose each other, or was there a visceral dislike? Thoughts?
Showing 3 of 8 threads for this page - view all