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Sir Thomas More, English Statesman
Middle Temple Library
Photograph - Photograph
Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), English statesman. More was born in London, the son of a lawyer. He was educated at St. Anthony's School and later at the University of Oxford. More studied law and in 1501 became a barrister. In 1516 he published Utopia, a novel in which travellers take an imaginary island country run along the lines of a monastic communalism. He served as a counsellor to King Henry VIII, but fell from grace when he refused to take an oath on the Act of Supremacy 1534. This declared the king supreme head of the Church of England and was the final split with Catholicism and Rome. More was tried for high treason and executed. In 1935 he was canonised and is known as Saint Thomas More to Catholics. This engraving by Houbraken comes from Birch's The Heads of Illustrious Persons of Great Britain published at London in 1747.
May 11th, 2013
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