Our Saint

The kings good servant, but Gods first

Story of St.Thomas Moore

1478 : Thomas More was born in Milk Street of London, United Kingdom, on 7 February 1478, Thomas More was the son of Sir John More and Agnes. He was the second of six children’s they had. More was educated at St Anthony's School, then considered one of London's finest schools. From 1490 to 1492, More served John Morton, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor of England. Believing that More had great potential, Morton nominated him for a place at the University of Oxford.

1492 : More began his studies at Oxford in 1492, and received a classical education. Studying under Thomas Linacre and William Grocyn, he became proficient in both Latin and Greek. More left Oxford after only two years—at his father's insistence—to begin legal training in London at New Inn, one of the Inns of Chancery.

1496 : In 1496, More became a student at Lincoln's Inn, one of the Inns of Court, where he remained until 1502, when he was called to the Bar.

1505 : Thomas More married, Jane Colt in 1505. They had four brilliant children together. Their marriage was reportedly happy and Thomas often tutored her in music and literature.

1510 : More's fame as a lawyer was now very great. In 1510 he was made Under-Sheriff of London, and four years later was chosen by Cardinal Wolsey as one of an embassy to Flanders to protect the interests of English merchants.

1511 : Wife Jane Colt death in 1511. After Jane's death, Thomas quickly remarried to Alice Harpur Middleton, who was a wealthy widow. Alice was not particularly attractive, she was a capital housewife and was devoted to the care of More's young children. On the whole the marriage seems to have been quite satisfactory, although Mistress More usually failed to see the point of her husband's jokes.

1515 : He was thus absent from England for more than six months in 1515, during which period he made the first sketch of the Utopia, his most famous work, which was published the following year.

1516 : In 1516 he was granted a pension of 100 pounds for life, was made a member of the embassy to Calais in the next year, and became a privy councillor about the same time.

1519 : In 1519 he resigned his post as Under-Sheriff and became completely attached to the Court.

1520 : In June, 1520, he was in Henry's suite at the "Field of the Cloth of Gold", in 1521 was knighted and made sub-treasurer to the king. When the Emperor Charles V visited London in the following year, More was chosen to deliver the Latin address of welcome; and grants of land in Oxford and Kent, made then and three years later, gave further proof of Henry's favour.

1523 : In 1523 he was elected Speaker of the House of Commons on Wolsey's recommendation; More had purchased a piece of land in Chelsea, where he built himself a mansion about a hundred yards from the north bank of the Thames, with a large garden stretching along the river. Here at times the king would come as an unbidden guest at dinner time, or would walk in the garden with his arm round More's neck enjoying his brilliant conversation.

1525 : More became High Steward of Cambridge University in 1525; and in the same year was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, to be held in addition to his other offices.

1529 : In October, 1529, More succeeded Wolsey as Chancellor of England, a post never before held by a layman. The supreme diplomat and counsellor, he did not compromise his own moral values in order to please the king, knowing that true allegiance to authority is not blind acceptance of everything that authority wants. King Henry himself realized this and tried desperately to win his chancellor to his side because he knew More was a man whose approval counted, a man whose personal integrity no one questioned. But when Thomas More resigned as chancellor, unable to approve the two matters that meant most to Henry, the king had to get rid of him.

1532 : 16 May 1532, he resigned his post of Lord Chancellor after holding it less than three years. This meant the loss of all his income except about 100 pounds a year, the rent of some property he had purchased; and, with cheerful indifference, he at once reduced his style of living to match his strained means.

1534 : In March, 1534, the Act of Succession was passed which required all who should be called upon to take an oath acknowledging the issue of Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne, and to this was added a clause repudiating "any foreign authority, prince or potentate". On 14 April, More was summoned to Lambeth to take the oath and, on his refusal, was committed to the custody of the Abbot of Westminster.

In prison, though suffering greatly from "his old disease of the chest gravel, stone, and the cramp", his habitual gaiety remained and he joked with his family and friends whenever they were permitted to see him as merrily as in the old days at Chelsea. When alone his time was given up to prayer and penitential exercises

1535 : More was committed to the Tower of London to await trial, Upon conviction, More declared he had all the councils of Christendom and not just the council of one realm to support him in the decision of his conscience. Later was beheaded on Tower Hill, London, on July 6, 1535, as More steadfastly refused to approve King Henry VIII’s divorce and remarriage and establishment of the Church of England.

1886 Pope Leo XIII proclaimed Thomas more as Blessed

1935 : Four hundred years later in 1935, Thomas More was canonized as saint of God by Pope Pious XI.

2000 : Pope John Paul II in 2000 declared him the "heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians."

"Saint Thomas more pray for us...

  • Elizabeth Alga
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