St Thomas More Catholic

Primary School

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The Life of St Thomas More

St Thomas More

7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535

Birth, Family and Early Life

Thomas More was an English statesman and writer of the early 16th century. Thomas More was born on 7 February 1478 in Milk Street in London. (At that time London was a bustling town of perhaps 60,000 or 70,000 people). His father, John More was a lawyer and the family were comfortably off.


More was an educated man. He studied at Oxford and qualified as a lawyer.


In 1505 Thomas More married a woman named Jane Colt. They had 4 children, 3 daughters and a son. However Jane died in 1511. More then married a widow called Alice Middleton. Alice had a daughter, also called Alice. Thomas More adopted her. In 1520 More and his family moved to Chelsea.



As the years past, Thomas More soon rose in society.

  • In 1504, More was elected to parliament.
  • In 1510, More became under sheriff of London.
  • In 1516, he wrote his famous book Utopia. It was a fantasy about an ideal republic.
  • In 1517, Thomas More entered the king's service.
  • He was was knighted in 1521.
  • Thomas More was made speaker of the House of Commons in 1523.
  • In 1525 More was given the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, which gave him considerable powers in the North of England.


Then, in 1517 the Protestant Reformation began in Germany when a monk named Martin Luther nailed a document to a church door. In England Thomas More was a Catholic and he strongly opposed the Protestant Reformation that was sweeping Europe. He wrote against the teachings of Martin Luther.


Career as Chancellor

In 1529, Thomas More became chancellor of England. 

Then in 1534, King Henry VIII became head of the Church of England. Thomas More refused to swear an oath recognising Henry as head of the English Church.



St Thomas More was tried for treason and he was found guilty. Thomas More was beheaded on 6 July 1535.



Canonised  19 May 1935, Vatican City, by Pope Pius XI
Major shrine  Church of St Peter ad Vincula, London, England
Feast  22 June (Catholic Church)