Thomas More and King Henry VIII, their relationship [Sample]
King Henry took a liking to Thomas More although More did not reciprocate. Privately, More did not like Henry VIII and told his oldest son-in-law that: in the supremacy of the Pope and the impropriety of this marriage. Thomas More was the key counselor of King Henry VIII of England, who was It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship and professional relationship, and The description of the island of Utopia comes from a mysterious. Thomas More: Sir Thomas More, English humanist and chancellor of England who for refusing to accept King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. More's Utopia describes a pagan and communist city-state in which the Henry VIII “laid the Bible open before him” as proof that his marriage to.
Perhaps his earlier justification for the annulment had been a matter of self-interest, a selective interpretation of opaque text. But time and impatience had made him emphatic in his righteousness. It was perfectly clear to any objective observer that the marriage was unlawful before God! He dictated letter after letter. He badgered Katharine ceaselessly. The pope would not relent. Meanwhile, time was passing and a king used to instant obedience was determined to wait no longer. Wolsey was destined to die for his failure to secure the annulment.
Thomas More (1478 - 1535)
Fortunately for the old cardinal, he died before the king could kill him. The honor was tremendous; notably, More was the first layman to hold the office. He handled his responsibilities with his usual skill, but it was a balancing act, and an increasingly dangerous one.
And when the English clergy were forced to acknowledge Henry as the supreme head of their church, More attempted to resign his office. His resignation was at first not accepted. But eventually the break between the king and his chief minister could not be ignored.
More suffered a sharp chest pain, possibly angina, and begged the king to release him from his duties. This was on 16 Maythe date on which the archdiocese of Canterbury, as head of the English clergy, sent a document to Henry VIII in which is promised to never legislate or even convene without royal assent, thus making the king — a lay person — head of the spiritual order in England.
He had once served under Wolsey and knew More well. Cromwell was an astute politician whose beliefs changed at the whim of his royal master.
That was clear to Cromwell almost from the first, and perhaps to More, too. But in the meantime, More had eighteen months of seclusion and study at his home in Chelsea. He lived in relative poverty, for he held no office and relied solely upon the hundred pounds per annum he collected from a property rental.
He did not struggle with the reduction in means, and busied himself with planning a tomb for himself and his wivesas well as defending his faith in various pamphlets. His months of peace ended inwhen he refused to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn. It did not matter. His name was on the attainder and he was brought before the Privy Council in February He answered their queries as best he could, assuring them of his loyalty to king and state and stressing the matter of his personal conscience.
It was his great popularity that saved him. It gave the king pause, and More was allowed to return home. But he knew what was coming. Then, in good faith, between your grace and me is but this, that I shall die today, and you tomorrow. This More was fully prepared to do. Anne was the anointed queen. And so he was imprisoned in the Tower of London on 17 April More was not a man to be broken by prison, but he suffered physically.
His spirits were high when visited by family and friends, though they were only permitted to see him if they took the Oath which he had refused. He encouraged them to do so. After several months, he was visited by Cromwell, but More refused to engage him in debate and merely declared himself a faithful subject of the king.
This was an obvious lie; More had never said anything of the sort to any other visitor, — why Rich? And why such an obvious and clumsy admission? Despite widespread belief, even amongst Protestants, that Rich was lying, his statement was enough for a fresh inquiry to begin. It was then discovered that More had written to John Fisher, the bishop of Rochester, who was also imprisoned in the Tower for not taking the oath.
He could now only write to his wife and favorite daughter Margaret with a piece of coal or burnt stick on scraps of paper.
On 1 Julyhe was indicted on high treason. Rich the Secrets of my Conscience in respect to the King's Supremacy, the particular Secrets, and only Point about which I have been so long pressed to explain my self?
I refer it to your Judgments, my Lords, whether this can seem credible to any of your Lordships. After the jury's verdict was delivered and before his sentencing, More spoke freely of his belief that "no temporal man may be the head of the spirituality" take over the role of the Pope.
According to William Roper 's account, More was pleading that the Statute of Supremacy was contrary to the Magna Cartato Church laws and to the laws of England, attempting to void the entire indictment against him.
When he came to mount the steps to the scaffold, its frame seeming so weak that it might collapse,   More is widely quoted as saying to one of the officials: His head was fixed upon a pike over London Bridge for a month, according to the normal custom for traitors."A Man for All Seasons" - Sentencing Scene
More's daughter Margaret later rescued the severed head. Some sources, including one fromclaimed that the hair shirt was then at the Martyr's church on the Weld family's estate in ChideockDorset. The History is a Renaissance biography, remarkable more for its literary skill and adherence to classical precepts than for its historical accuracy.
The History of King Richard III was written and published in both English and Latin, each written separately, and with information deleted from the Latin edition to suit a European readership. Contemporary historians attribute the unflattering portraits of Richard III in both works to both authors' allegiance to the reigning Tudor dynasty that wrested the throne from Richard III in the Wars of the Roses.
Utopia book More's best known and most controversial work, Utopia is a frame narrative written in Latin. Utopia's original edition included a symmetrical " Utopian alphabet " omitted by later editions, but which may have been an early attempt or precursor of shorthand.
Utopia contrasts the contentious social life of European states with the perfectly orderly, reasonable social arrangements of Utopia and its environs Tallstoria, Nolandia, and Aircastle. In Utopia, there are no lawyers because of the laws' simplicity and because social gatherings are in public view encouraging participants to behave wellcommunal ownership supplants private property, men and women are educated alike, and there is almost complete religious toleration except for atheists, who are allowed but despised.
More may have used monastic communalism as his model, although other concepts such as legalising euthanasia remain far outside Church doctrine.
Hythlodaeus asserts that a man who refuses to believe in a god or an afterlife could never be trusted, because he would not acknowledge any authority or principle outside himself. Some take the novel's principal message to be the social need for order and discipline rather than liberty. Ironically, Hythlodaeus, who believes philosophers should not get involved in politics, addresses More's ultimate conflict between his humanistic beliefs and courtly duties as the King's servant, pointing out that one day those morals will come into conflict with the political reality.
Utopia gave rise to a literary genre, Utopian and dystopian fictionwhich features ideal societies or perfect cities, or their opposite. Although Utopianism combined classical concepts of perfect societies Plato and Aristotle with Roman rhetorical finesse cf.
CiceroQuintilianepideictic oratorythe Renaissance genre continued into the Age of Enlightenment and survives in modern science fiction. Religious polemics[ edit ] In the reformer Martin Luther published three works in quick succession: In the Responsio, More defended papal supremacy, the sacraments, and other Church traditions.
More, though considered "a much steadier personality",  described Luther as an "ape", a "drunkard", and a "lousy little friar" amongst other epithets. If for More scatology normally expresses a communal disapproval, for Luther, it expresses a deep personal rage. He thereafter avoided any hint of criticism of Church authority. He was charged with welcoming foreign envoys, writing down official drafts and serving as a contact linking the king and his Lord Chancellor.
Henry used his influence in the legislative assembly to get Thomas elected for the position. He also chipped in as a steward in universities. Soon after his stewardship, he became the Duchy of Lancaster chancellor, a position that was much higher than his former position. This was a post that involved directorial and legal power of greater of northern England. He became the first layman to occupy this influential office. During this period he settled cases with unparalleled briskness.
Sir Thomas More: Biography, Facts and Information
At this point, he was completely devoted to the king and the administration 6. InHenry VIII had cut off Thomas by removing the majority of the clergy who gave backing to the Papal stand from higher-ranking posts in the church 7. Coming to terms with his out-of-the-way position, Thomas tried to give up his job after being compelled to take a pledge affirming the king as the ultimate leader of the English Church.
In addition, the Statute of Praemunire made it illegal to shore up in open or place of work the assertions of the Papacy. Even so, the standing and power of Thomas as well as his lengthy association with the king, made certain that his life was safe for the time being and as a result, he was not kicked out of office 7.
On the other hand, with his backers in court fast fading away, in he requested the king to yet again to relieve 7 Robinson, Jon. He alleged that he was unwell and going through prickly chest aches.
This time the king endowed his request. There was little doubt that Thomas stepped down as a result of religious concerns. He understood that all clergy needed autonomy of ethics and devotion to the Pope which were undoubtedly defied by the administration of King Henry VIII 8.
Trial and execution In Anne Boleyn was enthroned as the Queen of England and Thomas was conspicuously absent at the ceremony. In spite of this, his absence was broadly taken to mean a rebuff in opposition to Anne and Henry took action against him.
Thomas was able to bring forth a correspondence in which he had inculcated Barton not to get in the way with national issues. In April 13 of the same year Thomas was required to appear before a committee and pledge his loyalty to the legislative Act of Succession. He held fast to the olden instruction of Papal superiority. He was later imprisoned in the Tower of London.
On July 1, of the following year Thomas was tried before a team of judges. He was arraigned in court for his treasonous acts against the law of succession. He was found guilty after Solicitor General, Richard Rich testified against him 7. Immediately after the sentence had been passed against him, Thomas talked unreservedly about his conviction. He reiterated that no earthly person may claim to be the head of spirituality.
Thomas was to be sent to the hangman, be drawn and quartered. The king ordered that his putting to death be through decapitation.