Thomas More developed a successful career as a lawyer. He also became part of the circle of scholars, known as ‘Humanists’ who gathered around Erasmus of Rotterdam. Coming to the attention of Cardinal Wolsey, he began to undertake diplomatic work for the King, and joined the King’s Council in 1518. Becoming Lord Chancellor in 1529, he was unable to support Henry’s claim to be Supreme Head of the Church in England, and was executed in 1535.Read Thomas's Life Story
More was born and bred in the heart of the old City of London and spent most of his life there. He identified strongly with the city, and mentioned it in the epitaph he wrote for himself.View Thomas's Footsteps
More’s life experiences were, in some ways, very similar to many people today – he was of comfortable, but not wealthy, background, went to university, studied for a profession, had a family whom he loved, yet the tumult of the times in which he lived and the very different religious and social outlook make him hard to understand.
Read about how contemporaries saw him, and about his most important position – Lord Chancellor of England.
- Thomas More: Appearance & Character
- The Charterhouse
- A Rueful Lamentation
- English Law and the Role of the Lord Chancellor (1485 – 1625)
More has been the subject of biography since shortly after his death. The religious controversy which surrounded his life and death have made him a saint for many and a persecutor for others. One recent work that concentrates on More as a family man, whilst giving a measured insight into the issues he faced, is ‘A Daughter's Love: Thomas and Margaret More’ reviewed here.