Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor

| February 7, 2017

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Sir Thomas More, lawyer, philosopher, humanist, scholar and Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor, on 7th February 1477 (or 1478). More was born in Milk Street, London, and was the son of Sir John More, lawyer and judge on the King’s Bench, and Agnes Graunger, daughter of Thomas Graunger, […]

6 July 1535 – Sir Thomas More is executed on Tower Hill

| July 6, 2016

6 July 1535 – Sir Thomas More is executed on Tower Hill

On this day in history, 6th July 1535, Henry VIII’s former friend and Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, was beheaded on Tower Hill as a traitor. He had been found guilty of high treason under the Treason Act of 1534 for denying the King’s supremacy and refusing to take the Oath of Succession. Chronicler Charles […]

July 1535 – Sir Thomas More’s letter to Anthony Bonvyse

| July 5, 2016

July 1535 – Sir Thomas More’s letter to Anthony Bonvyse

Most people know about Sir Thomas More’s final letter to his beloved daughter, Margaret (Meg) Roper – click here – but he also wrote a letter in Latin, and again written in coal, to his dear friend Anthony Bonvyse (Bonvisi), a merchant. Here is the record, an English transcription of the letter, from Letters and […]

5 July 1535 – The imprisoned Sir Thomas More writes a final letter to his daughter

| July 5, 2016

5 July 1535 – The imprisoned Sir Thomas More writes a final letter to his daughter

On this day in history, 5th July 1535, Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s former chancellor, wrote a last letter from his prison cell in the Tower of London. He’d been imprisoned in the Tower since 17th April 1534 and had been found guilty of high treason by a commission of oyer and terminer on 1st […]

1 July 1535 – Trial of Sir Thomas More

| July 1, 2016

1 July 1535 – Trial of Sir Thomas More

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, includes a record of the commission of oyer and terminer which tried Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s former chancellor, for treason on 1st July 1535. Firstly, it gives a list of those appointed to the commission of oyer and terminer: “Special commission of oyer and terminer for […]

25 October 1529 – Sir Thomas More is made Lord Chancellor

| October 25, 2015

25 October 1529 – Sir Thomas More is made Lord Chancellor

On 25th October 1529, Sir Thomas More was made Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor following the fall of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Henry’s previous Lord Chancellor who had been forced to surrender the Great Seal on 17th October. According to an account in Letters and Papers, the seal was then delivered to Sir Thomas More by the […]

26 June 1535 – Arrangements made for Sir Thomas More’s trial

| June 26, 2015

26 June 1535 – Arrangements made for Sir Thomas More’s trial

On this day in history, 26th June 1535, a new commision of oyer and terminer was appointed for the county of Middlesex. The commission ordered the Sheriff of Middlesex to gather the Grand Jury on the 28th June at Westminster Hall. “Oyer and terminer” comes from the French “to hear and to determine” and denotes […]

3 June 1535 – Sir Thomas More is interrogated

| June 3, 2015

3 June 1535 – Sir Thomas More is interrogated

On 3rd June 1535, Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s former Lord Chancellor, was interrogated in the Tower of London by Thomas Boleyn, Thomas Audley, Thomas Cromwell and the Duke of Suffolk regarding the royal supremacy. He had been arrested and taken to the Tower on 17th April 1534 after refusing to swear the Oath of […]