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June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535) was an English writer, statesman and lawyer.

He assumed the title of a leading humanist scholar in his life and took on many public duties. He created a new generation in literature with his work Utopia. In Utopia, which he wrote in 1516, an ideal imaginary island described the country’s political system. More’s King VIII. Henry’s opposition in principle to his intention to become head of the English church led to the end of his political career and his execution as a traitor. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935, 400 years after his death.

He was born on February 7, 1478, in London. His father was Sir John More, an important judge of the time. He entered Oxford University for education. He began writing during the 2 years he spent at Oxford. His interest in ancient Greek and Latin literature was also during this period. He then returned to London and began studying law in 1496. He became a lawyer in 1501. While he was studying law, he lived a monastic life and was burning with the desire to become a priest. However, over time this feeling faded and his soul was filled with the desire to serve his country. He entered the parliament in 1504. Around this time, his friendship with the famous Dutch writer Erasmus developed, and Erasmus dedicated his famous work, Encomium Moriae (Ode to Madness), published in 1509, to Thomas More.

He entered the service of the King in 1517. After a successful diplomatic mission, he was knighted and made assistant treasurer. His career as the king’s personal adviser continued to shine. In 1525 he became minister to the Duchy of Lancaster. King VIII. After forcing the resignation of Cardinal Wolsey, the chairman of the House of Lords, who could not adequately help Henry with matters relating to their marriage, he replaced Thomas More as chairman of the House of Lords. More, who shared the King’s thoughts at first, became troubled by the King’s growing interest in Protestantism and his negative views on the church. He personally disliked and disapproved of Protestantism, embracing and caring about the Catholic church of the time. He refused to swear allegiance to the King in 1531, after straining his relationship with the King with his books critical of Protestantism. Later, he left his duties in 1532, using his illness as an excuse. She was shocked when she refused to attend the coronation ceremony in 1533 at which Anne Boleyn was proclaimed Queen of England. False lawsuits and rumors began. Despite acknowledging that Parliament could declare Anne Boleyn Queen of England, she refused to take the oath of allegiance as this would have been an act against the Pope. That’s why she was arrested. Later, a lie that he did not see the King as head of the church was also brought before him as a crime he had committed. He was sentenced to death. He was executed on 6 July 1535.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook

Also please see:

– Thomas More and the concept of utopia
– Thomas More’s work named “Utopia”
– Academic information about Thomas More’s “Utopia”