Sir Thomas More: Scholar, Statesman, and Martyr
Instability remained a common theme throughout English history, especially in the years of 1400-1600. The King's reign of England would usually determine the stability of the realm. When wars broke out, taxes were increased and society became unstable. Those who appeased the King were placed above others, while those who dissatisfied him would meet the blade. That was well understood by the people in the realm of England. Sir Thomas More was an Englishman whom personified the instability of the time. Sir Thomas More was a popular scholar and statesman who towards the latter part of his life became a martyr for his beliefs. The following paper will explore the life and ideas of Sir Thomas More as well as his personality which led him to become a martyr during the reign of Henry VIII.
Sir Thomas More was born during a time of great instability in England. He was born on February 7, 1478 in the heart of London, Milk Street. More was baptized immediately after his birth. During this time in England, being born into a family of prestige would be a blessing for the child's future. Luckily for More that was the case. His father, John More and his mother, Agnes More, had inherited land from their fathers. "The world of More was one of status rather than of class, where the inheritance of feudalism and authoritarian religion pre-eminently demanded the virtues of loyalty and duty." More's father was in a well-off position by fifteenth century standards, for he later became a judge. John More and Agnes More were married in 1474 and had their second child Thomas four years later. "Thomas was the second of six children to be born to John and Agnes More: three girls and two other boys." During these years there were high infant mortality rates as well as the high possibility of the mother's death, which reflects in the inconclusive evidence of More's siblings life spans. However, it is accurate to say...
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