Chronology of Thomas More’s Life

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1478, Feb 7 Born in London to John and Agnes More

c. 1484-1489 Attends St. Anthony’s School, London (7-12)

c. 1489-1491 Page for Archbishop and Chancellor Morton (12-14)

c. 1491-1493 Student at Oxford (14-16)

c. 1493-1495 Pre-law student, New Inn, London (16-18)

1496-c. 1501 Law student, Lincoln’s Inn; called to bar (18-23)

1499 Meets Erasmus for the first time (22)

c. 1501-1504 Frequents Charterhouse (Carthusians) (24-27)

c. 1501 Lectures on St. Augustine’s City of God; begins Greek (24)

c. 1503-1506 Reader at Furnivall’s Inn (26-29)

1504 Elected to Parliament (27)

1505 Marries Jane Colt; Margaret born (28)

1506 Studies intensely; visits Coventry; Elizabeth born (29)

1507 Financial secretary of Lincoln’s Inn; Cecily born (30)

c. 1508 Visits universities at Paris and Louvain (31)

1509 Member of Mercers’ Guild; John born; Henry VIII crowned (32)

1510 Elected to Parliament (33)

1510-1518 Undersheriff of London (33-41)

1511 After Jane’s death, marries Alice Middleton; Autumn Reader at Lincoln’s Inn (34)

1512 Governor and treasurer of Lincoln’s Inn (35)

1513 Henry VIII leads an army against France; to Henry, Erasmus dedicates his translation of Plutarch’s essay on flattery (36)

1514 Elected to Doctors’ Common; serves on sewers commission (37)

1515 Embassy to Bruges and Antwerp for commercial treaties; Lenten Reader at Lincoln’s Inn; refuses royal pension (38)

1516 Continues to study history and political philosophy (39)

1517 Embassy to Calais; counsel to pope’s ambassador in England; Evil May Day; Wolsey’s Treaty of Universal Peace; Luther’s “Ninety-five Theses” (40)

1518 Joins King Henry’s service; Master of Requests (41)

1520 Field of Cloth of Gold; peace with France (43)

1521 Knighted; undertreasurer; ambassador to Bruges and Calais; cautions Henry not to exaggerate the pope’s secular authority; Margaret marries Roper; Buckingham executed (44)

1522 Gives public oration welcoming Emperor Charles V; serves as Henry’s secretary and cautions against war; war with France resumed (45)

1523 Speaker of the House of Commons, proposes free speech; leases Crosby Hall, truce with France (46)

1524 High Steward, Oxford; moves to Chelsea; war with France resumes: “If my head could win [the King] a castle in France,…it would not fail to go.” (47)

1525 High Steward, Cambridge; chancellor of Lancaster; Peasants’ Revolt; peace treaty with France; Cecily marries Heron; Elizabeth marries Dauncey (48)

1526 Appointed to royal council’s subcommittee of four; urges Erasmus to complete writings against Luther; Turks invade Hungary; Tyndale’s New Testament secretly distributed (49)

1527 Accompanies Wolsey to France; sack of Rome; Henry consults More about divorce; More’s daughters’ dispute before Henry; Holbein paints the More family (50)

1528 Tunstall asks More to defend Church in English; Margaret almost dies; More chosen as alternate Master of Revels, Lincoln’s Inn; More’s three great wishes (see Roper’s Life ) (51)

1529 Delegate, Peace of Cambrai; fire at Chelsea; appointed Lord Chancellor; addresses Parliament; John marries Ann Cresacre (52)

1530 More almost dismissed for his opposition to Henry; Cranmer completes his defense of caesaropapism (53)

1531 Henry declared Supreme Head of the Church in England (54)

1532 Counters Cromwell’s and St. German’s attacks on the clergy; reports universities’ approval of royal divorce; Henry enraged by undiplomatic clerics; Submission of Clergy (May 15); More resigns his office (May 16) (55)

1533 Restraint of Appeals to Rome; England declared an empire (April); Cranmer authorizes royal divorce (May); Anne Boleyn’s coronation (June 1); Pope Clement VII condemns the divorce (July); to defend his reputation, More writes to Erasmus (56)

1534 Henry asks for More’s indictment (Feb. 21), but House of Lords refuses three times; More questioned by royal commission (March), interrogated at Lambeth Palace (Apr. 13), and finally imprisoned (illegally) for refusal to take Cromwell’s oath regarding the Act of Succession (Apr. 17); Chancellor Audley sends a warning to More (August) (57)

1535 Margaret visits while monks are led to execution (May 4); More interrogated on May 7, June 3, and June 14; Richard Rich removes writing materials (June12); More’s trial (July 1) and execution (July 6) (58)