Thomas More Family Portrait

Although the painting has the signature of Rowland Lockey (1565/7-1616), it is dated 1530 and the linen canvas dates back to the 1520s. Recent studies indicate that Holbein probably began but never finished this more permanent oil version of the water-based painting that he had completed c. 1527. The water-based ("distempered") original perished in a fire in 1752. Margaret is pointing to the word "demens" ("mad") in the chorus of Seneca's Oedipus, act 4. Other books identified are Seneca's Letters under the arm of Elizabeth and Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy on the sideboard.

Family Monkey Lady Alice John Harris Servant Margaret More Henry Patenson Cecily More John More Sir Thomas More Anne Cresacre Judge John More Margaret Giggs Elizabeth More

Family Monkey

Lady Alice

57 years old

John Harris

27 years old; More's secretary


Margaret More

22 years old

Henry Patenson

Family Fool

Cecily More

20 years old

John More

18 years old

Sir Thomas More

50 years olf

Anne Cresacre

15 years old; ward

Judge John More

76 years old

Margaret Giggs

22 years old; adopted

Elizabeth More

22 years old

This painting hangs at Nostell Priory in Wakefield, England. See Lesley Lewis's The Thomas More Family Group Portraits After Holbein (Gracewing, 1998), p. 13 esp. Angela Lewi's The Thomas More Family Group (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1974), pp. 5-7, and Ruth Norrington's The Household of Sir Thomas More (Buckinghamshire, Eng: The Kylin Press, 1985).