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More, Sir Thomas

More, Sir Thomas (1478(?)-1535), was brought up in the house of Archbishop Morton (q.v.), who sent him to Oxford. In 1501 he entered Parliament, and soon became prominent for his opposition to the exactions of Henry VII. In 1508 he was made a judge in the sheriff's court and two years later under-sheriff of London. He was introduced to the notice of Henry VIII. by Wolsey, and became very intimate with the king. He was employed in important diplomatic missions in 1514 and 1527, and created a knight and Privy Councillor. As Speaker of the House of Commons he opposed Wolsey's attempts at arbitrary taxation, but nevertheless was appointed to the offices of Master of Requests and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In 1529 he became Lord Chancellor, and took an active part in promoting reforms in the Church. Being opposed to a breach with Rome, he was, however, deprived of the seals in 1532, and two years later was sent to the Tower. All devices were tried in vain to make him take the oath acknowledging the king's headship of the Church, and he was executed in 1535 on a charge of misprision of treason. His Utopia, in which many social changes were anticipated, was translated from the Latin in 1556. He wrote in English a History of Richard III.