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Saint Thomas More

More, Saint Thomas (1478–1535), English statesman, writer, and saint who was executed for his refusal to take the oath of supremacy recognizing Henry VIII as head of the English church. A man of brilliance, subtlety, and wit, he was much favored by the king. When Cardinal Wolsey fell in 1529, More was made lord chancellor. Probably because of Henry's determination to divorce Catherine of Aragon in defiance of the pope, More resigned only 3 years later. Considered dangerously influential even in silence and retirement, More was condemned for high treason. His best-known work is Utopia, a description of an ideal society based on reason. Long recognized as a martyr by the Catholic church, More was canonized in 1935.

See also: Utopia.

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