St Thomas More 1478 - 1535
" The King's faithful servant but God's first"
Born in London, son of Sir John More, a prominent judge. As a youth he served as a pageboy in the household of Archbishop Morton. In 1494 he studied law and became a barrister.
He entered Parliament in 1504, he married Jane Colt and had four children. In 1510 he was appointed one of the two under-sheriffs in London. He gained a reputation for being a patron of the poor. In 1511 his wife, Jane, died in childbirth. Soon after, with the responsibilities of a growing family, he married Alice Middleton.
In 1523 he came to the attention of King Henry VIII and was made speaker of the House of Commons. In 1529 Thomas More became Chancellor. His fall came quickly when he refused to endorse King Henry's plan to divorce Catherine of Aragon. Thomas More resigned in 1532, and declared "my heart in all conscience cannot accept the rules of the King because they betray the Gospel".
In 1534, Thomas refused to swear to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy, he was found guilty of treason and was cruelly incarcerated in the Tower of London for 14 months. He was condemned to death and with serenity went to his death by beheading on 6 July 1535.
His final words were "Servus Dei Fidelis": "I remain the King's good servant, but God's first".
In 1963 he was chosen as our Parish Patron because he was an outstanding layman
and good role model for the young families who were just
establishing their new lives in the growing suburb of Hadfield.
Let us continue to model our lives and faith on St Thomas More.