A new photo of the beautiful city of Canterbury in Kent and surrounding area every day.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

St Dunstans Church - Thomas More

I am sure most of you know who St Thomas More was but, in case you are just another ignorant moron, here is a bit more about the guy who wrote Utopia - not only wrote but he invented the word too - and one of the most important Renaissance Humanists in England.

Born in London on 07/02/1478 he became a lawyer (his father was rich) and by the age of 23 he was already a barrister - yes, the lucky bugger was clever too. In fact, he was so clever that by the tender age of 43, he became an advisor of King Henry VIII. His political career didn't stop there though: in 1523 he also became Speaker of the House of Commons, and in 1529 he was promoted to Lord Chancellor.

Unfortunately, he was also a very (I mean very) religious guy - flagelation was just one of the many things included in his daily routine (I did say he was very religious!) and after a series of political bad moves he ended up refusing to sign the Act of Supremacy which made King Henry VIII the new Super Pope.

As you can imagine, that didn't go down well with his boss and in those days, sacking the poor guy was not enough: you had to behead him too. God, don't wish you could still behead a few now? (Fred Goodwin, Madoff, Peter Cummings, to name a few).

Anyway, how does this guy end up in St Dunstan's Church in Canterbury?

Well, his daughter Margaret was married to the rich local Roper family and they managed to rescue her dad's head which after a week on a spike in London Bridge was ready to be thrown in the Thames. She brought it back with her and buried it in her Roper Vault where it aparantly still is. Don't worry, if you visit, you don't have to see it.

More was canonised in 1935 and is highly revered by the Catholic Church.

Read more about The Life of Thomas More

4 comments:

Petrea said...

More was a brave man. It's rare to find someone these days willing to die for their convictions. Peter Ackroyd wrote a terrific biography of More, I highly recommend it.

GeneMarine said...

Thanks for the history lesson! One of my favorite movies is "Becket" with Richard burton and peter O'Toole. Was just at the Tower of London about 10 days ago.

Babooshka said...

Brilliant post. So much history round your way.

Rose said...

Petrea
We don't often see intelligence and bravery hand in hand as with More.

GeneMarine
History lesson?
Haha... I am sure you knew it all already. Came to England and didn't say "hello"?
Tut tut...

Babooshka
I feel privileged to live in such a wonderful part of the world.