1527. Oil on wood. The Frick Collection, New York, USA. Read Note.
St. Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) English humanist, statesman and scholar. He was educated at Oxford. During the last years of Henry VII he became under-sheriff of London and a member of Parliament. Under Henry VIII he took important offices, the highest of which was Lord Chancellor, to which he was appointed against his own wish. For all his saintly reputation More was ferocious enough to condemn heretics to be burnt. In 1532, he resigned the chancelloship. In 1534, after Henry VIII was declared Head of the English Church, More refused to recognize any head of the church other than the pope and was accused of high treason. He was imprisoned and then, in a year, beheaded. He was canonized in 1935