What were two achievements of Sir Thomas More?

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bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) will always be best known for his dedication to the Catholic Church. He first coined the word "Utopia" in his work of the same name. He believed in the right for woman to be educated, and the education of his own daughters "set an example for other noble families." He later defended the Catholic Church (and King Henry VIII) against attacks by Martin Luther. More proved to be outstanding in all of his political positions: as Privy Counselor to the King; Speaker of the House of Commons; university High Steward at Oxford and Cambridge; Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; and King's Chancellor, until his own strong Catholics beliefs began to conflict with Henry's Protestant leanings. He fought against the Protestant Reformation and, later, against Henry's decision to outlaw Catholicism in favor of the Church of England--a move that led to More's eventual execution.

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litgeek2015 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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As the other educator already mentioned, Sir Thomas More had many achievements. Let's look at two in depth.

In life, Sir Thomas More was an important scholar and author. He was a peer of the theologian, Erasmus. He also wrote against Martin Luther and the Reformation. Most notably, however, he wrote The History of Richard III, which most consider to be the first historiography. This was followed by his book, Utopia, a fictional account of a republic ruled by reason, not exactly the world he lived in! 

In death, Sir Thomas More achieved what many would consider the most significant title anyone can, saint. Although More was executed for treason in 1535, the Catholic Church canonized (AKA sainted) him in 1935.

"He has also been deemed a "Reformation martyr" by the Church of England" (biography.com).

More was found guilty of treason because he had not supported King Henry VIII's rebellion against the Catholic Church nor did he support his attempt to divorce Catherine of Aragon. It is appropriate, then, that the Catholic Church acknowledged his devotion by finally canonizing him.

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leelea | Student, Graduate | In Training Educator

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Two things that Thomas More is most often remembered for are his book Utopia, and his execution during the reign of Henry VIII of England (for which he was venerated by Catholics as a martyr). 
Starting with Utopia, it is More's best known work (and most controversial).  It is a landmark work because it covers ideas of individual human rights such as freedom of religion. Many regard it as a Humanist work, which makes sense given that More was an extremely well known Humanist of his time.
More is also well known for the fact that he was executed on July 6th, 1535 for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy. As a devout Catholic, More opposed the king's separation from the Roman Catholic Church and refused to accept him as Supreme Head of the Church of England (A title Henry VIII received via the Act of Supremacy of 1534). More was tried for treason and sentenced to the usual punishment for traitors (hanged, drawn and quartered), which Henry VIII commuted to beheading.  His final words are recorded as being that he died "the King's good servant, but God's first."

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