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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.
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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