Thomas More

The transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance was a process not without a certain degree of violence. In his conduct, there were many human losses as a result of resistance to the changes of the time. The martyr Thomas More can be seen as one of the most representative. Here is his story.

Personal information

  • When was he born: 02/07/1478
  • Where he was born:  Milk Street, London, UK
  • When he died: 07/06/1535
  • Where he died: Tower Hill, London, UK

Who was Thomas More?

Thomas More is an English philosopher, jurist, theologian, and martyr who lived between 1478 and 1535 . He is considered by both the Catholic Church and many thinkers of politics and law as one of the most representative figures of Western thought, especially for his conception of an ideal society that everyone should aspire to achieve.

  • Biography of Thomas More
  • Death
  • Canonization of Thomas More
  • Thought
  • Theories of Thomas More
  • Contributions
  • Utopia of Thomas More
  • Importance
  • Plays
  • Thomas More quotes

Biography of Thomas More

Born into a simple family in England , this character was born in 1478. His father, a subject of the same name as our protagonist, was a very important jurist of the High Judicial Court . Most likely this influenced his future career as a lawyer and lawyer , which would lead him to occupy very important positions in his time.

He spent much of his youth studying and living under the inheritance his father left him before he died. Thomas More had a very close contact with the English clergy of his time, as well as with great humanist personalities. Such was the case, by the way, of Erasmus of Roterdam, a high figure of the European Renaissance.

In his career, Tomas Moro stood out, above all, as a lawyer for the English crown. His services as a lawyer were highly valued during his time. There was little literary production that was born from his pen, standing out in territories such as politics, laws, culture and theology. From a largely Catholic background , Moro would take from this the basis for the formation of many of his ideas and in the writing of one of his most important writings: UTOPÍA .

Due to differences with King Henry VIII of Tudor, who demanded from Moro the approval of the divorce bill that would dissolve his relationship with his wife, as well as other unorthodox policies , Moro would be imprisoned in the Tower of London until his execution.


Quite possibly, the circumstances of his death and the testimonies of his work done in life allowed the Church to canonize him several centuries later. Moro was sentenced to die by King Henry VIII of Tudor on July 1, 1535, and executed on the seventh day of that same month. It is said that his execution was due to Moro’s refusal to collaborate in the approval of a document that approved the divorce of the king with Queen Catherine of Aragon, as well as other reforms such as his appointment as head of the Church of England , his break with Rome and the Catholic Church and the confiscation of all the property of thechurch in England.

Canonization of Thomas More

This process was, as in many other cases, slow and cumbersome. At the end of the 19th century , centuries after his death, Moro was beatified by Pope Leo XIII , and in 1935, he was formally canonized by Pius XI. At the beginning of the 21st century, Pope John Paul II nominated Thomas More as the patron saint of rulers. This happens in response to the requests of several presidents of the continent to the Vatican in past decades, being John Paul II who would formally carry out this process.


In short, it can be said that Moro’s thought always had a side oriented towards the best of possible societies. Humanist of his time, he thought that the ideal society was an achievable one.

Theories of Thomas More

Author of a large number of works, Moro would elaborate a philosophical theoretical body from the political and social perspective In this, a society that does not require great ostentation , or private property, with a regularization of a large part of its activities would be idealized . Moro developed a utopian model that sought its application in order to solve the problems that Europe had been carrying for many centuries.


Tomas Moro was, above all, a humanist of his time. This is understood taking into account that we are in Renaissance Europe . The thinkers of his time were turning their attention to human rights and to man as a measure of all things. Therefore, it is easy to see that his work advocates a very idealistic tone and very close to the search for the end of tyrannies. His contributions in this regard, collected largely within a work written in Latin and English, have served politicians of the future in establishing their own measures and actions.

Utopia of Thomas More

Considered the magnum opus of Tomás More , in this it expresses a society that does not exist, but that presents all the conditions to be seen as the best of all possible worlds . Moro had outlined an island here containing some fifty-four cities. These, of course, included the capital, located in its center. On this island, the inhabitants did not boast great wealth, nor did they suffer from extreme poverty. Nor could it be said that a situation of necessity existed in them, since private property lost its meaning because it did not exist, nor did currency. To this day, many of the aspects described by Moro they represent some form of dictatorship as understood by current standards. The coexistence and participation of citizens was governed by a theocratic state , although religious freedom is respected and forced conversions are condemned. Other somewhat questionable practices are raised there, such as the enslavement of prisoners and the euthanasia of the seriously ill.


With Tomas Moro, we find the germ of ideas that centuries later would hatch into government systems that, quite insistently, would try to arrive at a utopian model. Over the years, Utopia is considered by the common people as that ideal world that we all aspire to achieve. It is, therefore, a model that not a few people try to reach by various means. Such has been the case with the Soviets , who, according to the reading of many specialists, tried to put some of Moro’s notions into practice through their communist system .


  • Utopia.
  • A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation.
  • The History of King Richard the Third.
  • Dialogue Concerning Heresies.
  • The sadness of Christ.

Thomas More quotes

Some of the most outstanding phrases of Tomás Moro were:

  • The king’s good servant, but God first.
  • If honor were profitable, everyone would be honorable.
  • Nothing can be given to one man except by taking it from another.
  • Man cannot be separated from God, nor the politics of morality.

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