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Thomas More was made Lord Chancellor of Britain by King Henry VIII after the downfall of his predecessor, Cardinal Wolsey.

More was famed for his honesty and integrity and was an avid supporter of Papal authority of the church.

It was this belief that would lead to his own downfall as he consistently refused to acknowledge Henry VIII’s claim as supreme head of the Church.

In 1532, the King decided to break away from the Church in order to get a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon; More retired as Lord Chancellor and two years later he was arrested.

He was tortured in the Tower of London for the next year until on July 1, 1535 he was sentenced to death for treason. On July 5, a day before his execution, he provided us with an important early modern history source when wrote this letter to his daughter Margaret; as his writing implements had been confiscated, he was forced to use a stick of charcoal and a piece of cloth to write it;
"I never liked your manner towards me better than when you kissed me last; for I love when daughterly love and dear charity hath no leisure to look to worldly courtesy. Farewell, my dear child, and pray for me, and I shall for you and all your friends, that we may merrily meet in heaven".
Full letter at


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