England's Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More Resigns Hot

England's Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More Resigns

Sir Thomas More
Source: Wikipedia

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Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor in England. More has been an opponent of King Henry VIII's break from the Catholic Church though he has tried to be as diplomatic about it as he reasonably could.

More has been resolute in his support of papal supremacy and the pope's rejection of King Henry VIII's divorce form Catherine of Aragon. Because Henry has isolated More from all support, More has been trying to resign for the past few years.

In the end it is easy for Henry to accept More's resignation, because the only thing that the two have agreed upon is the persecution of heretics. Under the previous Lord Chancellor Cardinal Wolsey (1521-1529) no heretics were burned. During the two and a half years Thomas More has been Lord Chancellor, six have been burned. Now that Henry himself is veering into heresy, that common bond is breaking.

Leo Frank Solt writes in Church and State in Early Modern England, 1509-1640:

"More, who engaged weekly in self-flagellation until his hairshirt dripped with blood, was a more zealous prosecutor than Wolsey. Not only was More instrumental in the burning of heretics once the Church had delivered them to the secular arm of the state, he also wrote several books against them. His Dialogue Concerning Heresies (1529) attacked the Lutheran translator of the Bible, William Tyndale; his Supplication of Souls (1529) answered that outspoken critic of the clergy, Simon Fish; and several of his books, written after his retirement as lord chancellor, raged against the aging common lawyer, Christopher St. German. Both Tyndale and St. German had strongly supported royal supremacy, and Fish's anticlericalism also pleased Henry."

The last straw for King Henry VIII of England will come in 1533, when Sir Thomas More does not attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn.


Ian McKellen recites from Sir Thomas More

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