St. Thomas More (1477/78-1535) was lord chancellor of England under Henry VIII, an author, and a martyr. Born a commoner, his brilliance was recognized early (one friend said he mastered Greek so quickly it was as if “by an instinct of genius”). After Oxford, he studied law in London, was called to the bar, and rose rapidly through the ranks, quickly becoming an ambassador, a member of the court, and then lord chancellor. According to all sources, More was a brilliant and efficient lawyer and judge, able to see all sides of issues and discuss them with clarity and wit. During this period, he wrote his most famous work, Utopia (More coined the word, which means “no place”), a description of a communal society in which, among other things, no one owns property. More’s career began to turn when Henry VIII became determined to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so that he might marry Anne Boleyn. More tried to avoid the controversy over Henry’s divorce and papal jurisdiction. However, in 1534 an Act of Succession was proclaimed, which required all subjects to take an oath disavowing the validity of Henry’s marriage to Catherine and repudiating “any foreign authority, prince or potentate” (i.e., the pope). More, like most Englishmen at the time, was Catholic by heritage and refused to give up his beliefs and faith. He was quickly taken to the Tower of London as a prisoner, where he remained in horrid conditions for 15 months, all the while, his jailors recorded, retaining his “habitual gaiety.” In 1535, More, based on perjured evidence, was charged with perjury. He was beheaded at Tower Hill on July 6, 1535. The story of his last days is one of the most tender and heart-rending accounts of injustice in all of literature, especially since More was so determinedly cheerful and forgiving: as he was attempting to move up the scaffold, he said to his guard: “I pray you, master lieutenant, see me safe up, and as for my coming down, let me shift for myself.” From the scaffold, he let it be known that he bore no one ill will, giving a blessing to the king, his torturer. More became the patron of lawyers because he so thoroughly held to the importance of precedent and law over the will of the powerful.
This one of a kind figure is completely hand made by Hank Schlau and hand painted by his wife Karen Schlau. Made of durable material that can be displayed both indoors and outdoors. It is loosely based on the famous portrait of More by Hans Holbein the Younger.
|By:||Batang (Oxford MD, September 21, 2011)|
|Review:||Wonderful, if house sells !!?? Best Uses: Waiting for house sale; Cons: none; Pros: Agree|