Sir Thomas More appointed Lord Chancellor

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Historical Context Note

Sir Thomas More was a man of many interests and talents: in 1516 he had published a work of social philosophy, Utopia, which would become the founding text of a whole genre. He was a renowned Renaissance Humanist scholar, and friends with Erasmus. After Henry VIII's longstanding chief minister, Thomas Wolsey, fell from power in 1529 after failing to secure the King a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, More was appointed his successor as Lord Chacellor. However, once Henry began to push for a solution to his marital problems that would involve disowning and denying Papal authority, the devoutly Catholic More found himself unable to support the King's policies. He resigned his position in 1532, hoping thereby to avoid controversy. …

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