Sir Thomas More is executed by order of Henry VIII on this date in 1535. A lawyer, social philosopher, and Renaissance humanist, More was the author of Utopia. In this work, he described the ideal and imaginary island nation and its political system. More had been a close confidant of Henry VIII, but the two fell out over the king’s wish to annul his marriage to his first wife in favor of Anne Boleyn. More was tried for treason, convicted on perjured testimony, and beheaded. More’s life is the subject of Robert Bolt’s play A Man for All Seasons.
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