Act of Attainder of Sir Thomas More, 1534

Sir Thomas More is often seen as a victim of Henry VIII's monstrous personality. As a lawyer of great ability, he had been at the centre of Henry's government from 1523, when he became the speaker of Parliament. As Lord Chancellor (from 1529), More was not convinced that Henry's wish for a divorce from Catherine of Aragon was in the interests of either the king or the realm, and used his position to oppose Henry's wishes. More's largely silent protest meant that he could not be convicted of overt treason, but he was eventually executed in 1534 for persistently refusing to swear the oath of allegiance. The Act of AttainderGlossary - opens new window used against him shows that, although Parliament was the highest court of the land, it could be overawed by strong monarchs into endorsing their particular wishes and desires.
Catalogue reference: C 65/143, m. 3, no. 4 (1534)

Transcript
document

 

close window
back to top of page