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Tudor Minute April 17, 1534: Thomas More was sent to the Tower

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for April 17.

Today in 1534 Thomas More was sent to the Tower for his refusal to take the Oath of Succession saying that Henry’s marriage to Catherine was void, and his marriage to Anne Boleyn was the legitimate one. After having refused to swear the oath on April 13, he was removed to the Abbot of Westminster where he stayed until today, when he was moved to the Tower.

He wrote a letter to his oldest daughter Margaret Roper when he arrived, telling her what had happened. The Abbot and other nobles had used very persuasive tactics on More. After he said he couldn’t sign it, he wrote, “Unto this my Lord Chancellor said that they all were sorry to hear me say thus, and see me thus refuse the oath. And they said all that on their faith I was the very first that ever refused it; which would cause the King’s Highness to con-ceive great suspicion of me and great indignation toward me. And therewith they showed me the roll, and let me see the names of the lords and the commons which had sworn, and subscribed their names already.”

He closed with,

“Howbeit (as help me God), as touching the whole oath, I never withdrew any man from it, nor never advised any to refuse it, nor never put, nor will, any scruple in any man’s head, but leave every man to his own conscience. And methinketh in good faith that so were it good reason that every man should leave me to mine.”

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.


Thomas More Episode