Sir Thomas was a devout Catholic, and was an example for Catholics of the times. In 1505, More married a younger woman named Jane Colt, and gained four children from the marriage before she died in 1511. The children were Margaret, Elizabeth, Cicely, and John. When More became a widower, he chose a new wife in the rich widow Alice Middleton. She
In 1535, his fate was sealed, as he was tried before a panel of judges and convicted of high treason against the King and Queen. After the jury delivered their verdict, More said "no temporal man may be the head of the spirituality," proving his devotion to his faith and conscience - something that would cost him his life. The King, in his mercy, commuted the death sentence to beheading - (a regular traitor would have been hanged, drawn, and quartered). The execution took place on July 6, 1535. While on the scaffold, More was
Sir Thomas More was later canonized in 1886, and he is remembered as a martyr of the reformation, and perhaps one of the only people that King Henry regretted sentencing to death. It is widely thought that Henry considered Thomas one of his closest friends, and mourned his execution for the rest of his life, especially after realizing his marriage to Anne Boleyn had not been what he expected.
I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness,
lowliness, and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of
marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometimes of as
sad gravity. A man for all seasons."
- Robert Whittington (1520)
If anyone is interested in reading a novel about Sir Thomas More, I highly recommend "The King's Confidante" by Jean Plaidy!