|Chapel of St Peter ad Vinccula.|
Photo taken by: Relee54
Location: Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, London, England (Body) and Roper Vault of St. Dunstan's, Canterbury, England (Head)
Cause of death: Executed - decapitation
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English lawyer, author, and statesman who in his lifetime gained a reputation as a leading Renaissance humanist scholar, and occupied many public offices, including Lord Chancellor (1529–1532). More coined the word utopia, a name he gave to an ideal, imaginary island nation whose political system he described in the eponymous book published in 1516. He was beheaded in 1535 when he refused to sign the Act of Supremacy that declared King Henry VIII Supreme Head of the Church of England.
|Roper Vault of St. Dunstan's.|
Photo taken by: Liondartois
He was buried at the Tower of London, in the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula in an unmarked grave. His head was fixed upon a pike over London Bridge for a month, according to the normal custom for traitors. His daughterMargaret Roper then rescued it, possibly by bribery, before it could be thrown in the River Thames.
The skull is believed to rest in the Roper Vault of St. Dunstan's, Canterbury, with the remains of his daughter, Margaret Roper, and her husband's family, whose vault it was. Margaret would have treasured this relic of her adored father, and legend is that she wished to be buried herself with his head in her arms.
In 1935, four hundred years after his death, Pope Pius XI canonized More in the Roman Catholic Church; More was declared Patron Saint of politicians and statesmen by Pope John Paul II in 1980.