Sir Thomas More was an English statesman and humanist author of the Renaissance. Because he refused to take the required oath of royal supremacy over the church, the king had him executed as a high traitor in 1535.

His best-known work is De optimo statu rei publicae deque nova insula Utopia ("A little, true book, not less beneficial than enjoyable, about how things should be in a state and about the new island Utopia"), in which he described an invented island kingdom with a very different social structure from that which prevailed in England at his time. In the city-state of this island, a kind of communism prevails: The interests of the individual are subordinated to those of the community. Like in an (ideal) monastery, everyone is obliged to work and education and enjoys religious tolerance. Land and soil are common property.


Thomas More (1478–1535) was an English lawyer, statesman, humanist, and author. Born in London, he received an excellent education and eventually became a prominent figure in the court of King Henry VIII.

More's humanist pursuits and love of literature were evident in his writings, which included poetry, letters, and philosophical works. He is best known for his book "Utopia," which described an ideal society marked by social and political harmony.

More held various governmental positions, including Lord Chancellor of England. Despite his loyalty to King Henry VIII, he opposed the king's break from the Catholic Church and his establishment of the Church of England. More's refusal to endorse the king's actions led to his downfall and eventual execution.

A staunch Catholic, More was canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church for his steadfastness in his religious beliefs. His writings, including works on ethics and spirituality, continue to inspire discussions about morality, justice, and the role of the individual in society.

Thomas Morus Texts, Tubes & Books