“THE KING’S GOOD SERVANT, but GOD’S FIRST.” HOMAS MORE Born in London in 1478, Thomas More’s education was informed by the humanistic school of thought which was gaining momentum during that period. He was required to converse in Latin in his grammar school and later studied the works of Aristotle. After studying Latin and logic at Oxford University for two years, More returned to London to study law. He became a barrister in 1501, then contemplated abandoning law in favor of a life as a monk, going so far as to reside in a monastery for four years. Though he later returned to law, More continued to observe many monastic practices for the duration of his life, including self-ﬂagellation and the donning of a hair-shirt as acts of self-mortiﬁcation. Upon leaving the monastery, More married Jane Colt, with whom he would have four children: Margaret (seen onstage in A Man for All Seasons), Elizabeth, Cecily and John. Colt died in 1511, after which he quickly married again, to Alice Middleton, a widow eight years his senior Pictured—Portrait of More and family (above); More’s daughter Margaret (below); Margaret’s husband (More’s son-in-law) William Roper (lower left). More instituted a regular life of prayer, Scripture study and church attendance for the entire household. He also set up a humanistic curriculum for his children (though classical education for women was almost unheard of at the time), ensuring they became skilled in both Latin and Greek in addition to English, as well as offering instruction in music and in sports such as archery. The relationship between More and his daughter Margaret was particularly close, and her devotion both to her father and to God is readily apparent in her letters to him while he was imprisoned. Mine own most entirely beloved father. I think myself never able to give you sufﬁcient thanks, for the inestimable comfort my poor heart received in the reading of your most loving and godly letter, representing to me the clear shining brightness of your soul, the pure temple of the Holy Spirit of God… Father, if all the world had been given to me, as I be saved it had been a small pleasure, in comparison of the pleasure I conceived of the treasure of your letter, which though it were written with a coal, is worthy in mine opinion to be written in letters of gold… I doubt not, good father…that we may in conclusion meet with you, mine own dear father, in the bliss of heaven to which our most merciful Lord hath brought us with his precious blood. At one point, Margaret wrote her father in an attempt to convince him to take the oath acknowledging Henry as Supreme Head of the Church in England, to which More responded: Wherein as touching the points of your letter, I can make none answer, for I doubt not but you well remember that the matters which move my conscience (without declaration whereof I can nothing touch the points) I have sundry times showed you that I will disclose them to no man. And therefore daughter Margaret, I can in this thing no further… THE KING’S “GREAT MATTER.” ENRY VIII Although perhaps the ﬁrst image that springs to mind of Henry VIII is that of an overweight womanizer, the young monarch was an accomplished athlete, author and musician. Henry excelled at tennis (a slightly different version of the sport that we play today), wrote a book—with the help, it is believed, of Thomas More—entitled A Defence of the Seven Sacraments (for which Pope Leo X awarded him the title “Defender of the Faith”) and is often credited with the composition of Greensleeves, in addition to several other pieces. Henry was not ﬁrst in line for the throne; through the precepts of primogeniture, his older brother Arthur was heir to Henry VII. Seeking a politically advantageous match for his successor, the king betrothed Arthur to Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, rulers of Pictured—A young Henry VIII (above); Anne Boleyn (below); Catherine of Spain. Soon after, however, Arthur died and Henry became next in line to rule. As Catherine claimed to have Aragon (lower left). remained a virgin during her short marriage to Arthur—and the political implications of a connection between England and Spain remaining constant—young Henry was betrothed to Catherine, and the two were married shortly after he became king in 1509. By 1518, only one of Catherine’s six pregnancies had survived infancy: the future Queen Mary I. To that point, however, there had never been a ruling queen of England, and Henry found himself increasingly desperate to sire a son. As Catherine drew closer to the end of her childbearing years, Henry set his sights on Anne Boleyn, the sister of his current mistress. Anne, however, would not agree to become a mistress, further galvanizing Henry’s attempts to divorce Catherine. Despite Henry’s claims that his marriage to Catherine was invalid—Leviticus 18:16 strictly forbids marrying the widow of one’s brother— Catherine’s testimony that she had never consummated her marriage with Arthur showed there was no impediment to her subsequent marriage to Henry. Henry sought a special dispensation from Rome—much like the one granted to initially approve the marriage to Catherine—to end it. But Catherine’s nephew, Charles V, the King of Spain, was in a position to exert pressure on Pope Clement VII, and Henry’s requests were denied. After the subsequent break with the Catholic Church, Henry secretly married Anne in 1533. Aside from the future Queen Elizabeth I, however, Anne was unable to bear Henry a surviving child. Determined to get rid of Anne, Henry accused her of having used witchcraft to seduce him, and provided “evidence” that Anne had engaged in affairs with ﬁve other men (including her brother). Strong to the end, Anne was executed in 1536. Henry next married Jane Seymour, who delivered the male heir Henry desired, but at the cost of her own life; Jane died less than two weeks after the birth of the future Edward VI in 1537. ALL theMEN KING’S HOMAS CROMWELL One of Henry VIII’s most trusted and important advisors, Thomas Cromwell was born in about 1485, the son of a tradesman. After studying law, he entered the service of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, and later came to prominence at Wolsey’s expense. He is credited with shepherding the king’s 1534 Act of Supremacy (which anointed Henry as “the only Supreme Head in Earth of the Church of England”) through Parliament. Though he was instrumental in securing Henry’s divorce from his ﬁrst wife, Catherine, Cromwell’s later insistence that Henry marry Anne of Cleves—a marriage that ended disastrously—led to his own execution in 1540…which, reportedly at Henry’s insistence, was carried out at the hands of an inexperienced headsman who required several attempts to ﬁnish the job. Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658), the military leader and politician who led the overthrow of the British monarchy, was descended from Thomas Cromwell’s sister, Catherine. (Although she married, her children kept her name.) HOMAS HOWARD, ARDINAL THOMAS 3RD DUKE OF NORFOLK WOLSEY HOMAS CRANMER Thomas Howard (1473–1554) was one of the most powerful nobles in Henry VIII’s Cardinal Wolsey (c. 1475–1530), reputedly the son of a Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556) was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, and court, as well as a battle-tested general. Always anxious to be a loyal supporter butcher, grew to be the second-most powerful man in entered the priesthood following the death of his ﬁrst wife. By the time Henry of Henry, Howard presided over the trial of his friend Sir Thomas More (whose England (behind the king), before Henry VIII’s displeasure VIII’s “great matter” was in full swing, Cranmer had risen to an inﬂuential conviction on the charge of treason was the result of highly suspect testimony). led him to a fall every bit as dizzying as his ascension had position, and proved himself a dedicated servant to the king by pursuing the Howard was the uncle of Anne Boleyn, who would become Henry’s second wife; been. Educated at Oxford’s Magdalen College, Wolsey later divorce on the king’s behalf. In 1533, Cranmer became the Archbishop of when the king determined to get rid of her—via charges of adultery—after she headed the school before becoming a personal chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury Canterbury, and was an invaluable advisor both to Henry and Henry’s successor, could not produce a male heir, Howard oversaw her trial in 1536, handing her a and, eventually, to Henry VII. When Henry VIII became king in 1509, Wolsey’s own Edward VI, during whose reign Cranmer led the Church of England in a more death sentence despite her questionable guilt. Another of Howard’s nieces, fortunes rose as well: by 1515, he had been appointed both a cardinal in the Catholic Protestant direction. Edward’s death ushered in the reign of Mary I, who wished to Catherine Howard, became Henry’s ﬁfth wife; when she, too, was executed, Church and Lord Chancellor of England, and was a ubiquitous and powerful ﬁgure in return the country to Catholicism. Cranmer was removed from ofﬁce and charged Howard fell out of favor with Henry. In 1547, he was stripped of his dukedom and most affairs of state. Unable to secure an annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine in with both treason and heresy. Wishing to save himself, Cranmer recanted; when he scheduled to be beheaded—surviving only because Henry died before being able a timely fashion—though this was hardly Wolsey’s fault, given the pressures put upon discovered he was to be burned at the stake anyway, he withdrew his recantation to sign the death warrant. Mary I—who temporarily restored Catholicism to Pope Clement VII by the king of Spain (a relative of Catherine’s)—Wolsey was quickly and thrust his right hand—the hand that had signed the document—into the ﬁre. England—also restored Howard’s dukedom in 1553. stripped of all power and charged with treason. En route to London, Wolsey fell ill and died. THE HOUSE of TUDOR MAN FOR ALL SEASONS NGLISH MONARCHS FAMILY TREE takes place in London from 1526 through 1535, during the reign of Tudor king Henry VIII. The House of Tudor Before the Tudor rulers took control of England, the monarchy of the country was incredibly unstable. Son / daughter Marriage The years between 1455 and 1487 saw an intermittent civil war between supporters of the House of e.— executed Lancaster (the dynasty of kings that included Henrys IV through VI, all of whom were descended from King of England p.— died in childbirth John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster) and the House of York (the dynasty that saw the rule of Edwards IV and V and Richard III, descendants of Richard, Duke of York). Both houses used a rose as its symbol— John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster a white rose for the House of York, a red rose for the House of Lancaster—and these battles came to 1340–1399 Catherine of Valois be known as The Wars of the Roses. princess of France 1429 Owen Tudor Great-granddaughter e.1461 1401–1437 In 1485, with the Yorkist Richard III on the throne, Henry Tudor led the Lancastrian forces into Edward IV of York 1455 Edmund Todor 1442–1461–1470; 1464 Elizabeth Woodville Margaret Beaufort the Battle of Bosworth Field. After Richard III died in the midst of this battle, the newly-ascended Earl of Richmond 1471–1483 1437–1492 1433–1509 1430–1456 Henry VII effectively ended the conﬂict between Lancastrians and Yorkists by marrying Elizabeth of Elizabeth of York 1486 Henry VII Tudor York, the daughter of Edward IV, in 1486; this act uniﬁed the warring houses. 1466–p.1503 1457–1485–1509 Henry VII’s reign began what is known as the House of Tudor, a series of ﬁve monarchs who ruled The Great Hall of Hampton Court. Originally James IV Stuart England from 1485 to 1603. These monarchs were: King of Scotland 1503 Margaret Edmund, Duke + 2 girls Mary 1515 Charles Brandon, leased by Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII appropriated the palace for his own use in 1473–1488–1513 1489–1541 of Somerset 1496–1533 Duke of Suffolk 1499–1500 Henry VII (1485–1509) about 1525, though Wolsey continued to live there for several years. Others Henry VIII (the son of Henry VII; 1509–1547) Frances 1533 Henry Grey, Catherine Parr 1543 1517–1559 Duke of Suffolk 1512–p.1548 1517–e.1554 Edward VI (the son of Henry VIII; 1547–1553) Mary I (Edward VI’s elder half-sister; 1553–1558) Anne of Cleves 1540 Jane Grey Others 1509–1557 1537–1553 (9 days)–e.1554 Elizabeth I (Mary I’s younger half-sister; 1558–1603) Catherine Howard 1540 1525–e.1542 Catherine of Aragon Henry VII’s great-granddaughter, Lady Jane Grey, served as Queen for all of nine Jane Seymour 1536 Henry VIII 1509–33 princess of Spain 1501 Arthur, Prince of Wales 1509–p.1537 1491–1509–1547 1485–1536 1486–1502 days after the death of Edward VI before being deposed by Mary I and subsequently 1533 Anne Boleyn executed. 1502–e.1536 Others Edward VI The Wars of the Roses, though only tangentially mentioned in A Man for All 1537–1547–1553 Mary I Phillip II of Habsburg Bloody Mary 1554 King of Spain and Portugal Seasons (the character of Wolsey references “The Yorkist Wars,” which would make Others 1516–1553–1558 1527–1598 Elizabeth I sense, given that Henry VII was a Lancastrian), weighs heavily over the action of the 1533–1558–1603 play. Without a male heir to succeed Henry VIII, there were fears that the country would once again lapse into the instability present in previous years. Note: dates are birth and death; intermediate dates are accession to throne. It was during the Tudor period that the Renaissance came fully into bloom in England, providing an astoundingly high level (both in quantity and quality) of art, music, theatre and literature. “WE’VE SEVERED the CONNECTION with ROME.” EFENDER OF THE FAITH In 1505, as Thomas More was leaving the monastery for life as a lawyer, Martin Luther was just beginning his study of law in Germany. Caught in a fateful thunderstorm, however, a terriﬁed Luther prayed to Saint Anne to save him, promising to become a monk if he were spared—and kept his vow, entering a monastery soon after. Ordained as a priest in 1507, Luther began teaching theology at the University of Wittenberg. Immersing himself in Scripture, Luther came to believe that people receive justice through the grace of God, not through good works. In 1506, a Dominican monk named John Tetzel began selling indulgences (which promised believers, upon payment, a full pardon of the punishment due for sins committed), a practice that particularly disgusted Luther. On October 31, 1517, as traditional accounts maintain, Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of his church. Pictured—This painting, by Girolamo da Treviso, was part of Henry VIII’s Recognizing Luther as a dangerous man, Pope Leo X declared him a heretic and excommunicated him in 1521. The response from England was personal collection. The allegorical painting shows the four gospel-writers stoning the pope (who sprawls across two women representing avarice and one of immediate support for the Catholic Church. More, on Henry VIII’s instructions, wrote a particularly scatological attack on Luther; later, with the hypocrisy), and reﬂects Henry’s increasingly antagonistic view towards the Catholic Church. assistance of More, Henry composed an anti-Luther tract entitled A Defense of the Seven Sacraments. For the latter work, the pope conferred upon Henry the title “Defender of the Faith.” Henry’s support for the Catholic Church would soon evaporate, however, when he began to seek an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. The new pope, Clement VII, was loathe to grant special dispensation, as he was under enormous pressure from Charles V, who was both King of Spain and Catherine’s nephew. (Charles’ forces had recently sacked Rome and imprisoned the pope for seven months.) The pope allowed Henry’s suit for a divorce to be heard in England, with Cardinals Wolsey and Campeggio acting as his commissioners. Though apparently a positive sign for Henry, the pope had instructed Campeggio to stall, and when the trial was adjourned on a technicality, the king’s displeasure found its scapegoat in Wolsey, who was charged under the Statutes of Praemunire (a vague charge roughly deﬁned as acting as to derogate from the king’s authority). Frustrated, Henry vainly sought to increase the pressure on Rome. When that failed, Henry began to target the English clergy. The Statutes of Praemunire—sufﬁciently vague as to be useful again—were threatened, ﬁrst to individual members of the clergy, then against the clergy as a whole. Cowed by Henry’s abuse of power and unable to practically ﬁght these charges, the clergy submitted to Henry’s authority, paying a ﬁne of £100,000 to gain the king’s full pardon. Pictured—Martin Luther (above); Henry VIII (upper right). THE LIFE of SIR THOMAS MORE February 7, 1478 April 3, 1507 November 10, 1518 July, 1533 Thomas More is born in London, the son of a successful lawyer. Martin Luther is ordained a priest. Catherine gives birth to a stillborn child. Pope Clement VII declares Henry and Anne’s marriage to be invalid and threatens Henry with excommunication. November 10, 1483 April 21, 1509 1521 Martin Luther is born in Eisleben, Germany. Henry VII dies; Henry, Prince of Wales, ascends to the throne More is knighted by Henry VIII and becomes Undertreasurer. September 7, 1533 as Henry VIII. More composes coronation verses to celebrate More’s daughter, Margaret, marries William Roper. Anne Boleyn gives birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I. c. 1485 the inauguration. Thomas Cromwell, later to be one of the most important figures 1521 1534 in Henry VIII’s court, is born. June 11, 1509 With help from More, Henry VIII composes an anti-Luther tract More is questioned by Cromwell regarding his association with Henry VIII marries Catherine of Aragon. entitled Defense of the Seven Sacraments, for which Pope Leo X Elizabeth Barton, the “Holy Maid of Kent,” a Benedictine nun August 22, 1485 confers the king with the title “Defender of the Faith.” who prophesied disaster if Henry VIII divorced Catherine. More Henry Tudor defeats Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth Field. 1510 is cleared of traitorous involvement. Cromwell offers More a Henry VII’s coronation ushers in the House of Tudor. More is appointed under-sheriff of the City of London. 1527 reinstatement to honor and wealth in exchange for his approval Henry VIII begins an affair with Anne Boleyn; he begins to of the divorce; More refuses. September 20, 1486 January 31, 1510 explore the possibility of annulling his marriage to Catherine. Arthur is born to Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, becoming heir Catherine miscarries a daughter. 1534 to the crown. May 6, 1527 Anne Boleyn’s second pregnancy ends in a miscarriage. 1511 Rome is sacked by a rogue army of Charles V, King of Spain. June 28, 1491 Jane Colt, More’s wife, dies. More re-marries soon afterwards, to Pope Clement VII is imprisoned for seven months; upon his March 23, 1534 The future Henry VIII is born to Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. the widow Alice Middleton, who is eight years older than More. release, the pope would follow a policy of subservience to Pope Clement VII orders Henry VIII to give up Anne Boleyn or Charles V—Catherine’s nephew. face excommunication. 1493 January 1, 1511 More leaves Oxford without a degree and studies at the New Inn Catherine gives birth to a son, Henry, who dies less than two 1529 March 30, 1534 in London, entering the field of law. months later. In a special court established to examine the validity of Henry Parliament passes the Succession Act, declaring children born to VIII’s marriage to Catherine, Cardinal Wolsey is unable to get a Henry and Anne to be legitimate successors to the throne. The 1501 November, 1513 decision favorable to the king. act requires acknowledgment of Henry’s absolute sovereignty. More begins his close association with the Carthusian Catherine gives birth to a son, who dies within the month. Charterhouse of London, testing his possible vocation to the November 29, 1530 April 17, 1534 priesthood. December, 1514 Charged with treason and on his way to be executed, Wolsey More is imprisoned in the Tower of London for refusing to swear Catherine gives birth to a son, Henry, who dies within dies. More has already succeeded him as Lord Chancellor. to the oath. November, 1501 the month. Arthur, heir of Henry VII, marries Catherine of Aragon, daughter 1531 1535 of Ferdinand II and Isabella I of Spain. 1515 Henry VIII invents a new title for himself: Supreme Head of the Cromwell offers More another chance to reconsider his refusal to Thomas Wolsey, a butcher’s son, is appointed Lord Chancellor Church in England. More considers resigning as Lord Chancellor. swear to the oath; More refuses. April 2, 1502 of England. Arthur dies, leaving Henry, Prince of Wales as the heir to Henry VII. May 16, 1532 June 12, 1535 1516 A number of bishops and abbots sign off on Henry VIII’s Sir Richard Rich, a prominent lawyer and one-time friend of More, 1503 More becomes a member of the Council of the Star Chamber, complete authority over the Church of England. More resigns visits More in his cell. On the basis of their conversation, as Henry is betrothed to Catherine of Aragon, after obtaining a council of the king, headed by Wolsey, that deals with as Lord Chancellor. reported to Cromwell by Rich, More is charged with treason. More dispensation from Pope Julius II, which is necessary because property titles. accuses Rich of perjury. Leviticus prohibits men from marrying the widow of their brother. December 1532 1516 Anne Boleyn becomes pregnant by Henry VIII. July 1, 1535 1505 More publishes Utopia, an account of the travels of fictional More is tried for treason and found guilty. Determining he is not called to a celibate, cloistered life, More voyager Raphael Hythloday. January 25, 1533 leaves the Charterhouse to follow a public life. He marries Jane Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn. July 6, 1535 Colt of Essex. They have four children: Margaret, Elizabeth, Cecily February 18, 1516 On the scaffold, More declares himself “the king’s good and John. Catherine gives birth to a daughter, Mary, who will eventually May 23, 1533 servant but God’s first” and kisses his executioner in an act rule as Queen Mary I beginning in 1553. With the help of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, of forgiveness. 1505 Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine is declared invalid, and his Martin Luther enters law school on May 20, but when he is October 31, 1517 marriage to Anne Boleyn is recognized as legal. More is absent caught in a lightning storm, he vows to Saint Anne he will Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses at Wittenberg, marking the from all festivities surrounding the marriage and Anne’s become a monk if he is spared. He consequently enters the beginning of the Reformation in Germany. subsequent crowning as queen. monastery of the Augustinian Hermits at Erfurt.