Thomas More (1478-1535)
In his own lifetime, More was regarded as a lawyer, judge and public servant of rare integrity and skill, and as an international figure within the humanist community. Ultimately, his reputation withstands scrutiny both by the reputation he secured in his lifetime and in his principled stance – to the point of death – against a renaissance prince gone wrong. Erasmus gave him the title “omnium horarum” – a Man for All Seasons. Perhaps it is a fitting epitaph.

Thomas More was beatified in 1886 by Pope Leo XIII and canonised with John Fisher by Pope Pius XI in 1935. His feast-day is 22 June. In 2000, Pope John Paul II declared St Thomas More to be the patron saint of lawyers and politicians. Both More and Fisher were added as martyrs of the Reformation in the Church of England’s liturgical diary, with their commemoration on 6 July.