Thomas More was born in 1478 in London, England. He grew up surrounded by the classics and religion and went to Oxford to study law. Following his graduation Thomas began a legal career, entering Parliament a few years later.
He married Jane Colt in 1505 and they had four children. She died at a relatively young age and he later married a widow as a mother for his children. Bishops and scholars were friends of his and he wrote Utopia in 1516, which is his best known work. His knowledge and character attracted the attention of many, including Henry VIII who appointed him as the Lord Chancellor; a position he held for three years before resigning.
St. Thomas More spent the greater part of his life writing, primarily in defense of the Catholic church. He refused to show allegiance to the King as being the Head of the Church of England and was sent to the tower along with his friend St. John Fisher. After 15 months of imprisonment, he was tried and convicted of treason. In his defense at trial Thomas told the courts that he could not go against his conscience. He was beheaded, becoming a martyr.
Because of his stand for conscience St. Thomas More is the patron saint of religious liberties as well as of statesmen and politicians. His feast day is June 22.