by Robert Bolt
Sir Thomas More—the brilliant nobleman, lawyer, humanist, author of such works as Utopia—was a long-time friend and favorite of Henry VIII, ascending to the position of Lord Chancellor in 1529. Yet he was also a staunch Catholic, and when Henry broke with the Church in 1531 after the Pope had refused to grant him a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, More resigned the Chancellorship. In 1534, Parliament passed a bill requiring all subjects to take an oath acknowledging the supremacy of England’s king over all foreign sovereigns—including the Pope. More refused, was imprisoned, and finally was executed in 1535.
-Penguin Random House