St. Thomas More's Descendents Print
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:14
I received this note from reader Martin Wood, who is a descendant of St. Thomas More:

I have seen your blogs about St. Thomas More and thought you might be interested in my book "The Family and Descendants of St Thomas More" just published in the UK by Gracewing. It can be seen under 'New Titles' on the Gracewing website at

It is also under 'books' on

I attach a 'Flyer' which gives further details.
Best wishes,
Martin Wood

From the flyer:
The Family and Descendants of St Thomas More
Martin Wood

This book, weaving together the history and genealogy of the More family and of the other families to which they allied themselves by marriage, provides an illuminating sequel to the various lives that have been written of St Thomas More. It tells the story of what happened to his family in the wake of his heroic witness against the tyranny of Henry VIII and how his descendants, inspired by his faith, were affected by their refusal to conform to the Church of England as, under successive monarchs, England was forcibly transformed from a Catholic to a Protestant country.

The story begins with St Thomas More’s parents and through his sister Elizabeth traces a line of literary figures that includes John Rastell the printer, playwright, dramatist and designer of pageants, John Heywood the Court musician, dramatist and playwright, and John Donne, the poet.

After Thomas More’s execution all the members of his immediate and extended family felt the force of Henry’s fury. His stepmother and his widow, Dame Alice More, were both thrown out of their homes. His son, John, and son-in-law, William Daunce, both narrowly escaped the scaffold, but Giles Heron, another son-in-law, was executed at Tyburn on a trumped-up charge of treason. Others were called in for questioning and they, and their families, were carefully watched throughout their lives. Some sought refuge in Catholic Europe.

The book follows each generation down to the time when the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 finally brought relief from persecution. This is the story of a line of laymen and women, and of priests and nuns, all of whom had a deep faith.

Sounds fascinating. I'd love to get a copy myself. Fellow More-aphiles take heed!

PS. The blog posts about St. Thomas More that Martin Wood refers to was the result of a Thomas More frenzy I went through last June. Start here and scroll down.