John More (judge)

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John More
Sir John More by Hans Holbein the Younger.jpg
Sir John More, aged 76, from "Study for a portrait of Thomas More's family", c. 1527, by Hans Holbein the Younger
Bornc. 1451
DiedNovember 1530
Spouse(s)Agnes Graunger
Joan Marshall
Joan Bowes
Alice More
Children6, including Sir Thomas More
John More, detail from a Holbein's sketch for the More family portrait

Sir John More (c.1451–1530) was an English lawyer and judge. He was the father of Thomas More, Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor.[1]


More was the son of William More (d. 1467), a London baker, and Joanna Joye, daughter and heir of a London brewer, John Joye, and granddaughter and heir of a London Chancery clerk, John Leycester.[2]


More entered Lincoln's Inn in either 1470 or 1475, was called to be a Serjeant-at-law in 1503, a Justice of Assize in 1513, a Justice of the Common Pleas in 1518, and finally to the King's Bench in 1520, where he remained until his death.[3]

More inherited the manor of Gobions in North Mymms, Hertfordshire, and tenements in London, and purchased additional land in Hertfordshire.[4] He was given permission to bear a coat of arms, during Edward IV's reign.[5] He also helped to fund his son-in-law John Rastell's attempt to reach and settle the New World in 1517, which got only as far as Waterford before the sailors abandoned Rastell and sold his cargo.[citation needed]

More made his will on 26 February 1527, naming his son, Sir Thomas More, as one of his executors and requesting burial in the church of St Lawrence Jewry. The will, proved 5 November 1530, included provision for prayers for the souls of family members and for the soul of King Edward IV.[6]

Marriages and issue[edit]

On 24 April 1474, at St Giles-without-Cripplegate, More married Agnes Graunger (d.1499), the daughter of Thomas Graunger, a London tallow-chandler[7] and alderman,[8] by whom he had three sons and three daughters:[9]

  • Joanna More, born 11 March 1475, who married Richard Staverton, a lawyer of Lincoln's Inn.
  • Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478–6 July 1535).[10]
  • Agatha More, born 1479, died young.
  • John More, born 6 June 1480, died young.[11]
  • Edward More, born 1481, died young.
  • Elizabeth More, born 22 September 1482, who married the printer, John Rastell (1475-1536).

After his first wife's death in about 1499, More married secondly, Joan (d.1505), the widow of John Marshall, mercer; thirdly Joan (d.1520), the widow of another London mercer, Thomas Bowes; and fourthly Alice More, the sister of Sir Christopher More of Loseley, Surrey, and widow of William Huntingdon of Exeter and of John Clerke. Alice survived him and died at North Mymms in 1545.[12]


  1. ^ Ives 2004.
  2. ^ Burke 1838, p. 368; Brayley 1841, pp. 358, 416–18; Robison 2004; Ives 1983, pp. 469–70; Ives 2004; Barron 2011, pp. 3–4.
  3. ^ Ives 1983, pp. 469–70; Ives 2004.
  4. ^ Ives 1983, pp. 469–70; Ives 2004; Barron 2011, pp. 3–4.
  5. ^ More, Sir Thomas Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, article 19191
  6. ^ Ives 1983, pp. 469–70; Ives 2004.
  7. ^ Barron 2011, pp. 4, 7.
  8. ^ According to Barron, p. 18, he was not an alderman.
  9. ^ Barron 2011, pp. 4, 7; Ives 2004.
  10. ^ Barrons states that Thomas was born 6 February, while Ives gives the date as 7 February.
  11. ^ Barron states that John died young, while Ives states that Erasmus mentioned John as secretary to his brother, Sir Thomas More.
  12. ^ Ives 1983, pp. 469–70; Ives 2004.....


  • Barron, Caroline M. (2011). "The making of a London citizen". In Logan, George M. (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Thomas More. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  • Brayley, Edward Wedlake (1841). A Topographical History of Surrey. I. London: Tilt and Bogue. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  • Burke, John and John Bernard Burke, eds. (1838). A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England. London: Scott Webster and Geary. Retrieved 21 February 2013.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Ives, E.W. (1983). The Common Lawyers of Pre-Reformation England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 469–70. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  • Ives, E.W. (2004). More, Sir John (c.1451–1530). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 22 February 2013. (subscription required) The first edition of this text is available at Wikisource: "More, John (1453?-1530)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  • Robison, William B. (2004). More, Sir Christopher (b. in or before 1483, d. 1549). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 21 February 2013. (subscription required)

External links[edit]