Margaret Clement

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Margaret Giggs by Hans Holbein the Younger.jpg

Margaret Clement or Clements (1508–1570), née Giggs, was one of the most educated women of the Tudor era and the foster daughter of Sir Thomas More.


Clement's maiden name was Giggs. She was born in 1508, the daughter of a gentleman of Norfolk. She was a kinswoman of Sir Thomas More, who brought her up from a child with his own daughters. About 1530 she married Dr. John Clement, on which occasion Leland wrote an epithalamium. Her image was included in both of Hans Holbein's large portraits of the More family, painted about the same time.

Algebra was probably her special study and More had an "algorisme stone" of hers with him in the Tower of London during his imprisonment, which he sent back to her the day before his execution in 1535. In devotion to her Catholic faith and to its adherents, she risked her life to succour the Carthusian Martyrs, monks starved to death in prison for refusal to renounce the Faith. She obtained also the shirt in which Thomas More suffered, and preserved it as a relic. Sir Thomas Elyot had conveyed to her and her husband the indignation felt by Emperor Charles V, Catherine of Aragon's nephew, at More's resignation, but William Roper, writing years later, had the emperor talking about More's execution; as R. W. Chambers points out, Elyot was not ambassador to the imperial court when More died.[1]

She remained a Roman Catholic, and died in exile at Mechelen in the Habsburg Netherlands on 6 July 1570. She had one child, a daughter, Winifred, who married William Rastell, a judge and More's nephew.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Raymond Wilson Chambers (1935), Thomas More, London: Cape.

 "Clement, Margaret". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 

Further reading[edit]

Raymond Wilson Chambers (1935), Thomas More, London: Cape.