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The last letter of St. Thomas More to his daughter the day before his martyrdom

3 min • Digitized on September 10, 2021

From Life of Sir Thomas More, page n196
By William Roper

Sir Thomas More was beheaded at the Tower-hill, In London, on Tuesday, the sixth day of July, in the year of our Lord 1535, and in the xxvii. year of the Reign of King Henry VIII. And on the day next before, being Monday, and the fifth day of July, he wrote with a coal a letter to his daughter Mistress Roper, and sent it to her (which was the last thing that ever he wrote), the copy whereof here followeth.

Our Lord bless you, good daughter, and your good husband, and your little boy, and all yours, and all my children, and all my god-children and all our friends.

Recommend me, when ye may to my good daughter Cicily, whom I beseech our Lord to comfort. And I send her my blessing, and to all her children, and pray her to pray for me. I send her an handkerchief: and God comfort my good son her husband.

My good daughter Dance hath the picture in parchment, that you delivered me from my Lady Coniers, her name is on the backside. Show her that I heartily pray her, that you may send it in my name to her again, for a token from me to pray for me.

I like special well Dorothy Coly, I pray you be good unto her. I would wit whether this be she that you wrote me of. If not, yet I pray you be good to the tother, as you may in her affliction, and to my good daughter Joan Aleyn too. Give her, I pray you, some kind answer, for she sued hither to me this day to pray you be good to her.

I cumber you, good Margaret, much, but I would be sorry if it should be any longer than to morrow. For it is Saint Thomas’ Eve, and the Utas of Saint Peter: and therefore to-morrow long I to go to God: it were a day very meet and convenient for me.

I never liked your manner toward me better than when you kissed me last: for I love when daughterly love and dear charity hath no leisure to look to worldly courtesy.

Farewell, my dear child, and pray for me, and I shall for you and all your friends, that we may merrily meet in heaven. I thank you for your great cost.

I send now to my good daughter Clement her algorism stone, and I send her, and my godson, and all hers God’s blessing and mine.

I pray you at time convenient recommend me to my good son John More. I liked well his natural fashion. Our Lord bless him and his good wife my loving daughter, to whom I pray him to be good, as he hath great cause: and that if the land of mine come to his hand, he break not my will concerning his sister Dance. And our Lord bless Thomas and Austen and all that they shall have.

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