Sir Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell were about as different as two men could be, who shared the same time period and country. Each represented a train of thought that exists to this day. Both had certain qualities that would help them to accomplish their goals, though More’s goal of survival did not last as long as he would have enjoyed.


More was a very honest man in that he would not lie, but he would infer and mislead. Of course, he never misled either himself or God. All others he tried to manipulate without actually lying. One must admit that More was very good at avoiding the truth, and avoiding what was not true.



Cromwell certainly did tell the truth, or at least an approximate version thereof. If something like the attempted bribe of More could be twisted a bit to appear as if it were an accepted bribe, Cromwell thought that to be the truth. Cromwell was smart enough to know that honesty could not defeat More, which was his main objective, so he tried his hand at other methods.


More was indeed a loyal man. He was loyal to his family, his country, but most of all his God. Some may say that More was too loyal to God, though a truly loyal Christian would allow his heart to direct his decisions. More’s life came down to a matter of priorities, with his religion beating out both his family and country.


Cromwell was loyal to himself first and foremost. The wishes of the King were important because his fulfillment of these wishes would gain favor. Whatever Cromwell did was for his own benefit, which is not too unlike most people, including the common man in the story.


Had More lost any commitment to God, he would have changed his views quite easily. He was not only loyal to his religion, he also stuck with it through whatever it took. He was also committed to living, but his own love for God made that impossible.


Cromwell was indeed committed to winning the case against More. Although we may think of Cromwell as quite a scoundrel, a lot of commitment was required to destroy a person he so admired.

Each of these two men took different paths, one of the common man and the other of the uncommon man. Each represent qualities that we may want today. Each man has a place in history, but only one can be a man for all seasons.