Friday, September 05, 2008

Question from Nikki - All Hallows by the Tower and Thomas More

I was on the All Hallows by The Tower website and it says that Sir Thomas More has a connection with the church. It doesn't say he's buried there. Where is he buried and what is his connection with that church?


  1. Because More was executed within the Tower walls and not outside on Tower Hill, his body is probably buried in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. His head, however, probably lies elsewhere, since it was displayed on a pike on London Bridge, as was the custom.

  2. I don't know about More's body -- I'd guess St. Peter ad Vincula too though. But the story is that his head was displayed on London Bridge for a month until his daughter Meg rescued it. I'm not sure what happened to it after that. I would think they buried it somewhere.

  3. There is a website that suggests some bones found in a niche in the Roper family vault may be the head of Thomas More. It is
    html. The vault is in St. Dunstan's, Canterbury. The website also has links to photos of memorials inside St. Peter ad Vincula.

  4. I am still confused...why does this church claim to be affiliated with Thomas More? Is it just because its location is so close to The Tower? I know he's probably buried somewhere else.

  5. There are two websites about All Hallows by the Tower that say Thomas More and John Fisher were buried there in 1535. They are: and

  6. This is a follow up to my earlier post. I've seen several more sources that say John Fisher's body was first buried in the churchyard of All Hallows and then later moved to St. Peter ad Vincula. Perhaps that also happened with Sir Thomas's body.

  7. If I get to The Tower on my trip in October, I will ask one of the Beefeaters if he knows where Sir Thomas is buried and what his connection is with the church. We'll see what their opinion is!

  8. They lie to the tourists all the time!

  9. The tomb of sir/Saint Thomas more is situated in St. Peter ad Vincula within the walls of the Tower of London. His tomb is not open to the public and is behind a closed door in the chapel. According to a Beefeater he was originally buried in the nearby church of All Hallows, but his tomb was moved after that church was bombed during the war.

    Images of his tomb:

    According to the ‘Chelsea Old Church website’ Sir Thomas attended this church and rebuilt a chapel on the South in 1528, as his own private Chapel. This is why his statue is outside of the building and the church is associated with him:

    Details here:

    According to legend More's daughter Margaret rescued the severed head from its pike. (Thomas Edward Bridgett (1891). Life and Writings of Sir Thomas More: Lord Chancellor of England and Martyr Under Henry VIII. Burns & Oates. p. 436.)
    The head is believed to rest in the Roper Vault of St Dunstan's Church, Canterbury, "Journal of the British Archaeological Association". 1. British Archaeological Association. 1895: 142–144.
    Image of the vault:,_Canterbury


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