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Sir Thomas More, his father, his household and his descendants

1 of 7 portraits of Margaret Roper

Sir Thomas More, his father, his household and his descendants, by Rowland Lockey, after  Hans Holbein the Younger, 1593 - NPG 2765 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Thomas More, his father, his household and his descendants

by Rowland Lockey, after Hans Holbein the Younger
oil on canvas, 1593
89 1/2 in. x 130 in. (2274 mm x 3302 mm) overall
Bequeathed by Emslie John Horniman, 1935
Primary Collection
NPG 2765

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Artistsback to top

  • Hans Holbein the Younger (1497 or 1498-1543). Artist associated with 314 portraits, Sitter associated with 25 portraits.
  • Rowland Lockey (active 1593-1616). Artist associated with 3 portraits.

Sittersback to top

  • Elizabeth Dauncey (née More) (1506-1564), Second daughter of Sir Thomas More; wife of William Dauncey. Sitter in 9 portraits.
  • Cecily Heron (née More) (born 1507), Youngest daughter of Sir Thomas More. Sitter in 8 portraits.
  • Anne More (née Cresacre) (1511-1577), Wife of John More, son of Sir Thomas More. Sitter in 8 portraits.
  • Cresacre More (1572-1649), Great-grandson and biographer of Sir Thomas More. Sitter in 2 portraits.
  • Sir John More (circa 1451-1530), Judge; father of Sir Thomas More. Sitter in 9 portraits.
  • John More (1510-1547), Son of Sir Thomas More. Sitter in 9 portraits.
  • John More (1557-1599?), Eldest son of Thomas More II. Sitter in 2 portraits.
  • Maria More (née Scrope) (1534-1607), Wife of Thomas More II. Sitter in 2 portraits.
  • Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), Lord Chancellor, classical scholar, author of 'Utopia' and canonized 1935. Sitter associated with 54 portraits.
  • Thomas More II (1531-1606), Grandson of Sir Thomas More. Sitter in 2 portraits.
  • Margaret Roper (1505-1544), Daughter of Sir Thomas More. Sitter in 7 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This group portrait was probably commissioned by Thomas More II, grandson of Sir Thomas More, and is a genealogical memorial of the staunchly Roman-Catholic More family over five generations, and a span of more than sixty years. Seven of the figures (nos. 1-7) derive from Holbein's group portrait Sir Thomas More with his Family and Household (1527-8), which was destroyed in the eighteenth century. Its appearance is recorded in a copy by Lockey at Nostell Priory, Yorkshire, and in Holbein's preliminary drawing in the Kuntsmuseum, Basle, Switzerland. Four of the figures (nos. 8-11) were probably painted from life by Lockey. The portrait of Anne More, (no. 12), hanging in the background, is presumably a copy of a portrait of circa 1560. The sitters, with their coats of arms displayed above them, are (from left to right): 1 Sir John More 1451?-1530 Judge and Father of Sir Thomas More; 2 Ann Cresacre 1511-77, wife of John More II; 3 Sir Thomas More 1478-1535, Lord Chancellor; 4 John More II 1510-47,only son of Sir Thomas More; 5 Cecily More born 1507, wife of Giles Heron. Youngest daughter of Sir Thomas More; 6 Elizabeth More born 1506, wife of William Dauncey. Second daughter of Sir Thomas More; 7 Margaret More 1505-44, wife of William Roper. Eldest daughter of Sir Thomas More; 8 John More III 1557-before 99. Eldest son of Thomas More II; 9 Thomas More II 1531-1606. Son of John More II; 10 Christopher Cresacre More 1572-1649. Fourth son of Thomas More II; 11 Maria 1534-1607, wife of Thomas More II. Daughter of John Scrope; 12 Anne More 1512-77.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D39014: Sir Thomas More, his father, his household and his descendants (based on same portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1593back to top

Current affairs

Plays and games are banned because of the Plague, which had killed 15,000 people in London the previous year. Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex is made a Privy Councillor. The theologian Richard Hooker publishes Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, the first systematic defence of the principals of the Elizabethan Church.

Art and science

The playwright Christopher Marlowe dies after receiving a stab wound in a tavern brawl. William Shakespeare writes the epic poem Venus and Adonis. The group portrait of Sir Thomas More with his family and descendants is painted by Rowland Lockey. It is partly copied from an earlier portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger (1527-8).


Henry IV of France converts from Protestantism to Catholicism to secure the support of the majority of his subjects. The Convention of Uppsala demands that Sigismund III of Poland accepts Lutheranism as the national Religion of Sweden.

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Steve Mott

30 August 2015, 17:39

Hi, I am a room guide at Montacute house and have noticed in the background above the heads of the two John Mores there are over-painted coats of arms, (at least three) . I assume these are well known about but would be interested in why they are there and when they were painted over and for what reason. Many thanks Steve

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