Thomas More was a very successful English lawyer (barrister — Lincoln’s Inn, 1501), a judge, and a Member of Parliament about the time of King Henry VIII. But he was much more than that. He came from a family of lawyers. His father, Sir John More, was a prominent lawyer and a judge.
We would probably not know about Sir Thomas More except for the fact that King Henry had appointed him Lord Chancellor of England and Wales in 1529, replacing Thomas Wolsey, but ultimately the King and Thomas did not see eye to eye with each other. As Lord Chancellor, he was the head of the judiciary and also the presiding officer of the House of Lords. We would call him the Chief Justice, as the House of Lords was the Supreme Court and in charge of regulating the judiciary. Sir Thomas was also one of the most respected people in England and Wales at the time — certainly the most respected lawyer then, and maybe one of the most respected lawyers of all time.
King Henry, you will recall, was married to Katherine of Aragon, his first wife. But he did not want to be married to her and in fact wanted to marry Anne Boleyn.