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Answer 94. Sir William Kingston was Constable of the Tower of London. He was Sir Thomas More’s gaoler, the man charged with overseeing his execution.


‘Good Master Kingston,’ More chided him as he cried. ‘Trouble not yourself but be of good cheer; for I will pray for you, and my good lady, your wife, that we may meet in heaven together, where we shall be merry for ever and ever.’

Kingston later apologised to More’s son-in-law for bursting into tears:

‘I was ashamed of myself that, at my departing from your father, I found my heart so feeble, and his so strong, that he was fain to comfort me which should rather have comforted him.’

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TowerWharf‘Hanged, drawn, quartered’. Sir Thomas More’s sentence must have been ringing in his ears as he was escorted back to the Tower after his trial in Westminster Hall.

His daughter Margaret had hurried ahead to be there, offering support, when he arrived:

‘She gave attendaunce aboute the Tower wharf, where she knewe he should passe by, before he could enter into the Tower… As soon as she sawe him… she hastinge towards him, without consideration or care of her self, pressing amonge the thronge and company of the garde that with halberd and bills wente round aboute him, hastely ranne to him, there openly, in the sight of them all, imbraced him, toke him about the neck, kissed him…

‘The beholding whereof was to many of them that were present so lamentable that it made them for very sorowe to mourne and weape.’

HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 95. More gave Margaret his blessing. What happened next?

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