I am sure you have been wondering when we would be getting around to Sir Thomas More, knowing that is my name as well–slight different spelling. OFTEN, I am asked if I am related. I can confirm that I am not related, but my father used to think he liked the idea. I have even thought about it once in awhile. But really, no I am not related. But believe me, I wish I were. Every time I arrive at Heathrow Airport, my driver brings me down the Chelsea Embankment at my request, and I nod my head as I pass by the seated sculpture of Sir Thomas More. I have read his biography two or three times, and I studied the UTOPIA in my college years. I have a very large copy of Holbein’s portrait of Sir Thomas More which is in the Frick in New York hanging on one of my office walls. My son, another Thomas Moore, even went by Charles Moore instead of his real name Thomas because he was living in Britain and was asked if he was a descendant–he wanted to say YES, but he was taught not to lie or there would be consequences. So, let’s talk a bit about CHELSEA OLD CHURCH on the Cheyne Embankment.
Chelsea Old Church dates back to 1157 when the small chapels were all private. The church today is the only church in London to have chained books. It has the largest number of church memorials/monuments next only to Westminster Abbey. Sir Thomas More lived nearby, and Henry VIII and James I were known to worship here. In fact, Henry VIII married his third wife here after the beheading of Anne Boleyn in 1536.
The Chelsea Old Church has its FAMOUS ANIMAL SERVICE where all the fairly-well-behaved animals and insects are welcome. Believe me, our house of three boxers and a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel would not qualify or suit. And amazing, there is an dog lavatory opposite the Church.
The sculpture of Sir Thomas More sits on the side of the church facing the Thomas. It was created by the sculptor Leslie Cubitt Bevis. The More family lived in a very prestigious house very near to the church with its own boat dock and gardens. It is very fitting to honor this great man here. Great man! Great man, indeed! Principles and integrity–we need him these days!
While you are wandering through the winding old streets of Chelsea, come round to this area, visit CHELSEA OLD CHURCH, nod to Sir Thomas Moore, and walk back up Cheyne Embankment to the Chelsea Bridge and back up to Sloane Square. It is a very, very beautiful walk along the river and the wonderful red brick houses. Ignore the street traffic–they were once carriages! Absolutely beautiful.
Thomas Moore email: TMooreSr@me.com Telephone: 801.791.9918