I notice that a number of people on some of the most used genealogy sites have some strange ideas on this couple based on misinformation, often seemingly copied from others ,or on pure invention/fantasy.
Documentary evidence shows the following:
The Thomas More in question was the son of John More (son of Sir/Saint Thomas More) and his wife Anne Cresacre. Thomas (often referred to as Thomas More II) was born at Chelsea on 8 August 1531 The event was recorded by his father in the family's 'Book of Hours'.
Mary Scrope was the daughter of John Scrope of Hambleden, Buckinmghamshire, and his wife Phyllis, daughter of Ralph Rokeby of Mortham, Yorkshire. Mary was born in 1534. The exact date is not known as Parish Registers were not kept at that time. The year is known from an inscription on the Famous composite Portrait of the Household, Family and Descendants of Sir Thomas More in the National Portrait Gallery, London, as well as from various 'Pedigrees' handed down in the More family.
Thomas II and Mary Scrope were marrtied early in 1553. They had thirteen children. The names of two are unknown as they were stillborn or died soon after birth. The first two children were born at Hambleden, and the others at Barnborough (now Barnburgh), Yorkshire. The last child (as he says in the 'Life' he wrote about his great grandfather) was Cresacre More, born on 3rd July 1572. The births and/or baptisms of the children are recorded in family documents, the Parish Register of Barnborough and in family Pedigrees.
Thomas II and Mary moved from Barnborough Hall in Yorkshire to Leyton, Essex in 1582. Thomas II was in the Marshalsea Prison, London, from late 1582-1586. Regular Court Records for Recusancy (refusal to conform to the Church of England) in Essex show that they spent the rest of their life living on a small copyhold estate estate in Leyton.
Thomas died there on 19th August 1606. Mary died on 12th January 1607. Where they are buried is not known. At that Church of England Ministers often refused to bury Catholics, or buried them secretly.
Some examples of misinformation/invention/fantasy on various internet sites under 'Thomas More' often with his wife entered as Mary Scrope. Try RootsWeb for some examples:
Thomas More/Thomas More IIwas born on 8th August 1532. Thomas More/Thomas More II was born in 1538. Mary Scrope was born in 1528. Thomas and Mary married in 1538 (when he would have been seven and she four years old!) Thomas More/Thomas More II married a second time to Martha Brooks/Brooke and had one, two or three children. Thomas More married 5 times with 15 children by Mary Scrope, another three by his second wife (Martha Brooks) and one child by his fifth wife!
I generally work on the presumption that people who put information on their genealogical pages are interested in genuine genealogy. That is, genealogy based, as far as is possible, on documentary evidence. I am pleased to say that numerous people I have contacted have welcomed and acknowledged my corrections. Some have just ignore me. Sadly, a few have replied with verbal abuse. Seemingly some people are only interested in how many names they can pack into their indexes. Others have family myths that just cannot be killed!
I researched the family and descendants of Sir/Saint Thomas More (my 14 x great grandfather) for ten years before writing a book "The Family and Descendants of St. Thomas More" which was published in the UK by 'Gracewing' in 2008.
I will gladly help anyone who is genuinely interested with information about the More family. Martin Wood (England)