Mary Scrope and Thomas More II
I notice that a number of people using the main genealogical websites have some strange ideas about this couple based on misinformation often copied from others or on pure invention/fantasy.
Documentary evidence shows the following:
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. The year is known from an inscription on the Famous Portrait of the family and descendants of Sir Thomas More in the National Portrait Gallery, London, and from various 'Pedigrees' handed down in the More family.
The Thomas More(referred to by genealogist as Thomas More II) was the son of John More (son of Sir/Saint Thomas More) and his wife Anne Cresacre.
Thomas was born at Chelsea on 8 August 1531 The event was recorded by his father in the family's 'Book of Hours'.
Mary and Thomas were marrtied at Hambleden 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 was (as he says in the 'Life' he wrote on his great-grandfather) Cresacre More, born at Barnborough 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 and Mary moved from Barnborough Hall in Yorkshire to Low Leyton, Essex in 1582. Court records for Recusancy (refusal to conform to the Church of England) show that they spent the rest of their life living on a small estate there. Thomas was in the Marshalsea Prison for refusing to conform to the Church of England from late 1582 until 1586.
Thomas died at Leyton on 19th August 1606. Mary died on 12th January 1607. Where they were buried is not known. At that time Catholics were often refused burial in their local Church of England Parish Church nad had to be buried in Secret.
Neither Mary nor Thomas married a second time.
Some examples of misinformation/invention/fantasy on RootsWeb pages under 'Thomas More' with wife entered as Mary Scrope, or vice-versa:
Mary Scrope was born in 1528.
Thomas More was born on 8th August 1532.
Thomas was born in 1538.
Mary and Thomas married in 1538 (when she would have been four and he seven years old!)
Thomas married a second time to Martha Brooks/Brooke and had one, two or three children.
Thomas Married 5 times with 15 children by Mary another three by his second wife (Martha Brooks) and one child by his fifth wife! This latter comes from a recently updated RootsWeb entry.
I generally work on the presumption that people who put information on their websites are interested in genuine genealogy. That is, genealogy based, as far as is possible, on documentary evidence. Unfortunately, all some people want to do is to cram their indexes with as many names as possible regardless of their veracity.
I am pleased to say that numerous people I have contacted have welcomed my corrections. Some just ignore me. Sadly, a few reply with verbal abuse.
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.