A Man For All Seasons Glossary

A Man For All Seasons Glossary


The old version of a butler. He looks after the household and serves the masters.


In England, the Lord Chancellor is the one who presides over the House of Lords.


Rich, More and Norfolk mention Aristotle in one of their conversations; more specifically in regards to mist that is 'an exhalation of the earth'. Aristotle was philosopher from ancient Greece.


Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian and writer. In the play, Rich and More are discussing his book, The Prince, that describes politicians with no morals.


Located in London, nowadays known as the Hounslor Borough, it once was the family home of Edward Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk.


The Tudors were the current ruling family of England. Wolsey questions More if he thinks that 'two Tudors is sufficient' reffering to Henry VII and Henry VIII, the only two Tudor rulers up to that point.

Yorkist Wars

Also known as the Cousins' War or as the War of the Roses, a conflict between two pretenders to the throne: the house of Lancaster and the house of York. The war ended after the defeat of the yorkist king, Richard III, at the battle of Bosworth. Henry VIII's father was the one who defeated Richard and he was a member of the house of Lancaster. However, it is worth mentioning that his mother was Richard III's niece and a member of the house of York.

Dominus Vobiscum

Chapuys says that to More as a form of salutation and blessing. It can be translated as 'the Lord be with you'.


A branch of Protestant Christainity, Lutheranism appeared around 1517 and was based on the preaching of German friar Martin Luther. Roper declared at the start of the play that he is a Lutheran.

Great Harry

Also known as Henry Grace of Good, this is a ship of the King's fleet built during the reign of Henry VIII.


The period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, it has religious origins.

Great Seal

The Great Seal of England is a seal that is used on official documents to symbolise the approval of the Monarch. The Chancellor acted as the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal.


Leviticus is a book of the Bible that states that 'you shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife'. This is relevant to the play as King Henry thinks that because he married his deceased brother's wife he cannot have male children.


Deuteronomy is another book of the Bible, in opposition to Leviticus. It states that "when brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her."

Joshua's trumpet

In Joshua's book in the Bible there is a mention of a trumpet that caused the walls of the city to fall at the Battle of Jericho as the Israelities started their conquest of Cannan.

Act of Supremacy

In 1534, King Henry VIII was declared Head of the Church of England through a piece of legislation known as the Act of Supremacy.

Hampton Court

A palace nowadays locaded in the London Borough of Richmond. It once was the residence of King Henry VIII.


Coins used in Britain during the historical period presented in the play.

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