Welcome to the North Mymms History Project

A growing collection of books, features, images, documents, and maps, collected, curated, and presented by a team of local volunteers keen to preserve the history of North Mymms

The two Lord Chancellors of North Mymms

Map of More’s Utopia by Abraham Ortelius (1527–1598) Released in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Map of More’s Utopia by Abraham Ortelius (1527–1598)
Released in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

They lived 200 years apart, were both lawyers and politicians, both rebelled against the king, and both have historical links to North Mymms. 

The family of Sir (Saint) Thomas More (1478-1535) owned More Hall, which once stood on the land now known as Gobions Open Space.

Lord John Somers (1651-1716) lived in the manor house of Brookmans, which stood close to Brookmans Park Golf Club.

More was the author of Utopia, a book about a fictional island society and its religious, social, and political customs. In it he described the life of a Utopian worker which included a six-hour working day.
“dividing the day and night into twenty-four hours, appoint six of these for work, three of which are before dinner and three after; they then sup, and at eight o'clock, counting from noon, go to bed and sleep eight hours: the rest of their time, besides that taken up in work, eating, and sleeping, is left to every man's discretion; yet they are not to abuse that interval to luxury and idleness, but must employ it in some proper exercise, according to their various inclinations, which is, for the most part, reading.”
He also wrote about the Utopian rich who he said:
“..devise all the ways and arts they can find out; first, that they may, without danger, preserve all that they have so ill-acquired, and then, that they may engage the poor to toil and labour for them at as low rates as possible, and oppress them as much as they please.” 
But he suggested all the riches amassed don't necessarily bring happiness.
“these wicked men, after they have, by a most insatiable covetousness, divided that among themselves with which all the rest might have been well supplied, are far from that happiness that is enjoyed among the Utopians.” 
We have embedded Sir Thomas More’s book Utopia at the foot of this page along with copyright and reuse details.

Peter Kingsford wrote about the two Chancellors in the December 1984 issue of the Chancellor’s Community Newsletter, reproduced here with permission of the publisher. Click on the image for a larger version.   

Utopia by Saint Thomas More

For those interesting in reading Utopia you can read a copy online or download free of charge. 

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