Posts Tagged ‘Thomas More’


6 JULY 1535

   Posted by: Michael    in Events in History

Execution of Thomas More, former Chancellor to Henry VIII, for denying that the king (Henry VIII) was the Supreme Head of the Church of England.  He was born on 7 February 1478.

Between c. 1513 and 1518 he wrote The History of King Richard III.  The work was not finished and only published posthumously by his son-in-law in 1557.  It is not a first-hand account, as he was only aged seven when Richard III fell at the Battle of Bosworth.  It is unknown for what purpose More wrote the History, as it contains many obvious untruths, which any reader at the time it was written would have recognized as such.  However, his work had a long-lasting influence in blackening Richard reputation.  It is therefore perhaps quite ironic that his downfall came on the anniversary of King Richard III’s coronation.

Source:  ODNB on Sir Thomas More




   Posted by: Julia Redlich    in Bookworm

Barbara Gaskell Denvil. No surprise there for New South Wales Branch members and visitors to our website. Barbara’s imaginative and beautifully written books, Satin Cinnabar and Sumerford’s Autumn, and her well-researched features are much appreciated.

Her latest achievement is winning a copy of a young person’s novel The Disappearing Rose, by Canadian writer Renee Duke who, keen to promote her latest work, organised a competition on Lynne Murray’s blog to find out who people thought were responsible for the disappearance of the two Princes. Good idea – until she was alarmed to discover that Richard was winning!

An emergency email for help arrived in Julia’s inbox and, naturally, Julia sent a plea to all New South Wales members and friends to show that loyalty binds them and to save Richard from this undesirable fate!

And so they did. Renee reports that 34% of the votes and comments were from Australia which in a world-wide competition is pretty terrific – and Barbara’s comment was the winner. The overall results were:

First: Margaret Beaufort

Second: Henry VII and Richard III (tie)

Third: Henry, Duke of Buckingham and Elizabeth of York (another tie)

Fourth: Sir Thomas More

Fifth: two write-ins:  No one (’cos they survived) and Henry VIII (he time-travelled)

Barbara’s winning comment was different again. She says,“I basically explained – very briefly – why I thought the princes actually survived.”

And that seems much more logical than the suggestion of the sainted More; his tender age when the princes disappeared makes it unlikely that he could have organised the event!

So, what of the book The Disappearing Rose? It is for young people, especially those who love time travel, history, mystery and adventure.

“No one knows what happened to the little Princes of the Tower. That’s what Dane, Paige, and Jack are told when they start working on a medieval documentary for Dane and Paige’s filmmaker father. But then an ancient medallion transports them back to the fifteenth century and gives them a chance to discover the truth about the mysterious disappearance of young King Edward the Fifth and his brother Richard, Duke of York. But they’d better be careful. The princes are definitely in danger, and the person responsible for their disappearance just might decide that their new friends should disappear as well.”

Sounds like good reading for tweens, teens and those over 21 too. The good news is it is the first in The Time Rose series. It is an e-book and more information can be found on

Renee Duke, the author, grew up in England and says she has been interested in the princes ever since she read about them in a text book of the Uncle-Richard-did-it variety that still prevails. She’s hoping that the time travel approach will lure high tech fantasy obsessed children of today into considering other possible culprits.

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Editor’s Comment: Our branch was approached at the beginning of this year by Thomas Layton, who was considering writing his HSC major work essay for Extension History on Richard III.  My daughter, who had also written her HSC essay on Richard III, and I had a chat with Thomas and gave him some advice on books and other material he might find useful.  Thomas received outstanding results for his essay and we are only too happy to include it on our branch website.

Thomas Edward Layton

Extension History

Historical Investigation

To What Extent can Thomas More’s ‘History of King Richard III’ be

Considered a work of Tudor Propaganda?

From the historiographical debate surrounding England’s King Richard III I have narrowed down my research to studying the influence of propaganda on Thomas More’s History of King Richard III. When Henry Tudor overthrew King Richard in 1485 he took by force a throne to which he had only a fledgling claim. Propaganda was then forwarded to validate his title, by depicting Richard and his Yorkist family as tyrants whom Tudor was divinely mandated to overthrow. Propaganda of this ilk was formalised by Polydore Vergil, Tudor’s official historian who described King Richard as the epitome of evil. 21st century largely views More’s as an inaccurate image of Richard III, but the question remains if it is propagandist. With Richard painted in a negative light also by Thomas More many revisionist historians group him with Vergil as a Tudor Propagandist. On this issue I compare the arguments of More and Vergil to first confirm More’s image of him as similar to the Tudor party line. I also seek corroboration for More’s account in the Crowland Chronicle of the period and the account of Dominic Mancini, in order to determine the balance in More’s account between fact and fiction. I also examine his political attitudes, his philosophical and moral views, and the source material he based history upon to first determine whether or not he wrote his History to serve the Tudor cause. These questions will be posed employing historians of both traditionalist views such as Charles Ross and Alfred Rowse, and revisionist views such as Jeremy Potter, Paul Kendall and V.B Lamb; all of whom base their account to a degree on their interpretations of Thomas More. Also employed are numerous textual analyses of More’s History, as well as Richard Sylvester’s view as More’s translator, and Richard Marius’s view as his biographer. Based on my conclusions thereof I propose that he wrote to use the Tudor image of King Richard as an archetype for evil, remembering the renaissance view of history was different to ours. The pre-existence of Tudor propaganda that impacted More’s sources meant More saw Richard in this light, and applied his image to a general discourse on tyranny for a philosophical purpose, rather than the purposes of Henry Tudor. Read the rest of this entry »

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