Do you accept the view that More was a cruel man with little compassion for others? Explain your answer using Sources N, O, P and your own knowledge. (40 marks)
Both Source N and O agree with the fact that More lacked compassion for others and was cruel, although they both rely more on opinion rather than hard facts. However P disagrees and states that he was a little bit compassionate and focuses more on the evidence to back it up.
Source N agrees with the view that More was a cruel man with little compassion. It states that More was ‘personally responsible’ for burning several people and more things similar to torture. However, it also says that torture and imprisonment was common in that time period and it is true. Many people of high power around Henry VIII were known for being ruthless and cruel towards many people, and torture was a common way of getting information or people to come over to bend to their will. Source N is based on several other post-Reformation texts, however, they are more than likely going to be predisposed against More because he was well known as someone who refused to accept Anne Boleyn as Queen and take the Oath of Succession in 1534. The reliability of the source does come into question because John Foxe was a Protestant and would naturally oppose a man like More who was a devout Catholic. The Source does not make it clear whether More did torture those people or not, but does strive to make him seem uncompassionate and cruel. Source N is somewhat trustworthy, due to it being more factually based, because Ackroyd would have had much more information when he wrote the Source, however, despite him clearly stating that More was a cruel man, it is unclear whether or not this is true or even trustworthy.
Source O also agrees that More had little compassion for other people as it says he was not pleasant to talk to and that he was always ‘taunting and mocking’. The Source is written by someone who was around at the time of More’s life...