Sir Thomas More (/ˈmɔr/; 7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), known to Roman Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII and Lord Chancellor from October 1529 to 16 May 1532. More opposed the Protestant Reformation, in particular the theology of Martin Luther and William Tyndale whose books he burned and whose followers he persecuted. More also wrote Utopia, published in 1516, about the political system of an ideal and imaginary island nation. More later opposed the King's separation from the Catholic Church and refused to accept him as Supreme Head of the Church of England because it disparaged papal authority and Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Tried for treason, More was convicted on perjured testimony and beheaded.
History of King Richard III
Between 1512 and 1519, Thomas More worked on a History of King Richard III, which he never finished but which was published after his death. The History of King Richard III is a Renaissance history, remarkable more for its literary skill and adherence to classical precepts than for its historical accuracy. Some consider it an attack on royal tyranny, rather than on Richard III himself or the House of York. More and his contemporary Polydore Vergil both use a more dramatic writing style than most medieval chronicles; for example, the shadowy King Richard is an outstanding, archetypal tyrant more like the Romans portrayed by Sallust.[clarification needed] The History of King Richard III was written and published in both English and Latin, each written separately, and with information deleted from the Latin edition to suit a European readership. It greatly influenced William Shakespeare's play Richard III. Contemporary historians attribute the unflattering portraits of King Richard III in both works to both authors' allegiance to the reigning Tudor dynasty that wrested the throne from Richard III in the Wars of the Roses. More's version also barely mentions King Henry VII, the first Tudor king, perhaps for having persecuted his father, Sir John More.
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