Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More, an outstanding public figure of the 16th century was a brilliant lawyer, a royal favourite and Chancellor of England.

He was a son of a lawyer. At the age of 12 he went to serve in the household of Cardinal Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England; at 14 he went to Oxford University. At 16 he returned to London to study law and became immediate friends with the Dutch scholar Erasmus, the leader of the «New Learning». He did well at his legal studies, but his mind turned more and more to religion. After 4 years at a monastery he began working as a lawyer and was brilliantly successful. In 1509 Henry VIII came to the throne. Well-educated, humorous and modest, Thomas became a royal favourite and was given important positions. He was knighted, made a member of the King’s Council and then Speaker of the House of Commons. He wrote an international best-seller «Utopia» which represented an ideal society.

At this time, Henry VIII was thinking about divorcing Catherine of Aragon who had not produced a son. Cardinal Wolsey failed to persuade Pope Clement that he should grant a legal royal divorce. In 1529 Henry VIII dismissed Wolsey as Chancellor and charged him with treason. Thomas More was appointed Chancellor and became the highest judge in the country; as a judge, he was absolutely fair in all his judgements.

Though an affectionate husband, father and son, Thomas More was merciless to heretics. Being very religious, he believed that heretics should be «trodden underfoot like ants» and made to confess by torture if necessary. During his time as Chancellor, 6 Protestants were burnt, with his full approval.

Trying to obtain his divorce, the King accused the English clergy of accepting the Pope’s authority instead of the King’s. Realizing that this threatened the unity of the Catholic Church, Thomas More gave up his Chancellorship in 1532. The King was legally divorced and married Anne Boleyn. Sir Thomas More didn’t attend her coronation. He refused to swear a public oath to accept the parliamentary act which supported the King’s divorce. Opposing the divorce, he was still loyal to his king: he would not give reasons of his refusal, because that might weaken the King’s authority and lead to a rebellion or a Civil war. On April 1534 he was imprisoned in the Tower of London without hope of release. The Parliament accepted a new act in which Henry’s title of the Supreme Head of the Church of England was stated. Though his family was suffering hardship, Thomas More didn’t say a word showing his agreement to Henry’s title. Thomas More was accused of treason and on July 1535 faced his accusers.

On July 6 he was beheaded, and his head was fixed on a spike on the London Bridge as a dreadful warning.

In 1935, exactly 400 years after his death, the Pope officially declared Sir Thomas More a saint.

Topical Vocabulary

- an outstanding public figure
выдающийся общественный деятель
a royal favourite
фаворит короля
Chancellor of England
канцлер Англии
- Archbishop of Canterbury
архиепископ Кентерберийский
to become immediate friends (with)
стать близким другом
the «New Learning»
«Новое учение»
to do well at one’s legal studies
делать успехи в обучении юриспруденции
to turn to religion
обратиться к религии
to come to the throne
взойти на престол
хорошо образованный
to be given important positions
получать значительные посты
to be knighted
получить рыцарское звание
the King’s Council
Королевский совет
Speaker of the House of Commons
спикер палаты общин
to represent an ideal society
представлять идеальное общество
- to grant a legal royal divorce
обеспечить законность развода короля
to dismiss smb. as Chancellor
сместить с должности канцлера
to charge smb. with treason
обвинить кого-либо в измене
to appoint (smb.) Chancellor
назначить кого-либо канцлером
to be fair in one’s judgements
быть справедливым в своих решениях
- an affectionate husband
любящий муж
to be merciless to heretics
быть беспощадным к еретикам
to tread smb. underfoot like ants
растоптать, как муравьев
to make smb. to confess by torture
вырвать у кого-либо признание пытками
with one’s full approval
с полного одобрения кого-либо
- to obtain one’s divorce
получить развод
to accuse the English clergy of doing smth.
обвинить английское духовенство в чем-либо
to accept the Pope’s authority
признание власти Папы
to threaten the unity
угрожать единству
to give up one’s Chancellorship
отказаться от поста канцлера
to swear a public oath
дать публичную клятву
to be loyal to one’s King
быть верным своему королю
to weaken the King’s authority
ослабить королевскую власть
to lead to a rebellion
привести к восстанию
to be imprisoned
попасть в тюрьму
without hope of release
без надежды на освобождение
the Supreme Head of the Church of England
Верховный глава Церкви Англии
to suffer hardship
испытывать трудности
- to be beheaded
быть обезглавленным
to be fixed on a spike
быть посаженным на кол
- to declare smb. a saint
объявить кого-либо святым

Answer the questions:

  1. What is Sir Thomas More famous for?
  2. What kind of education did Thomas More get?
  3. What positions was he given when Henry VIII came to the throne?
  4. Why was Thomas More appointed Chancellor of England?
  5. What was Thomas More’s attitude to religion?
  6. Why did Thomas More give up his Chancellorship?
  7. Why was he imprisoned and executed?

Translate into English:

  1. Когда на престол взошел Генрих VIII, Томас Мор стал королевским фаворитом и получил значительный пост.
  2. Он получил рыцарство, стал членом Королевского совета, спикером палаты общин, а также написал популярный роман «Утопия».
  3. Кардиналу Вулси не удалось уговорить Папу предоставить Генриху VIII законный развод.
  4. Став канцлером, Томас Мор стал также Верховным судьей и прославился справедливостью своих решений.
  5. Будучи глубоко религиозным человеком, Томас Мор был беспощадным к еретикам.
  6. Когда Генрих VIII обвинил английское духовенство в подчинении Папе, а не королю, Томас Мор отказался от поста канцлера.
  7. Томас Мор был заключен в Тауер, обвинен в государственной измене и казнен.