In 1529, the year before Tyndale printed the Pentateuch, Thomas More—an English lawyer who was on the king’s council and who would soon be named Lord Chancellor of England—wrote a lengthy dialogue attacking evangelical heretics like Luther and Tyndale. Soon Tyndale responded with a brief answer to More’s dialogue. And, again, More replied with a Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer, a work that trudged along for half a million venomous words.
Ironically, Tyndale may have considered More, the famous author of The Utopia, a friend of reform little more than a decade earlier. Indeed, he seems betrayed by More’s attacks. But, although he was friendly with famous Christian humanists and was no particular lover of the pope, More always believed that the hierarchical Roman church was the only guarantor of truth and order in the world. If the church falls, the world will collapse into chaos. Thus, the church must be defended vehemently.
It is no wonder then that some—though not all—historians have argued that More himself employed Henry Phillips, who betrayed Tyndale to his death. In October 1536, after being imprisoned for more than a year, Tyndale—a martyr for Reformation truths—was strangled and then burned at the stake.
But by the time of Tyndale’s death, More had been dead for a year—a Catholic martyr beheaded by the authority of King Henry VIII.
I'm glad to see the author clear More of employing Henry Phillips. But he needed to make it clear: If Tyndale had been imprisoned for more than a year by October 1536, that means the betrayal took place in 1535: Thomas More had been in the Tower of London since April of 1534 and had been out of office since 1532.
The author also doesn't give the full context of the exchange of publications between More and Tyndale: although Ben Hawkins refers to More's "half a million venomous words" in his Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer, he does not describe the venom of Tyndale's response to the Dialogue—some of those 500,000 venomous words may indeed be Tyndale’s, because More took each argument in Tyndale’s 1531 An Answer to Thomas More’s Dialogue and answered it point by point.
In his Reformation Divided, Eamon Duffy looks at the Confutation and notes the effort and detail with which More labored on this work. As this reviewer sums up Duffy's effort to explain More's effort:
I've submitted a review of Reformation Divided to another publication and will let you know when it's in print!