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Lollards

Lollards Followers of the 14th-century English religious reformer John Wycliffe. They helped to pave the way for the Reformation, and challenged many doctrines and practices of the medieval Church, including transubstantiation, pilgrimages, and clerical celibacy. They rejected the authority of the papacy and denounced the wealth of the Church. The first Lollards appeared at Oxford University, where Wycliffe was a teacher (c.1377). They went out among the people as ‘poor preachers’, teaching that the Bible was the sole authority in religion. From 1401 many Lollards were burned as heretics, and after mounting an unsuccessful uprising in London in 1414, many went underground.

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Lollards

Lollards (etym. uncertain, poss. from Lat. ‘tares’, sc. growing amidst the good wheat, or ‘one who mumbles’). Name (originally one of abuse) given to the followers of Wycliffe, who took issue with the Church on a number of grounds, but especially the power of the papacy, transubstantiation, and the privileges of the priesthood. Later the term was applied to those more generally dissatisfied with the Church. They co-operated in the distribution of Tyndale's New Testament, and were broadly in sympathy with the changes associated with the Henrician reformation. Their distinctive protest did not survive, but merged into the wider spectrum of Protestant views.

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