English cardinal, theologian responsible for the papal condemnation of John Wyclif in 1377, author of several important spiritual and liturgical works; b. Easton, England, c. 1330; d. Rome, Sept. 20, 1397. Easton, a monk of Norwich cathedral priory, studied at Oxford and graduated there as master of theology in 1366. Two years later he accompanied the Benedictine cardinal, simon langham of Canterbury, to the papal Curia at avignon and completed there by 1377 his Defensorium ecclesiastice potestatis, a systematic refutation of the antipapal writings of marsilius of padua and John wyclif. He was an eyewitness of the disputed election of Pope urban vi, the validity of which he consistently maintained. In 1381 he was promoted to cardinal and wrote the Office of the Visitation of the BVM, promulgated in 1389 in the cause of Church unity. Another major work, Defensorium s. Birgittae led to the canonization of bridget of sweden in 1391. Easton's extant writings reveal him to have been one of the greatest biblical scholars and Hebraists of the 14th century.
Bibliography: l. macfarlane, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique, Doctrine et histoire 4.1:5–8; The Life and Writings of Adam Easton, 2 v. (U. of London thesis, 1955). a. b. emden, A Biographical Review of the University of Oxford to a.d. 1500 1:620–21.