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Hereford, Nicholas


Wyclifite, Carthusian; d. Coventry Charterhouse, after 1417. Nothing is known of him until 1369, when he became a fellow at Queen's College, Oxford, where John wyclif was a regular resident for the greater part of his Oxford career. It is safe to assume that Hereford's conversion to Lollardy was due to Wyclif's influence (see lollards). About 1380, Hereford was one of the translators of the Lollard Bible, perhaps with John purvey. In 1382 he received his doctorate in theology. In the same year, preaching on Ascension Day at the invitation of the chancellor of Oxford, Robert rygge, he delivered a sermon in support of Wyclif that resulted in his own condemnation by Church and State. Failing to receive a sympathetic hearing from John of Gaunt, Hereford and Philip repington appealed to Rome in person, before their excommunication by Abp. William courtenay. In Rome Hereford was imprisoned, but the pope saved him from death. During a popular uprising in 1385 he escaped from prison and returned to England. His leadership of Wyclif's disciples was cut short by his renewed excommunication and arrest in 1387. Sometime before December 1391, he recanted and made a full submission. Thereafter he served as chancellor and treasurer of Hereford cathedral. In 1417 he retired to a Coventry charterhouse where he died in old age, date unknown.

Bibliography: c. l. kingsford, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900; 190838) 14:418420. m. deanesly, The Significance of the Lollard Bible (London 1951). j. h. dahmus, The Prosecution of John Wyclyf (New Haven 1952). k. b. mcfarlane, John Wycliffe and the Beginnings of English Nonconformity (New York 1953). a.b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 195759) 2:913915.

[j. e. healey]

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