Purvey, John

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Wyclifite; b. Lathbury, Buckinghamshire, England, 1353?; d. after 1407. He was ordained in 1377. Because of his close connection with John wyclif, he may have been an Oxford man. He was Wyclif's constant and devoted companion after the latter's withdrawal to Lutterworth in 1381. Purvey was most probably responsible for translating and revising Wyclif's original works for popular circulation among the lollards. He may have revised the translation of the Bible by Wyclif and Nicholas hereford. After Wyclif's death in 1384, Purvey lived among Lollard sympathizers in Bristol, where his sermons brought a ban on preaching from the bishop of Worcester (1387). In 1388 and 1389 royal warrants authorized the confiscation of all writings of Wyclif, Hereford, Aston, and Purvey, and the arrest of their possessors. A second translation of the Bible (1396) has been ascribed to Purvey, but according to McFarlane, this "rests on slight foundation." In 1401, after some time in prison, he publicly recanted. He was presented with a living, which he resigned after two years. There is reason to believe he was alive in 1407.

Bibliography: m. deanesly, The Lollard Bible (Cambridge, Eng. 1920). k. b. mcfarlane, John Wycliffe and the Beginnings of English Nonconformity (New York 1953). h. hargreaves, "The Latin Text of Purvey's Psalter," Medium Aevum 24 (1955) 7390. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500 (Oxford 195759) 3:152627.

[j. e. healey]