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Repington, Philip (Repyngdon)


Former Wyclifite, bishop; d. Lincoln, 1424. A canon regular of St. augustine and a doctor of theology (1382), he emerged from obscurity as a supporter of John wyclif's Eucharistic teaching. In 1382 Archbishop William courtenay became dissatisfied with the dilatoriness of the Oxford chancellor Robert rygge in dealing with Wyclif and ordered the Oxford Carmelite Peter Stokes to promulgate a condemnation of 24 theses drawn from Wyclif's writings. At this invasion of the university's freedom, Rygge defiantly invited Repington to give the university sermon on the Feast of Corpus Christi. In his sermon Repington stoutly maintained Wyclif's orthodoxy. Rygge was immediately hailed before the Blackfriars' synod and the king's council, and he abjectly submitted: he published the condemnation of Wyclif's theses and suspended Wyclif, Nicholas hereford, and Repington until they should be purged of heresy.

Repington and Hereford both appealed to John of Gaunt, but without success. Before the synod they were evasive in their answers and were given a week to state their position unequivocally. On failing to appear, they were excommunicated; they then protested and appealed to Rome. Courtenay ignored the appeal and solemnly excommunicated them on July 13. Repington made his abjuration in November of 1382, and one cannot doubt the sincerity of his change of mind. He became a close friend of the orthodox King Henry IV. In 1404 he was made bishop of Lincoln. He was chancellor of Oxford in 1397, and from 1400 to 1403. In 1408 he was made cardinal. He resigned his see in 1419. His sermons are unedited.

Bibliography: c. l. kingsford, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900) 16:912914. k. b. mcfarlane, John Wycliffe and the Beginnings of English Nonconformity (New York 1953). j. h. dahmus, The Prosecution of John Wyclyf (New Haven, Conn. 1952). a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to a.d. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 195759) 3:15651567.

[j. e. healey]

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