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William Woodford


Oxford Franciscan scholar, opponent of Wyclif, (fl. 1351-c. 1400). He was a Franciscan by 1351, and a doctor of theology by 1373. Woodford (Wodeford, Wydford) concentrated on scriptural studies. His apologetic works, however, were written to combat the views of his Oxford contemporary, John wyclif. The two men were on friendly terms during the 1370s and exchanged lecture notes on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. But as early as 1374 Woodford had become critical of Wyclif's teaching on dominion and suspicious of his views on the Eucharist. Because of their continuing friendship Woodford's treatises provide the best insight into the evolution of Wyclif's thought. In 1381, when Wyclif boldly attacked the doctrine of transubstantiation, Woodford wrote De sacramento altaris or LXXII Questiones, which indicated the various phases through which Wyclif's views had passed before his open confession of heresy. In 1389 Woodford was regent and master of theology among the Franciscans at Oxford, but after he was appointed vicar of the provincial minister he resided in London. He summed up his views on Wyclif's errors in the treatise De causis condempnacionis articulorum 18 dampnatorum Johannis Wyclif. Some place Woodford's death in 1397, others in 1411.

Bibliography: a. f. pollard, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 21:867868. a. g. little, The Grey Friars in Oxford (Oxford 1892). a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500 3:208182. j. a. robson, Wyclif and the Oxford Schools (Cambridge, Eng. 1961).

[j. e. healey]

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