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Coventry Martyrs and the Bible

 

Lollardy and Lollards

 
 

Lollard, Lollardi or Loller was the popular derogatory nickname given to those without an academic background, educated if at all only in English, who were reputed to follow the teachings of John Wycliffe in particular, and were certainly considerably energised by the translation of the Bible into the English language. By the mid-15th century the term lollard had come to mean a 'heretic' in general. The alternative, Wycliffite, is generally accepted to be a more neutral term covering those of similar opinions, but having an academic background.

Fundamentally, Lollards were anticlerical, meaning that they disapproved of the allegedly corrupt nature of the Western Church and the belief in divine appointment of Church leaders. Believing the Roman Catholic Church to be perverted in many ways, the Lollards looked to Scripture as the basis for their religious ideas. To provide an authority for religion outside of the Church, Lollards began the movement towards a translation of the bible into the vernacular which enabled more of the English peasantry to read the Bible. Wycliffe himself translated many passages until his death in 1384.

Lollardy was strongly resisted by both the religious and secular authorities. In 1401 King Henry IV passed the decree prohibiting the translating or owning of the Bible and authorising the burning of heretics at the stake. A variety of martyrs for the Lollard cause would be executed over the following century, including the Lollards of Coventry.

 

Beginning of the Gospel of John from a pocket Wycliffe translation that may have been used by a roving Lollard preacher (late 14th century)
 

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COVENTRY MARTYRS AND THE BIBLE

  Sad Tale of the City’s Martyrs

  Lollardy and Lollards

  The Burnings in Coventry

MODERN ENGLISH

  The "Ink-horn" Controversy 

  Humour & Pathos in Shakespeare

  Biblical Phrases Test

  British vs. American English

  More

 

 
 
 
 

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