Wicliffe, John

Wicliffe, John, or Wyclif, the “Morning Star of the Reformation,” born at Hipswell, near Richmond, Yorkshire; studied at Oxford, and became Master of Balliol in 1361, professor of Divinity in 1372, and rector of Lutterworth in 1375; here he laboured and preached with such faithfulness that the Church grew alarmed, and persecution set in, which happily, however, proved scatheless, and only the more emboldened him in the work of reform which he had taken up; and of that work the greatest was his translation of the Bible from the Vulgate into the mother-tongue, at which, with assistance from his disciples, he laboured for some 10 or 15 years, and which was finished in 1380; he may be said to have died in harness, for he was struck with paralysis while standing before the altar at Lutterworth on 29th December 1384, and died the last day of the year; his remains were exhumed and burned afterwards, and the ashes thrown into the river Swift close by the town, “and thence borne,” says Andrew Fuller, “into the main ocean, the emblem of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all the world over” (1325-1384).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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