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John Wycliffe
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Religious Figure
    (circa 1325-December 31, 1384)
    Born in Ipreswell, England, United Kingdom
    English theologian and lay preacher
    Dismissed from Oxford for criticizing the Catholic Church (1381)
    Founder of the anti-clerical Lollard movement
    Translated the Bible from Latin into English (1384)
    Called 'the Morning Star of the Reformation'
    His last name was also spelled Wyclif, Wycliff, Wiclef, Wicliffe and Wickliffe.
    He waived the right of sanctuary, allowing the henchmen of his patron, John of Gaunt, to murder a man in Westminster Abbey.
    He compared the Pope to the Antichrist.
    Three decades after his death, the Catholic Church declared him a heretic, and ordered that his remains be exhumed and burned.
    He recommended that the clergy live in poverty as in the days of the apostles.
    He was one of the first opponents of church power over the government.
    He refused to renounce his beliefs after the Chancellor of Oxford declared them heretical.
    His ideas were so popular in England that a contemporary wrote, 'Every second man that you meet is a Lollard.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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