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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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The followers of the famous John Wickliffe, called "the first reformer, " who was born in Yorkshire in the year 1324. He attacked the jurisdiction of the pope and the bishops. He was for this twice summoned to a council at Lambeth, to give an account of his doctrines; but being countenanced by the duke of Lancaster, was both times dismissed without condemnation. Wickliffe, therefore, continued to spread his new principles as usual, adding to them doctrines still more alarming; by which he drew after him a great number of disciples. Upon this, William Courtney, abp. of Canterbury, called another council in 1382, which condemned 24 propositions of Wickliffe and his disciples, and obtained a declaration of Richard II. against all who should preach them: but while these proceedings were agitating, Wickliffe died at Lutterworth, leaving many works behind him for the establishment of his doctrines. He was buried in his own church, at Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, where his bones were suffered to rest in peace till the year 1428, when, by an order from the pope, they were taken up and burnt. Wickliffe was doubtless a very extraordinary man, considering the times in which he lived. He discovered the absurdities and impositions of the church of Rome, and had the honesty and resolution to promulgate his opinions, which a little more support would probably have enabled him to establish: they were evidently the foundation of the subsequent reformation.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Wickliffites'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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