Wycliffe was educated at Oxford College, and was influenced by many of the most important theologians of his time, including Roger Bacon, and William Ockham. He became a doctor of divinity and one of the most popular lecturers of his time. Some of his criticisms of the church were well received, even by the ecclesiastical authorities, but eventually his ideas were considered too radical, and he was put on trial by the church authorities. He was, however, strongly supported by several secular patrons, most notably John of Gaunt, and was not silenced or reprimanded. When a peasants' revolt broke out in 1381 however, his radical preachings was blamed and the criticisms of him were renewed.
Wycliffe preached the doctrine that priests and the religious orders should live lives of poverty, and that the wealth of the monasteries corrupted them. This was not a new idea, and most of the religious orders were actually founded by priests who took a vow of poverty, but it was opposed by many church leaders, for both selfish and practical reasons. His ideas were seized upon by anti-clerical nobles, who sought to tax and take over the large holdings of the church, as Henry VIII actually did several generations later, as well as those who sincerely sought for honest reforms. Wycliffe was even more influential and controversial after his death than during his life because the movement that he spawned continued to grow and to vex church authorities right up until the Protestant Reformation.
|Birth of Wycliffe|
|Begins his studies at Oxford|
|Became head of Balliol College at Oxford|
|Became a doctor of Divinity|
|Nominated as a Royal envoy to Bruges|
|Wycliffe put on trial for his criticisms of the church|
|Anti Wycliffe synod|
|Worked on a translation of the Latin Vulgate to English|
|Death of Wycliffe|
|The Man Who Preached in||The Story of Liberty by Charles C. Coffin|
|Richard II., the Last Plantagenet King in||The Story of England by Samuel B. Harding|
|Wycliffe, 1320-1384 in||Saints and Heroes to the End of the Middle Ages by George Hodges|
|How the Bible came to the People in||English Literature for Boys and Girls by H. E. Marshall|
|John Wyclif in||Great Englishmen by M. B. Synge|
in Saints and Heroes to the End of the Middle Ages
Wyclif went into the country and there wrote and taught.
in English Literature for Boys and Girls
|Franciscan philosopher. Early proponent of empiricism and the scientific method.|
|William of Ockham||English Theologian who greatly influenced Wycliffe.|
|John of Gaunt||Powerful noble during the reign of Richard II. Father of Henry Bolingbroke.|
|John Purvey||Associate of Wycliffe who completed his translation of the bible.|