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Followers of John Wycliffe in late medieval England. The pejorative name (from Middle Dutch lollaert, mumbler) had been applied earlier to European groups suspected of heresy. The first Lollard group centred on some of Wycliffe's colleagues at Oxford led by Nicholas of Hereford. In 1382 the archbishop of Canterbury forced some of the Oxford Lollards to renounce their views, but the sect continued to multiply. The accession of Henry IV in 1399 signaled a wave of repression. In 1414 a Lollard rising was quickly defeated by Henry V; it brought severe reprisals and marked the end of the Lollards' overt political influence. A Lollard revival began c. 1500, and by 1530 the old Lollard and the new Protestant forces had begun to merge. The Lollard tradition predisposed opinion in favor of Henry VIII's anticlerical legislation. The Lollards were responsible for a translation of the Bible by Nicholas of Hereford, and their core teachings included an emphasis on personal faith and the authority of the Bible and the rejection of clerical celibacy, transubstantiation, and indulgences.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Lollards, visit Britannica.com.
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