William Thorpe: An Early Lollard

John Fines introduces Thorpe, a follower of Wyclif for thirty years, who was tried for heresy in 1407.

Until the last quarter of the fourteenth century, England appears to have been relatively undisturbed by heresy; the Papal Inquisition had only entered the country on one occasion, to investigate the charges against the Templars, and all the evidence goes to show that there would have been little work for it at other times. The advent of John Wyclif radically altered the situation, and it was with all the greater sense of shock that churchmen, almost totally lacking in experience in such matters, tried to face the novel problems that he posed.

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