1328 - 1384
John Wycliffe, born to a large family near Richmond in the North Riding of Yorkshire around 1328, was an English scholastic proto-Reformer who taught at the University of Oxford and articulated many of the doctrines of the later Protestant Reformation in opposition to the abuses of the Catholic church of his day. Chief among his concerns was the unique authority of Scripture, forming the basis for his criticism of unbiblical Catholic practices such as the papacy, purgatory, indulgences, etc. He was the first to translate the Bible into the English language. After his death, the Catholic church declared him a heretic, exhumed and burned his body and threw his ashes into the River Swift. His followers in England were known, in derogation, as the Lollards. They maintained Wycliffe’s biblical doctrines from the 14th century until the Protestant Reformation.