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John Purvey

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Title: John Purvey  
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Subject: 1361 births, Lollards, The Twelve Conclusions of the Lollards, Murdoch Nisbet, 1429 deaths
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John Purvey

John Purvey (c. 1354 – c. 1414)[1] was one of the leading followers of the English theologian and reformer John Wycliffe during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. He was born around 1354 in Lathbury, near Newport Pagnell in the county of Buckinghamshire, England. He was a great scholar, permitted to enter all priestly ranks on March 13, 1377, or 1378.[2] It has been assumed by scholars that Purvey became acquainted with Wycliffe's ideas in Oxford.[2] In around 1382, Purvey lived with Wycliffe at Lutterworth, Leicestershire,along with Nicholas of Hereford and John Aston, and became one of Wycliffe's disciples. These disciples were termed lollards; a name derived the medieval Dutch word meaning "to mutter".[3] This reflected the Dutch's views on worship through their reading of the Scripture. The most important group of lollards were a group of knights who were a part of the king's court. Sir William Neville, Sir John Montague and Sir William Beachamp were a part of this group and had the support of the Black Prince and John of Gaunt (1371-1382), reflecting the tradition of noble anticlericalism. At Lutterworth, Purvey, with Wycliffe's concurrence, he revised the 1382 English translation of the Bible, originally done by Wycliffe and Nicholas of Hereford. The primary purpose of the revision was to make the translation more accessible as well as comprehensible. The 1382 translation was a verbatim rendering of the Vulgate, and had little consideration for the differences between the Latin and the English, making the version confusing.[1] Purvey, himself, described his time translating with Wycliffe. He said that each worked on their manuscripts at opposite ends of a table with an inkwell shared in the middle. Purvey worked separately from Wycliffe, never writing a word for him despite Wycliffe's palsied arm.[4]

He was in the midst of this undertaking when Wycliffe died in 1384. From Lutterworth, Purvey then moved to

  • Ward & Trent, et al. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1907–21; New York:, 2000. Web. 21 Oct. 2012.


  1. ^ a b "John Purvey." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. (retrieved July 5, 2009)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hudson, Anne. “Purvey, John.” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, May 2008. Web. 18 Oct 2012.
  3. ^ Ibeji Mike Dr. Lollard: Critics of the Church. BBC America Corporation., 7 Feb. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2012.
  4. ^ Satterlee, Thom. "Purvey Describes His Work with Wyclif." The Southern Review 42.2 (2006): 422. LitFinder. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.
  5. ^ a b Jurkowski, Maureen. "New light on John Purvey." The English Historical Review 110.439 (1995): 1180+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 12 Oct. 2012.


See also

Afterwards Purvey was left alone and by the end of 1401 he was inducted to the vicarage of West Hythe in Kent. But, like other followers of Wycliffe who had recanted, he was ill at ease at his betrayal. In 1403, he resigned from his current parish and for the next eighteen years he preached wherever he could. In 1407, Purvey was named as one of the Oldcastle rebellion in Derbyshire and Warwickshire.[2] He was arrested by the 12th of January and was held at Newgate prison. He died of natural causes on the 16th of May, 1414.[2]

. heresies He confessed on March 6, 1401 and revoked his [2].orthodoxy, he recanted at Paul's Cross in London and returned to William Sawtrey and, unable to face death by burning, like that of convocation. By 1401, he was brought before Catholic Church Because of his accusations of heresy, he was imprisoned in 1390. Nonetheless he continued to write various works, including commentaries, sermons and treatises condemning the corruption of the [2] Purvey was accused of preaching heresy. Archbishop Arundel investigated Purvey's teachings and found several counts of heresy including the invalidity of wrongful excommunication, and the ineffectuality of papal law.[5]

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