Lollardy


Lollardy was a political and religious movement that existed from the mid-14th century to the English Reformation.

A Lollard is also known as a Wyclifite – that is, of or pertaining to the mediaeval English theologian John Wycliffe who was dismissed from the University of Oxford in 1381 for criticism of the Catholic Church, and for his English translation of the Bible, known as the Wyclif’s Bible.

The term derives from the popular derogatory nickname Lollard given to those without an academic background, educated – if at all – only in English. By the mid-15th century, thanks to John Wycliffe, the term had come to mean heretic in general.

Speaking of sects, the former Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay of Clashfern was a member of the Wee Frees, an extreme Scottish Presbyterian sect. He was thrown out of the church after going to the funeral of a judge who happened to be Catholic. He was also once holding a tea party for some lawyers at which he served toast and a tiny pot of honey. One of lawyers looked at it and said jokingly: “I see Your Lordship keeps a bee.”