Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

John Wycliffe Memorial (Lutterworth)

[An image showing John Wycliffe Memorial]The John Wycliffe Memorial is situated in the attractive Leicestershire market town of Lutterworth.

It takes the form of an obelisk, and stands in front of the town's Methodist Church.

The wording refers to Wycliffe as "The Morning Star of the Reformation", a description which recognises his important theological influence on religious thinking during the Middle Ages.

John Wycliffe was born near Richmond in Yorkshire in 1324, and was recognised as the leading theologian and philosopher at the University of Oxford.

Wycliffe, like his friend Geoffrey Chaucer, spoke out against the corrupt practices of the church at the time. Both would have been in serious trouble without the protection of their patron, John of Gaunt.

He spent his last few years as Rector of Lutterworth, where he completed his great work of translating the Bible into English.

He died after a stroke at St. Marys Church in 1384. Forty four years later, on the orders of the Pope, his bones were dug up and burned, and the ashes thrown into the River Swift.

Wycliffe's followers were the Lollards, and Martin Luther was heavily influenced by his writings.

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