Wycliffe, John (1328?–84), British religious reformer, created first English translation of the Latin Bible. He lived during a time that saw the roles of church and state seriously questioned. Siding with the common people against both corrupt church and civil rulers, he claimed that obedience was due only to God. For his beliefs and writings on this subject, he was tried several times, unsuccessfully. Protected by England's royal family, he wrote vehement attacks against the church, fighting in large part against its hypocrisy and in favor of the rights of the poor. Subsequent religious reformers, including the Protestants of the Reformation in the 16th century, considered Wycliffe a major influence.
See also: Reformation.
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