John Wyclif (c. 1320-1384) has been called both the last of the schoolmen and the morning star of the Reformation. A native Englishman and a Franciscan, he spent most of his life at the University of Oxford, first as scholar, later as teacher of theology, and, from 1356 to 1382, as master of Balliol College. He witnessed the opening battles of the Hundred Years' War between England and France (1337-1453) with its heavy toll of life, the beginning of the Great Schism (1378-1417) during which there was one pope at and another at Avignon, and finally the spectacle of peasant revolts in France and England. The situation in England during Wyclif's lifetime was complicated by the reluctance of Englishmen to support the policies and especially the heavy financial demands of a papacy which was operating from the French-dominated seat at Avignon. [excerpt]
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Bloom, Robert L. et al. "6. John Wyclif's Divine Dominion and the End of the Middle Ages. Pt. IV: The Medieval Ferment." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 36-43.