John Ball(redirected from Ball, John)
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Year of birth unknown; died July 15, 1381. English popular preacher, ideologist of the peasant and ple-bian heresy of the Lollards; one of the leaders of the peasant insurrection of 1381.
From the early 1360’s on, Ball wandered throughout England, giving sermons denouncing the wealth and vices of the clergy and demanding abolition of the church tithe, confiscation of the ecclesiastical estates, and liquidation of the church hierarchy. Unlike John Wycliffe, the ideologist of the bourgeois heresy, Ball insisted on a transformation of society. He sought to prove that the privileges of the aristocracy were unjust and contrary to the will of god, and he demanded the abolition of serfdom, equalization of the estates, and also, to some extent, equalization of property. Arrested in 1381, he was freed by the rebelling peasants and took his place, together with Wat Tyler, at the head of the rebels. After their defeat he was executed.