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participants in a 14th-century peasant-plebeian movement in England and in certain other Western European countries as well; the movement took on the character of an anti-Catholic heresy.
The Lollards first appeared in Antwerp around 1300. They emerged in England in the early 1360’s (the preaching of J. Ball), although the term “Lollards” was first used officially in English sources in 1387. Intensification of social contradictions during the second half of the 14th century facilitated the rise of the Lollards. Preaching on village streets and in market areas, the Lollards, following the example of J. Wycliffe, rejected the privileges of the Catholic Church and called for the secularization of its property. At the same time, the Lollards considerably increased the social resonance of their preaching. They sharply criticized the injustices of the feudal structure, demanding the elimination of the corvée, the tithe, and taxes and the equalization of estates. Though the Lollards never came out with a direct appeal for an uprising, their preaching helped shape the popular masses’ social demands.
The Lollards played an important role in the ideological preparation of the Wat Tyler revolt of 1381, and J. Ball served as one of its leaders. Suppression of the revolt was followed by persecution of the Lollards; executions began after the adoption of a statute in 1401 on the burning of heretics. Many Lollards were forced to resettle on the Continent and in Scotland. In England itself there remained supporters of the Lollards right up to the beginning of the 16th century, thereby facilitating the preparation of the English Reformation.
REFERENCESPetrushevskii, D. M. Vosstanie Uota Tailera, 4th ed. Moscow, 1937.
Gairdner, J. Lallardy and the Reformation in England...., vols. 1–4. London, 1908–13.
G. R. LEVIN