John Wycliffe (c. 1320-1384) allying himself with the party of John of Gaunt, which was opposed to ecclesiastical influence at court, he attacked abuses in the church, maintaining that the Bible rather than the church was the supreme authority.
About 1378 he criticized such fundamental doctrines as priestly absolution, confession, and indulgences. He set disciples to work on translating the Bible into English.
Having studied at Oxford, he became Master of Balliol College there, and sent out bands of travelling preachers. He was denounced as a heretic.