Oxford infected St Andrews, and we find traces of more than one vigorous search made for Lollards among the teaching staff of the Scottish university, while the Lollards of Kyle in Ayrshire were claimed by Knox as the forerunners of the Scotch Reformation.
Wycliffe had published the rule of St Francis, and had pointed out in a commentary upon the rule how far friars had departed from the maxims of their founder, and had persecuted the Spirituales (the Fratricelli, Beghards, Lollards of the Netherlands) for keeping them to the letter (cf.
He planned to gather the Lollards of London and the Home Counties under arms, and to seize the person of the kinga scheme as wild as the design of Guy Fawkes or the Fifth Monarchy Rising Men in later generations, for the sectaries were not u0,der1 strong enough to coerce the whole nation.
The victims were nearly all clergy or citizens; the king shrank from touching the Lollards of higher rank, and even employed in his service some who were notoriously tainted with heresy.
The word is much older than its English use; there were Lollards in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 14th century, who were akin to the Fratricelli, Beghards and other sectaries of the recusant Franciscan type.
Of England, and Lollards abounded in Somerset, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Lincoln and Buckinghamshire.
They were Fraticelli, Beghards, Lollards or other confraternities unrecognized by the church and in steady opposition to her government.
Further persecutions of a whole batch of Lollards took place in 1428.
Having meanwhile become archbishop of Canterbury Courtenay summoned a council, or synod, in London, which condemned the opinions of Wycliffe; he then attacked the Lollards at Oxford, and urged the bishops to imprison heretics.
In the earlier stages of Lollardy, when the court and the clergy managed to bring Lollards before ecclesiastical tribunals backed by the civil power, the accused generally recanted and showed no disposition to endure martyrdom for their opinions.