In fact in the Northern Midlands, and in the North even before the middle of the r4th century, the book of Psalms had been twice rendered into English, and before the end of the same century, probably before the great Wycliffite versions had spread over the country, the whole of the New Testament had been translated by different hands into one or other of the dialects of this part of the country.
The direct result of this investigation is not known, but it is impossible to disconnect from it the promulgation by Pope Alexander V., on the 20th of December 1409, of a bull which ordered the abjuration of all Wycliffite heresies and the surrender of all his books, while at the same time - a measure specially levelled at the pulpit of Bethlehem chapel - all preaching was prohibited except in localities which had been by long usage set apart for that use.
Like the Wycliffite Versions it is merely a secondary rendering from the Latin Vulgate, and it suffered from many of the defects which characterized these versions, extreme literalness, often stilted, ambiguous renderings, at times unintelligible except by a reference to the Latin original, as in Luke xxii.
Attempts have been made to show that especially in the Old Testament he based a great deal of his work on the Wycliffite translations, but in face of this we have his own explicit 4 Reprinted by G.
The editors of the Wycliffite versions say in the Preface, pp. xv.
Lewis, History of English Translations of the Bible (1818); the historical accounts prefixed to Bagster's issue of The English Hexapla and of Forshall and Madden's edition of the Wycliffite Versions (Oxford, 1850).
He was able to coerce the authorities of the university of Oxford, and to drive out of it the leading Wycliffite teachers, but he was unable to stifle Oxford sympathies or to prevent the banished teachers preaching throughout the country.