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The Lollards in Pre-Reformation Scotland

  • W. Stanford Reid (a1)


The influence of the Lollard movement on the Scottish Reformation was pointed out by John Knox in the sixteenth century; and in the latter part of the nineteenth century the same point was stressed by the Historiographer Royal for Scotland, P. Hume Brown. Yet in spite of such illustrious advocacy, with one or two minor exceptions, little attention has been paid to the Wycliffite tradition in fifteenth century Scotland. It has generally been taken for granted that the Lollards were unimportant and possessed little or no influence. When all the information on the movement which we possess, however, is brought together, one cannot but feel that they had a greater influence on their own time than has heretofore been allowed: Not only did the early reformers consider them very important, but today also, in spite of predilections for economic interpretations of history, they must be regarded as one of the important sources of the Scottish Reformation.



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1 Knox, John, The History of the Reformation in Scotland, Laing, D., ed. (Edinburgh, 1846), I, Iff (Bannatyne Club) D. L.

2 Brown, P. H., John Knox (London, 1895), I, 46.

3 Rotuli Scotiae (London, 1814), I, 800–11, 83; Lyte, H. C., History of the University of Oxford (1886), 308. Most of them probably went to Balliol College with which Wycliffe was connected.

4 Steuart, A. F., “Scotland and the Papacy during the Great Schism.” Scottish Historical Review, IV (1906), 147.

5 Lnnes, C., ed., Liber S. Marie de Calchou (Edinburgh, 1846), II, 38 (Bannatyne Club); Morton, J., Monastic Annals of Teviotdale (Edinburgh, 1882), 92, 93.

6 Tytler, P. F., The History of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1864), II, 38.

7 de Fordun, Johannis, Scotichronicon cum supplemento et continuatione Walteri Boweri (Edinburgh, 1759), II, 441ff.

8 Bellesheim, A., A History of the Catholic Church of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1887), II, 55.

9 Laing, A., Lindores Abbey (Edinburgh, 1876), 103; Wilkie, Jas., The Benedictine Monasteries of Northern Fife (Edinburgh, 1927), 127; Anderson, J. M., “The Beginnings of St. Andrews University,” Scottish Historical Review, VIII (1911), 237.

10 Dempster, Thomas, Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Scotorum (Edinburgh, 1829), II, 443 (Bannatyne Club); Baxter, J. H., “Four ‘new’ medieval Scottish’ authors,” Scottish Historical Review, XXV (1928), 92.

11 Baxter, J. H., ed., Copiale Prioratus Sanctiandree (Edinburgh), lx, 230235; Workman, H. B., John Wyclif (Oxford, 1926), I, 10; Calendar of Patent Rolls; Henry IV, III (1907), 362.

12 Anderson, “St. Andrews University,” 229; Maitland, J. M.,“James I and the University of St. Andrews,” Scottish Historical Review, IV (1906), 313.

13 Anderson, “St. Andrews University,” 240; Hannay, R. K., The Statutes of the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Theology at the Reformation (St. Andrews, 1910), 8.

14 Finke, H., Acta Concilia Constanciensis (Münster, 1923), II, 627, 399; III, 419; Copiale, 253.

15 Burnett, Geo., ed., The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, (Edinburgh, 1880), IV, 102; Fraser, Sir Wm., The Douglas Book (Edinburgh, 1885), I, 384; Rot. Scot., II, 204.

16 Bain, J., A Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland in the Public Record Office, (Edinburgh, 1888), IV, No. 567.

17 Oman, C., The Political History of England from the Accession of Richard II to the Death of Richard III (London, 1910), 237.

18 Bentley, S., ed., Excerpta Historica, or Illustrations of English History (London, 1833), 144; Clcopatra, F., British Museum, Cottonian Ms., IV, fo. 109.

19 Thomas, of Walsingham, , Ypodigma Neustria, 1876, 482–4 (Rolls Series).

20 Knox, , The Reformation in Scotland, M'Gavin, Wm., ed. (Edinburgh, 4th ed.), 3; D. Laing, ed., I, 496.

21 Innes, C., ed., Liber S. Marie de Melrose (Edinburgh, 1837), II, 542 (Bannatyne Club); Rogers, C., ed., Rental Book of the Cistercian Abbey of CuparAngus (London, 1879), I, 40 (Grampian Club); Boece, Hector, Hystory and Croniklis of Scotland, Bellenden, J., ed. (Edinburgh, 1519), fo. ccxlvii; Dempster, , Historia Ecclesiastica, II, 288.

22 Thomson, Thos., ed., Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland (1814), II, 7.

23 Copiale, 71, 424. The action of the lecturer, a Master of Arts of the university, is a commentary upon the effectiveness of the oath of 1416.

24 Denifle, H. and Chatelaine, A., Auctarium Chartularii Universitatis Parisiensis (Paris, 1937), II, 190. I am indebted to Professor S. Harrison Thomson, University of Colorado, for some of my information regarding Crawar's European Career.

25 Skene, F. J., ed., Liber Plusoardensis (Edinburgh), I, 377.

26 Laing, Andrew, St. Andrews (Edinburgh, 1893), 77; Bellesheim, , Catholic Church of Scotland, II, 56; Fordun, , Scotichronicon, xv, 2022.

27 Liber Pluscardensis, I, 378.

28 Copiale, 136, 178ff, 383; Cameron, A. I., ed., The Apostolic Camera and Scottish Benefices, 1418–1488 (London, 1934), 126; Calendar of Papal Registers—Letters (London), VIII, 670.

29 Fordun, , Scotichronicon, II, 495.

30 Lyon, C. J., The History of St. Andrews (Edinburgh, 1843), II, 239, 241; Calendar of Papal Registers—Letters, XII, 313.

31 Hannay, , The Statutes, 29; Laing, , Lindores Abbey, 72, 73; Lindsay, T. M., “A Literary Relic of Lollardy in Scotland,” Scottish Historical Review, I (1904), 270.

32 Gairdner, Jas., Lollardy and the English Reformation, (London, 1908), I, 275; Knox, , The Reformation in Scotland, I, 500; Small, J., ed., Poems of William Dunbar (Edinburgh, 1893), II, xxxi, 28; Ross, J. M., Scottish History and Literature to the Reformation (Glasgow, 1884), 171.

33 Law, T. G., ed., New Testament in Scots (Edinburgh, 1901), x (Scot. Text Society); M'Crie, Thos., The Life of Andrew Melville (Edinburgh, 1824), I, 419.

34 Knox, , The Reformation in Scotland, I, 411; Register of the Great Seal of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1882), II, No. 2454.

35 Easson, D. E., “The Lollards of Kyle,” Juridical Review, XLVIII (Edinburgh, 1936), 127; Bain, J. and Rogers, C., The Diocesan Registers of Glasgow (London, 1875), II, 156 (Grampian Club).

36 Knox, , The Reformation in Scotland, I, 7; Paul, J. Balfour, ed., The Scots Peerage (Edinburgh, 1911), VIII, 114, 115; Reg. Grt. Seal, II, No. 1669, 2067, 2315.

37 Reg. Grt. Seal, II, No. 2836; Register of the Privy Seal of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1908), I, No. 1663.

38 Reg. Grt. Seal, II, No. 3158, 3638; Easson, “The Lollards of Kyle,” 125.

39 Duke, John, A History of the Church of Scotland to the Reformation (Edinburgh, 1937), 131; Calderwood, Thos., The History of the Kirk of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1842), I, 54 (Wodrow Society).

40 Dioc. Regs. Glasgow, II, 50.

41 Ibid., 415.

42 M'Crie, , Andrew Melville, I, 419.

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