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Abstract

Heresy Hunting and Clerical Reform: William Warham, John Colet and the Lollards of Kent, 1511-12
The first years of the reign of Henry VIII witnessed heresy prosecutions on a scale not seen in for almost a century. The best documented of these trials took place in the diocese of Canterbury in 1511-12, and were initiated by Archbishop William Warham. In the same year in which he attacked Lollards, Warham also mounted a full-scale visitation of his diocese. Warham regarded the reforming of heretics and the reforming of wayward clergy to be two parts of the same task of pastoral discipline, and his 1511-12 actions in were a direct response to the calls for ecclesiastical reform at the Canterbury Convocation of 1510. John Colet's famous Convocation sermon of 1512 - commissioned by Warham - provided a retrospective rhetorical justification for combining the reform of heretics with the reform of the clergy. The sermon, however, defined an idea that had already run its course. By the end of 1512, the renewed Lollard persecutions had come to a halt, and Warham's desire for a province-wide clergy reform program was all but dead.

Biographical Sketch

Craig D'Alton teaches the history and theology of the English and European Reformations at Yarra Theological Union, part of the Melbourne College of Divinity. He is also a research fellow of the department of history at the University of Melbourne . Craig's most recent publications include articles in Sixteenth Century Journal and the Journal of Ecclesiastical History on anti-heresy policy in early Henrician , with others forthcoming in Albion and Historical Research. He is currently writing a book tentatively titled Thomas More: A life of writing.

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