John Purvey

c.1353-c.1428. Colleague of John Wycliffe.* Said to have been a native of Lathbury, Buckinghamshire, and possibly educated at Oxford, though he was never referred to as a graduate, he was ordained in 1377. He was closely associated with Wycliffe at Lutterworth, and to him is attributed the revision into vernacular idiom of the verbatim translation of the Vulgate into English by Wycliffe and Nicholas of Hereford.* This revision was more intelligible and less pedantic and was probably completed in Bristol between 1388 and 1395. In 1387 Purvey was forbidden by the bishop of Worcester to itinerate in his diocese. He was imprisoned at Saltwood, Archbishop Arundel's castle, and in March 1401-just before the passing of the act De Heretico Comburendo and at the end of the week in which the first Lollard martyr, William Sawtrey,* was burned-he recanted. He was inducted to the vicarage of West Hythe, Kent, but resigned in 1403 because he could not conscientiously abandon his Lollard convictions. He was imprisoned in 1421 by Archbishop Chicheley, and was alive in 1427, but nothing further is known of him. Presumably he continued to disseminate Lollard doctrines as circumstances allowed.