Reginald Pecock

c.1393-1461. Bishop of Chichester. Born in Wales, he was educated at Oriel College, Oxford, was made master of Whittington College, London, in 1431, bishop of St. Asaph in 1444, and of Chichester in 1450. An ardent but wayward defender of the church system of his day against the followers of John Wycliffe,* Pecock employed a doubtful apologetic which led as early as the 1430s to a suspicion of heresy, while prosecution was only narrowly avoided in 1447. In 1455 his Repressor of Over Much Blaming of the Clergy, while a useful guide to his Lollard opponents' standpoint, seems to exalt natural religion above Scripture, while the Book of Faith (1456) deals unsatisfactorily with the respective spheres of faith and reason. A year later Pecock's unorthodox defenses of “orthodoxy,” his tampering with the Apostles' Creed, and his political attachment to the falling Lancastrian party led to a charge of heresy. He recanted and was confined in an abbey with a small pension for the rest of his life.