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Richard Fitzralph

d.1360. Archbishop of Armagh. Born at the end of the thirteenth century, he studied at Oxford, and about 1333 was chancellor of the university. In 1334 he became chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral. He was in favor with the Avignon papacy, was advanced to the deanery of Lichfield in 1337, and ten years later was consecrated archbishop of Armagh. In 1349 he visited Avignon and came into conflict with the mendicant orders. Between 1353 and 1356 he wrote De Pauperie Salvatoris in seven books. He was spokesman for the secular clergy, claiming that poverty was neither of apostolic observance nor of present obligation, and that mendicancy was without warrant in Scripture or primitive tradition. In a series of sermons at St. Paul's Cross, London, he preached against the mendicants. He was hotly opposed by the English friars, notably by Roger Conway, and was cited to Avignon where he preached a famous sermon, “Defensio Curatorum,” before Innocent VI, but died before judgment was given. In his opposition to the friars, and in the doctrine of “Dominion” in De Pauperie Salvatoris he was a forerunner of John Wycliffe.

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