England in the Age of Wycliffe Hardcover – 18 Jul 2009
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About the Author
Trevelyan was an English historian whose work, written for the general reader as much as for the history student, shows an appreciation for the Whig traiditon in English thought and reflects a keen interest in the Anglo-Saxon element in the English constitution. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. He became the Regius Professor of modern history at Cambridge in 1927 and master of Trinity College in 1940, retiring in 1951.
Top Customer Reviews
Real power in England (King, nobility, Church, Papacy)
The King and his government were powerless to enforce the law or to act against the nobility because their sole military resources were those commanded by the nobles themselves.
The Church was a giant privileged political, judicial and financial powerhouse. Being a part of the Catholic Church, the English Church transferred a big chunk of its revenues abroad (the Papacy, France - in war with England!).
The immorality of the Church
The Church treated sin and fear of Hell as a means of filling her coffers, preying on the vices it was supposed to correct. The sale of pardons and the venality of the confessors were in fact encouragements of sin.
Her enormous real estate wealth was the result of a custom of bequeathing land and/or money to churches and monasteries in order to secure the repetition of masses for the soul of the dead donors.
The Manorial System was based on serfdom. But, the System was undermined by the Black Plague (up to one half of the population died). The farm wages trebled and the serfs fled the manors in order to sell their labor to the highest bidders.
The Peasant's Rising of 1381
The sparkle which ignited the revolt was the levy of poll-taxes (three times in four years). The real causes, however, were the demands for a general charter of liberation of the serfs (complete personal and economic freedom) and the regulation of wages.
On the religious front, the peasants' leaders asked for a disendowment of the Church properties and the abolition of her hierarchy.Read more ›