Freethought Almanac

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December 14: John Oldcastle (d. 1417) and the Lollard Heresy

It was on this date, December 14, 1417, that Sir John Oldcastle, a leader of the Lollard religious sect, was hanged and burned in Britain. He was born in Herefordshire on an unknown date in 1378, matured as a soldier, then adopted the teachings of John Wycliffe (1324-84). Oldcastle married into nobility and served in the House of Lords as a baron. But his attachment to Wycliffe’s reforms got him indicted for heresy by a convocation in 1413.

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Originally published December 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


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February 8: John Ruskin

Ruskin never went to church, but he gave away most of his wealth in founding a charity called the Guild of St. George in the 1870s.



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