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Trinity Hall : Contra Lollardorum

Roger Dymmok

Trinity Hall

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Roger Dymmok’s work against the <i>Twelve Lollard Heresies</i> was written in response to the Lollards posting a declaration of their beliefs on the doors of Westminster Hall and St Paul’s cathedrals in January 1395. The Lollards held views that were considered heretical regarding the priesthood and sacraments. They were proto-Protestants and were persecuted primarily for these views, rather than for translating the Bible into English (although their translation was regarded as very suspect because of their theological errors). Many people among the higher echelons of English society supported the views of the Lollards, including John of Gaunt, but the King was expected to be the upholder of orthodoxy.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dymmok was a Dominican friar who was Regent Master in charge of theological studies at the London convent. In this work he gives each of the Lollards statements in English and Latin and then explains why each statement is heretical.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>There are only three copies of <i>Twelve Lollard Heresies</i> in known existence: the Trinity Hall copy, one in the Bibliothèque Nationale, and the third in the Cambridge University Library. The Trinity Hall manuscript is almost certainly the lavish presentation copy made for Richard II in 1395. The fore-edges are painted with the arms of England and France. The dedicatory page is elaborate and within the first initial is a portrait of the King enthroned. This small portrait bears a strong resemblance to the Westminster Abbey tomb effigy which the King commissioned before his death in 1395. At the bottom of the page is Richard’s personal emblem, a pair of white harts wearing gold crowns.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>This copy is inscribed ‘ex dono Anthony Roper’, who was the grandson of Sir Thomas More. Previously it had belonged to John Carpenter, a prominent citizen of London and a Member of Parliament, who was a friend of William Byngham, the earlier founder of Christ’s College. Carpenter left the book to him in his Will of 1441. After Byngham there is a gap in ownership until Anthony Roper. It was given to Robert Hare in 1588 and he presented it to Trinity Hall.</p>

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