The Full Wiki

More info on De heretico comburendo

De heretico comburendo: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The De heretico comburendo (2 Hen.4 c.15) was a law passed by King Henry IV of England in 1401 forbidding the owning or producing of a translation of the Bible and punishing heretics with burning at the stake. It was repealed by section 6 of the Act of Supremacy (1 Eliz.1 c.1) (1559).


Meaning and Linguistics

De heretico comburendo is a Latin phrase meaning "Regarding the heretic who is to be burnt", or perhaps more colloquially "Regarding the burning of heretics". An alternate spelling is De haeretico comburendo, reflecting the proper ancient and Middle Ages spelling (by the second century the diphthong ae had been changed in pronunciation from IPA: [ai] to [e], but most texts today use the spelling without the letter a). See Latin spelling and pronunciation for more information.


Although English translations of the Bible had existed for hundreds of years, the Middle English translation published under the direction of John Wyclif in the 1380s, known as Wyclif's Bible, was the first to gain widespread acceptance and use. The Church authorities comdemned Wyclif's translation, partially because they deemed the commentary included with the work to be heretical, and partially because they believed any translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate to be a heretical undertaking.

Wyclif was the inspiration for what would become the Lollard movement, which was considered heretical by the Church. The De heretico comburendo was passed in 1401 by King Henry IV, specifically punishing those who owned or produced any translation of the Bible with burning at the stake. This law was one of the strictest religious censorship statutes ever enacted in England.

The Constitutions of Oxford, established in 1409 by Archbishop Thomas Arundel, were further punitive measures intended to punish heresy in England that grew in large part out of the De heretico comburendo.

See also

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address