This Day in History: 1377-02-19

On 19th February 1377, John of Gaunt, lord of Pontefract, tried to get the Lord Mayor of London replaced by a more pliable official with resulting riots in the capital. On this day also, John Wycliffe, supposedly a protegé of Gaunt and popular due to his attacks upon clerical wealth and pluralism, was summoned before an ecclesiastical tribunal in St Paul’s Cathedral to answer charges of unorthodox writings. Gaunt, Lord Percy and others accompanied him to give support. Gaunt’s interference with religious legal rights caused an angry mob to march to his Savoy palace in defence of their Bishop (Courtenay). Gaunt then drew up orders to curtail the liberties of London.