Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ashwardby, John

ASHWARDBY, JOHN (fl. 1392), a follower of Wycliffe, is described by Tanner (Biblioth. Brit.-Hib. p. 53), no doubt by an inference from his surname, as a Lincolnshire man. He became fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, 'master of theology,' and vicar of St. Mary's church. Attaching himself to Wycliffe's party, he appears to have been active in preaching, lecturing, and writing, as an opponent specially of the mendicant orders, and he engaged in controversy with the Carmelite, Richard Maydeston, a chaplain of John of Gaunt. In spite of this, however, he filled the office of 'commissary' or vice-chancellor of the university in 1392 (Wood, Fasti Oxon. p. 33).

[The sole authority for Ashwardby's biography with the exception of the particular last mentioned, is Bishop Bale, in his Script. Illustr. Catal., cent. vi. 85, and in an autograph notice in one of the blank leaves of the Fasciculus Zizaniorum, MS. Bodl. e Mus. 86 f. 55, col. 1. The former contains a list of Ashwardby's writings, none of which are otherwise known.]

R. L. P.