Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/John Alasco
ALASCO, John (in Polish, Lascki), a Polish nobleman, born in 1499, who travelled extensively in his youth, and during a residence in Zurich imbibed the doctrines of the Reformation from Zwingli. At Basel in 1525 he had frequent intercourse with Erasmus, who held him in great esteem, and bequeathed his library to him. On his return to his native country he was offered more than once ecclesiastical preferment, which the change in his religious opinions prevented him from accepting. With the view of securing more freedom, he quitted Poland, and after travelling for a time, became pastor of a Protestant congregation at Embden, in East Friesland, in 1542. Foreseeing persecution there, he went to London in 1551, on the invitation of Cranmer, and became superintendent of the congregation of foreign Protestants, most of whom were driven into exile like himself in consequence of the Interim. The revenues of the church of Augustin Friars were assigned to support him and four assistant ministers, who had to be approved by the king. On the accession of Mary in 1553, Alasco and all his congregation were banished. In 1556 he returned to Poland, where he died on the 13th January 1560. Alasco wrote a number of theological treatises, chiefly in defence of the doctrine of the sacraments as held by the Swiss Reformers, and he was one of the eighteen divines who prepared the Polish version of the Bible, which was published in 1563.