Taylor, William (d.1423) (DNB00)

TAYLOR, WILLIAM (d. 1423), heretic, graduated M.A. at Oxford, and took priest's orders. Under Archbishop Thomas Arundel [q. v.] he was apprehended for heresy. On the occasion of his trial he refused to adore the host, and said one might as well adore a spider, whereupon Thomas Netter [q. v.] says he saw with his own eyes a horrible spider drop from the roof right on to the blasphemer's mouth. On 12 Feb. 1420 he abjured and was absolved. On 5 May 1421 he was charged in convocation by the bishop of Worcester, to whose diocese he belonged, with three heretical doctrines. He was condemned to perpetual imprisonment, but was pardoned. On 11 Feb. 1423 he was tried for writing against the worship of saints in an attack on Thomas Smith, priest, of Bristol. Each order of friars preferred charges against him touching the doctrines of prayer, clerical lordship, divine right of kings, religious mendicancy, and the worship of the cross or of the saints. For these heresies, condemned at the council of Constance, he was degraded from his orders and burned at Smithfield, 1 March 1423.

[Shirley's Fasciculi Zizaniorum, pp. 412 sq.; Foxe's Actes and Monuments, iii. 581 sq. 848; Wilkins's Concilia, iii. 404; Netter's Doctrinale, ed. Blanciotti, ii. 387 a, iii. 687, 729.]

M. B.