Needless to say, John Wycliffe’s demand for an English translation of the Bible, which would free the English-speaking people of the world from having their faith dictated to them by the papacy, incurred no little hostility from the Roman Catholic Church, which in many ways sought to imprison and punish him for his egregious “heresy.” Had it not been for Wycliffe’s powerful friend John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, who was the real power behind the throne of his senile father, King Edward III of England, Wycliffe’s career as a reformer of the church would have proven short-lived.