To help spread the Word of God and to distribute the Scriptures, Wycliffe established a group of men called “Bible Men.” Wycliffe’s enemies called them “Lollards,” which means “mumblers.” These men went everywhere, not only to read the Bible to people, since most of the people were illiterate, but also to preach and teach the Bible to the people.
Some time after the death of Wycliffe, in the early 1400s, persecution drove the Lollards underground. For the first time in the history of England, the stake was decreed against the disciples of Christ and preachers of the Gospel. Many Lollards were burned at the stake with a copy of Wycliffe’s Bible tied around their neck. Others were branded on the cheek with a hot iron, some with “L” for Lollard, and others with an “H” for heretic. So many Lollards were imprisoned during this time of persecution that the prisons in England became known as “Lollard Towers.