Andreas archbishop of Crain in Austria, one of the forerunners of Luther, lived in the second half of the fifteenth century. Having been sent by the Emperor Frederick III to Rome, he was scandalized at the manners of the Roman court. Andreas urged the necessity of a reform of the church upon the cardinals and the pope, who at first praised his zeal, but when Andreas became more urgent had him put in prison in 1482. Having been liberated through the intervention of Emperor Frederick III, he went to Basle, and attempted to convoke another general council. Public opinion and the universities showed to him a great deal of sympathy, but the pope excommunicated him and all who would give him an asylum. When the city of Basle refused to expel Andreas, the papal legate put it under the interdict, to which, however, no one paid any attention except the Carmelite monks, who on that account were refused any alms by the citizens, and nearly starved to death. After a long negotiation between the pope and the emperor, Andreas was summoned to retract, and when he refused he was put in prison, where, after a few months, he was found hung, in 1484 — on the same day, it is said, when Luther was born. His body was put in a barrel, and, through the executioner, thrown into the Rhine. — Hoefer, Biog. Generale.

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