Netter, Thomas of Walden

Netter, Thomas Of Walden (generally known as Thomas Waldensis), an eminent English Roman Catholic Church historian of the early part of the 15th century, was born at Walden, Essex. He joined the Carmelites, and rose in course of time to prominence in his order in England. He was placed first in London, and afterwards at Oxford, where he became a professor, first of philosophy and then of divinity. He zealously contested the opinions of Wickliffe both in the schools and in the pulpit; was elected provincial of his order; and by command of King Henry IV attended the Council of Pisa in 1409. By Henry V he was appointed privy counsellor and confessor, and sent to the Council of Constance, where he distinguished himself by his speeches against the Wickliffites and Hussites. He likewise possessed the favor of Henry VI, and went to France with the intention of being present at his coronation at Paris, but he died on his journey at Rouen in 1430. He wrote a number of works; the Bodleian Library at Oxford possesses numerous MSS. of his, for instance, a list of all the heresies, under the title of Catalogus Zizaniorum. But his only published, work is his Doctrinale antiquitatlum fdei Ecclesice Catholices (Paris, 1521, 1523, 1532; 2d ed. Salamanca, 1556; 3d aed. Venice, 1571, with notes by a Carmelite monk named Rubeo; 4th ed. Venice, 1757, with notes by Blanciotti). The work is divided into six books: 1, of God and Christ; 2, of the body of Christ, the Church, and its members; 3, of monachism; 4, of the begging monks and monastic property; 5, of the sacraments; 6, of other parts of divine worship. The book is simply a criticism of the Lollards and of Wickliffe's whole system. It is still held in great esteem by Roman Catholics. Among his other writings we notice commentaries on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistle of Paul to the Romans, and the first Epistle of Peter, and a multitude of dissertations, disputations, sermons, letters, etc., which are enumerated in Freheri Theatrum Vir. Erud. Clar. Moreri. See Lechler, Wiclif u., d. Lollarden (1874, 1875): Niedier's Zetschriftf. histor. Theologie, 1853, pages 559-572; Hook, Eccles. Biog.

7:401; Hardwick, Ch. Hist. Mid. Ayes, page 393, n. 6; page 394, n. 3. (J.N.P.)

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