William of Rymington vs John Wycliffe
Whilst noseying around Clitheroe library this week, I chanced upon a book by a Catholic writer in the 1940s who was very anti-John Wycliffe (he's the principal character of our Bible Study this week, and one of my heroes). This book was rather hostile to Wycliffe, but focussed on one of his chief opponents, one William of Rymington. Seeing as this fellow was the prior of Sawley Abbey, just a few miles away, and there is a tradition of local men being promoted at local abbeys (Abbot Paslew of Whalley is said to have come from Sabden) I'm almost certain this William came from our Rimington, which is the only one in the country. This is also confirmed by Jeremy Cato in his entry for William in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Rymington was known as the 'Theologian of Sawley' and became Chancellor of Oxford University. He was a formidable opponent of Wycliffe and issued counter arguments to all of his points. Nevertheless, it was Wycliffe who won the argument when a reforming Tudor dynasty dissolved the abbeys, as Wycliffe had wanted, including Sawley.
It's with some irony then, that the only surviving place of worship in William of Rimington's home village should celebrate the life and doctrines of his worst enemy.