Reginald Pecock (1390?-1460) was an Oxford-trained theologian and author of numerous Middle English religious tracts designed to
refute doctrinal error and to foster a faith based on reason and understanding. In 1447, as Bishop of St. Asaph, he excited
controversy by preaching a sermon defending bishops (like himself) who do not reside in their sees and who do not much occupy themselves with
preaching. The written word, he claimed, was a more effective means of instruction. Though he presented himself as a vigorous defender of orthodoxy
against the errors of Wycliffism, in 1457, Pecock, by then Bishop of Chichester, was himself accused of heresy. Forced to abjure his errors, he confessed, among
other things, to privileging reason over the authority of Scripture. His books were banned and burned, and he was stripped of his bishopric and
relegated to Thorney Abbey in Cambridgeshire. There he spent the balance of his life confined to a single room, with little to read and no means of writing.
Though Capgrave would surely not have approved of Pecoock's views of preaching, an activity he extols in his saints' lives, he shared
some of Pecock's other views, including a commitment to an informed and reasoned Christianity. Capgrave demonstrates that commitment most fully
in his Life of Saint Katherine, where abstruse doctrines (e.g., adoption, the Trinity) are expounded and established through reason.
- The Reule of Crysten Religioun. Ed. William Cabell Greet. EETS.OS 271. London: Oxford University Press, 1927.
- The Donet. Ed. Elsie Vaughan Hitchcock. EETS.OS 156. London: Oxford University Press, 1921.
- The Follower to the Donet. Ed. Elsie Vaughan Hitchcock. EETS.OS 164. London: Oxford University Press, 1924.
- The Repressor of Over Much Blaming of the Clergy. Ed. Churchill Babington. London: Longman, 1860.
- Reginald Peacock's Book of Faith: A Fifteenth Century Theological Tractate. Ed. J. L. Morison. Glasgow: Maclehose, 1909.
- Ball, R. M. "The Opponents of Bishop Pecok." The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 48 (1997): 230–63.
- Bose, Mishtooni. "Reginald Pecock’s Vernacular Voice." In Lollards and Their Influence in Late Medieval England.
Ed. Fiona Somerset, Jill C. Havens, and Derrick G. Pitard. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell, 2003. 217–36.
- Ghosh, Kantik. "Bishop Reginald Pecock and the Idea of 'Lollardy.'"
In Text and Controversy from Wyclif to Bale: Essays in Honour of Anne Hudson. Ed. Helen Barr and Ann M. Hutchison.
Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 2005. 251–65.
- Haines, Roy Martin. "Reginald Pecock: A Tolerant Man in an Age of Intolerance." Studies in Church History 21 (1984): 125–37.
- Lahey, Stephen E. "Reginald Pecock on the Authority of Reason, Scripture, and Tradition." Journal of Ecclesiastical History 56 (2005): 235–60.
- Landman, James H. "'The Doom of Resoun': Accommodating Lay Interpretation in Late Medieval England."
In Medieval Crime and Social Control. Ed. Barbara A. Hanawalt and David Wallace.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. 90–123.
- Patrouch, Joseph F., Jr. Reginald Pecock. New York: Twayne, 1970.
- Scase, Wendy. "Reginald Pecock, John Carpenter and John Colop’s ‘Common-Profit’ Books: Aspects of Book Ownership and Circulation
in Fifteenth-Century London." Medium Ævum 61 (1992): 261–74.
- —. Reginald Pecock. Brookfield, Vt.: Ashgate, 1996.
- Simpson, James. "Reginald Pecock and John Fortescue." In
A Companion to Middle English Prose. Ed. A. S. G. Edwards. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2004. 271–87.
- Winstead, Karen A. John Capgrave's Fifteenth Century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. [For Capgrave's
affinities with Pecock, see pp. 82–85.]