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Document Details :
Title: Richard Whytford
Subtitle: A Forgotten Spiritual Guide
Author(s): HOGG, James
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 15 Date: 2005
Richard Whytford was apparently born in Flintshire (Wales) around 1478. He studied at the universities of Paris and Cambridge, becoming a fellow of Queens’ College Cambridge in 1498. He travelled to Paris with William Blount, fourth Lord Mountjoy, where they met Erasmus. On his return to England with Erasmus, he was introduced to Sir Thomas More. Probably in 1507, but certainly before 1513, Whytford entered the Brigittine Order at Syon Abbey. A prolific author, writing in the vernacular, he is reputed to have met Ignatius of Loyola in 1530, but evidence is lacking. Most of his works were intended for the instruction of the Brigittine nuns, but some reached a wider audience, such as A dayly exercyse and experyence of dethe and A werke for housholders, whilst The Pype or tonne of the lyfe of perfection criticizes the unsatisfactory monastic observance of the period. It appears unlikely that he was responsible for translating The Imitation of Christ, though a translation has frequently been attributed to him. After the suppression of Syon Abbey in 1539, he withdrew to the protection of the Mountjoy family, continuing to produce catholic spiritual treatises until his death in 1542.