From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [1]

A religious sect, differing in many points from the church of Rome, which arose in Germany about the beginning of the fourteenth century; so called, as many writers have imagined, from Walter Lollard, who began to dogmatize in 1315, and was burnt at Cologne; though others think that Lollard was no surname, but merely a term of reproach applied to all heretics who concealed the poison of error under the appearance of piety. The monk of Canterbury derives the origin of the word lollard among us from lolium, "a tare, " as if the Lollards were the tares sown in Christ's vineyard. Abelly says, that the word signifies "praising God, " from the German loben "to praise, " and herr, "lord;" because the Lollards employed themselves in travelling about from place to place, singing psalms and hymns. Others, much to the same purpose, derive lollhard, lullhard, or lollert, lullert, as it was written by the ancient Germans, from the old German word lullen, lollen, or lallen, and the termination hard, with which many of the high Dutch words end. Lollen signifies "to sing with a low voice, " and therefore lollard is a singer, or one who frequently sings; and in the vulgar tongue of the Germans it denotes a person who is continually praising God with a song, or singing hymns to his honour.

The Alexians or Cellites were called Lollard, because they were public singers, who made it their business to inter the bodies of those who died of the plague, and sang a dirge over them, in a mournful and indistinct tone, as they carried them to the grave. The name was afterwards assumed by persons that dishonoured it, for we find among those Lollard who made extraordinary pretences to religion, and spent the greatest part of their time in meditation, prayer, and such acts of piety, there were many abominable hypocrites, who entertained the most ridiculous opinions, and concealed the most enormous vices under the specious mark of this extra-ordinary profession. Many injurious aspersions were therefore propagated against those who assumed this name by the priests and monks; so that, by degrees, any persons who covered heresies or crimes under the appearance of piety was called a Lollard. Thus the name was not used to denote any one particular sect, but was formerly common to all persons or sects who were supposed to be guilty of impiety towards God or the church, under an external profession of great piety. However, many societies, consisting both of men and women, under the name of Lollards, were formed in most parts of Germany and Flanders, and were supported partly by their manual labours, and partly by the charitable donations of pious persons.

The magistrates and inhabitants of the towns where these brethren and sisters resided gave them particular marks of favour and protection, on account of their great usefulness to the sick and needy. They were thus supported against their malignant rivals, and obtained many papal constitutions, by which their institute was confirmed, their persons exempted from the cognizance of the inquisitor, and subjected entirely to the jurisdiction of the bishops; but as these measures were insufficient to secure them from molestation, Charles duke of Burgundy, in the year 1472, obtained a solemn bull from Sextus IV. ordering that the Cellites, or Lollards, should be ranked among the religious orders, and delivered from the jurisdiction of the bishops. And pope Julius II. granted them still greater privileges, in the year 1506. Mosheim informs us, that many societies of this kind are still subsisting at Cologne, and in the cities of Flanders, though they have evidently departed from their ancient rules. Lollard and his followers rejected the sacrifice of the mass, extreme unction, and penances for sin; arguing that Christ's sufferings were sufficient. He is likewise said to have set aside baptism, as a thing of no effect; and repentance as not absolutely necessary, &c. In England, the followers of Wickliffe were called, by way of reproach, Lollards, from the supposition that there was some affinity between some of their tenets; though others are of opinion that the English Lollards came from Germany.

See Wickliffites

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [2]

the supposed followers of Walter Lollard, or rather of Walter the Lollard, who, according to Dr. Mosheim, was a Dutchman of remarkable eloquence and piety, though tinctured with mysticism, and who, for teaching sentiments contrary to the church of Rome, and nearly corresponding with those of Wickliffe, was burned alive at Cologne in 1322. But before this there existed, in different parts of Germany and Flanders, various societies of Cellites, to whom the term Lollards was applied, and who were protected by the magistrates and inhabitants, on account of their usefulness to the sick, and in burying the dead. They received the name Lollards, from the old German or Belgic word lullen, (Latin, lallo, ) "to sing with a low voice," "to lull to sleep," (whence lullaby, ) because when they carried to the grave, the bed of death, such as died of the plague, which at that period ravaged all Europe, they sung a dirge or hymn, probably, in a soft and mournful tone. These Lollards obtained many papal grants, by which their institution was confirmed, their persons exempted from the cognizance of the inquisitors, and subjected entirely to the jurisdiction of the bishops; and, at last, for their farther security, Charles, duke of Burgundy, in 1472, obtained a bull from Pope Sixtus IV, by which they were ranked among the religious orders, and delivered from the jurisdiction of their bishops; which privileges were yet more extended by Pope Julius II, in 1506.

In England the followers of Wickliffe were called Lollards by way of reproach, either on account of the humble offices of the original Lollards, (the Cellites,) or from the attachment of the Wickliffites to singing hymns. Their enemies probably meant to describe them as poor melancholy creatures, only fit to sing psalms at a funeral.

Heresies of the Church Thru the Ages [3]

(Middle Dutch, Lollaerd , mumbler)

The followers of John Wyclif, an heretical body flourishing in England in the 14th and 15th centuries, applied, however, in Flanders to certain heretics before it was used in England. The principal heresies of the Lollards were the denial of the authority of the Church, the repudiation of Transubstantiation, and the theory of " Dominium ," viz: that the validity of the Sacraments depends upon the worthiness of the minister. These were all enunciated by Wyclif and were spread abroad by his "poor priests," men, who though many of them were not in Orders, went throughout the country preaching and exhorting the people, and appealing for confirmation of their teaching to Wyclif's translation of the New Testament (a family one). Their sincerity and austerity, which cannot be questioned, contrasted in many cases with the growing luxury among the secular and regular clergy, gave them a ready hearing and the heresy spread rapidly. Stern means were taken both in Church and State against them, and a number of Lollards were burnt for heresy, though many, having participated in rebellious outbreaks, were put to death for treason. In the 15th century Lollardy became less and less a learned body and soon degenerated into extreme fanaticism. Though the Lollards were the forerunners of the Reformation in England, their influence upon the acceptance of that movement was very slight.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [4]

Originally a religious community established at Antwerp in 1300, devoted to the care of the sick and burial of the dead, and as persecuted by the Church, regarded as heretics. Their name became a synonym for heretic, and was hence applied to the followers of Wycliffe in England and certain sectaries in Ayrshire.