Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1572-1580 - Austin Friars (City of London)

Philosopher and humanist Francesco Pucci was born in 1543 in Figline Valdarno, Tuscany. As a youngster he worked in a mercantile house at Lyon where he came in contact with the Reformation. He made his way to London where he met Seville-born Calvinist preacher Antonio del Corro. Just like the former, Pucci was outspoken and quarrelsome. He went to Oxford in 1572, but was expelled three years later. He moved back to London, communicating with the Italian congregation of the Strangers’ Church at Austin Friars.

In 1577 he travelled to Basle to discuss matters of theology with the learned Fausto Paulo Sozzini (Socinus). The discussion was interrupted by his expulsion from Basle for his defence of Pelagian heresy (which claims that all men are by nature in a state of salvation). He returned to London where he stayed until December 1580. Once again he was forced to leave. He moved via Leiden and Antwerp to Poland where he joined Sozzini. He travelled to Prague in company of John Dee and Edward Kelley, before re-entering the Roman communion. He died in 1593 whilst on a journey to Rome to meet Pope Clement VIII.

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