LAMBERT, FRANCIS (c. 1486-153o), Protestant reformer, was the son of a papal official at Avignon, where, at 15, he entered the Franciscan monastery. After 1517 he was an itinerant friar, travelling through France, Italy and Switzerland. His study of the Scriptures shook his faith in Roman Catholic theology and by 1522 he had abandoned his order. He did not, however, identify himself either with Zwinglianism or Lutheranism ; he disputed with Zwingli at Zurich in 1522 and then made his way to Eisenach and Wittenberg, where he married in 1523. He returned to Stras bourg in 1524 to preach among the French-speaking population of the neighbourhood. By the Germans he was distrusted and in 1526 his activities were prohibited by the city of Strasbourg. He was befriended by Jacob Sturm, who recommended him to the Landgraf Philip of Hesse, with whose encouragement he drafted his scheme of ecclesiastical reform. Its basis was essentially demo cratic and congregational, though it provided for the government of the whole church by means of a synod. Pastors were to be elected by the congregation and the whole system of canon law was repudiated. This scheme was far too democratic to com mend itself to the Lutherans, who had by this time bound the Lutheran cause to the support of princes rather than to that of the people. Philip abandoned the scheme, but by his influence
Lambert was appointed professor and head of the theological faculty in the Landgraf's new university of Marburg. Patrick Hamilton (q.v.), the Scottish martyr, was one of his pupils; and it was at Lambert's instigation that Hamilton composed his Loci communes or Patrick's Pleas as they were popularly called in Scotland. Lambert took part in 1529 in the conference of Mar burg when he definitely adopted the Zwinglian view of the Eucha rist. He died of the plague on April 18, 153o, and was buried at Marburg.
A catalogue of Lambert's writings is given in Haag's La France protestante. See also lives of Lambert by Baum (Strasbourg, 1840) ; F. W. Hessencamp (Elberfeld, 186o), Stieve (Breslau, 1867) and Louis Ruffet (Paris, 1873) ; Lorimer, Life of Patrick Hamilton (1857) ; A. L. Richter, Die evangelischen Kirchenordnungen des 16. Jahrh. (Weimar, 1846) ; Hessencamp, Hessische Kirchenordnungen im Zeit alter der Reformation; Philip of Hesse's Correspondence with Bucer, ed. M. Lenz ; Lindsay, Hist. Reformation.