Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

5 August 1633 A.D. George Abbot Dies—75th of 105 Archbishops of Canterbury

5 August 1633 A.D.  George Abbot Dies—75th of 105 Archbishops of Canterbury

No author. “George Abbot.”  N.d.  Accessed 2 Jun 2014.

George Abbot
Bishop of Coventry & Lichfield
Bishop of London
Archbishop of Canterbury
Born: 19th October 1562 at Guildford, Surrey
Died: 5th August 1633 at Croydon, Surrey

George Abbot was born in 1562 in Guildford in Surrey, where he was educated before entering Balliol College, Oxford. He gained a great reputation at Oxford as an advocate of the views held by the more moderate Puritans and was elected Master of University College, Dean of Winchester and Vice-Chancellor of the University.

In 1604, he was engaged upon the new translation of the Bible. He accompanied Lord Dunbar to Scotland, in 1608, with the view of restoring the Scottish episcopate. The following year, he became Bishop of Coventry & Lichfield and, a few months later, was translated to the Bishopric of London. His elevation to the Primacy followed in 1611.

Abbot was a man of strong principles, but narrow outlook. He could act with great firmness when he felt conscientiously obliged to follow a difficult course, as in the case of Lady Essex's divorce, yet he was strangely unwilling to allow for other's liberty of conscience and he sought to suppress opinions which he disliked by measures of excessive harshness. His aversion to Popery was such that he was even ready to foment a war with Spain. On the other hand, he addressed some separatists, who were brought before him, with great severity: "You do show yourselves the most ungrateful to God, to the King and to us, the fathers of the Church."

In 1621, he had the misfortune to shoot a keeper during a hunting party at Bramshill Park in Hampshire. It was clear that the Archbishop was in no way to blame for the accident, but it afforded his enemies a fresh ground of attack and it cast a cloud over his latter years.

Abbot found little favour in the eyes of King Charles I and his advisers. A feud had existed between Abbot and Laud from early days. In 1627, he was suspended from the exercise of his archiepiscopal functions and the sequestration lasted for more than a year.

Notwithstanding the sternness of his disposition, he showed great liberality in the relief of individual cases of distress and in other benefactions, especially to Oxford Colleges and to the hospital which he had built at Guildford. He died in 1633.

Edited from G.M. Bevan's "Portraits of the Archbishops of Canterbury" (1908).

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