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George Abbot
Birth: Oct. 19, 1562
Guildford
Surrey, England
Death: Aug. 5, 1633
Croydon
Greater London, England

Archbishop of Canterbury. He served in this position from 1611 until his death in 1633. He is the only Archbishop of Canterbury ever to have killed a man, although it was entirely accidental. The son of a cloth worker, he received his education at the Royal Grammar School in Guildford, England and later studied, and then taught, at Balliol College in Oxford, England. In 1597 he was chosen Master of University College in Oxford and appointed Dean of Winchester in 1600. He was three times Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, and took a leading part in preparing the authorized version of the New Testament. In 1608 he travelled to Scotland with George Home, 1st Earl of Dunbar to arrange for a union between the churches of England and Scotland. As a reward, King James I made him Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry in 1609 and was translated to the episcopal see of London, England a month later. On March 4, 1611 he became Archbishop of Canterbury. As archbishop, he defended the Apostolic Succession of the Anglican archbishops and bishops and the validity of the Church's priesthood in 1614. A conscientious prelate, he was narrow-minded and often harsh towards both separatists and Roman Catholics. In consequence of the Nag's Head Fable, a fictional story which purported that Matthew Parker, a previous Archbishop of Canterbury, was not consecrated solemnly, but instead was consecrated with a Bible pressed to his neck while inside the Nag's Head tavern, he invited certain Roman Catholics to inspect the register in the presence of six of his own episcopal colleagues to dispel the story. While a supporter of the Catholic nature of the priesthood, his Puritan instincts frequently led him not only into harsh treatment of Roman Catholics, but also into courageous resistance to the royal will, such as when he opposed the scandalous divorce suit of the Lady Frances Howard against the Earl of Essex, and again in 1618 when, at Croydon, he forbade the reading of the Declaration of Sports listing the permitted Sunday recreations. He promoted the match between the king's daughter, Princess Elizabeth, and Frederick V, Elector Palatine, and a firm opponent of the projected marriage of the new Prince of Wales (later Charles I) and the Spanish Infanta, Maria Anna. In July 1621, while hunting in Lord Zouch's park at Bramshill in Hampshire, a bolt from his cross-bow aimed at a deer happened to strike one of the keepers, who died within an hour, and he became so distressed by the event that he fell into a state of settled melancholia. His enemies maintained that the fatal issue of this accident disqualified him for his office, and argued that, though the homicide was involuntary, the sport of hunting which had led to it was one in which no clerical person could lawfully indulge. King James I referred the matter to a commission of ten and it was equally divided, and the King gave a casting vote in the Archbishop's favor, though signing also a formal pardon or dispensation. Afterwards, he seldom appeared at the Council, chiefly on account of his infirmities. In 1625 he attended the King James I constantly, during his illness up to his death, and performed the ceremony of the coronation of King Charles I. He wrote a large number of works, the most interesting being his discursive "Exposition on the Prophet Jonah" (1600), which was reprinted in 1845. His "Geography," or a "Brief Description of the Whole World" (1599), has passed through numerous editions. He also served as the fourth Chancellor of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland from 1612 until his death. He died at the age of 70. A statue in his honor stands at the top of High Street in Guildford. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Maurice Abbot (1520 - 1606)
  Alice Marsh Abbot (1526 - 1606)
 
Burial:
Holy Trinity Church
Guildford
Guildford Borough
Surrey, England
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: bigbears6
Record added: Jan 30, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84246136
George Abbot
Added by: bigbears6
 
George Abbot
Added by: bigbears6
 
George Abbot
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Added by: js
 
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