|Grandson of Thomas Andrewes. He was educated at the Merchant Taylors' School and Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. Andrewes was one of Queen Elizabeth's chaplains. She and her successor, James I, held Andrewes' abilities and preaching in high regard. He was on the committee of scholars that produced the King James Translation of the Bible, and is thought to have contributed more to it than any other person. He was a popular preacher. In the view of T. S. Eliot, his sermons were some of the best English prose in their time.|
Andrewes began his ministry (a ministry that was to last fifty years) c.1578, a time when the Puritans were trying their hardest, especially through pamphlets and parliaments, to model the English Church on the Genevan. This would have meant discarding the episcopal and apostolic ministry, the Prayer Book, downplaying the sacraments and dismantling the structure of cathedrals. However their demands were always thwarted by Queen Elizabeth. She and the Archbishop of Canterbury (Whitgift) both appointed Andrewes as one of their chaplains, and prevailed on his skills as a preacher and theologian to address many of the issues raised by Puritans in the late 16th Century. So his preaching and lecturing and later on when a bishop his Visitation Articles always stressed amongst other things the observance of Prayer Book services to be taken by a properly ordained minister, the Eucharist to be celebrated reverently, infants to be baptised, the Daily Offices to be said, and spiritual counselling to be given where needed.
One cannot read Andrewes' sermons or use his prayers without being aware of the centrality of the Eucharist in his life and teaching. It had been the heart of worship in the early Church when the local bishop and people came together constantly to celebrate Christ's glorious death, and partake of His most blessed Body and Blood. That partaking fell into disuse in the mediŠval church and was replaced instead by adoration of the Host at the elevation during the Canon. For Andrewes the Eucharist was the meeting place for the infinite and finite, the divine and human, heaven and earth. "The blessed mysteries ... are from above; the 'Bread that came down from Heaven,' the Blood that hath been carried 'into the holy place.' And I add, ubi Corpus, ubi sanguis Christi, ibi Christus". We here "on earth ... are never so near Him, nor He us, as then and there." Thus it is to the altar we must come for "that blessed union [which] is the highest perfection we can in this life aspire unto." Unlike his contemporary Puritans it was not the pulpit but the altar, glittering with its candles and plate, with incense wafting to God, that was the focal point for worship in Andrewes' chapel.
The reason that Andrewes placed so much importance on reverence in worship came from his conviction that when we worship God it is with our entire being, that is, both bodily and spiritually. At a time when little emphasis was placed on the old outward forms of piety Andrewes maintained, "if He hath framed that body of yours and every member of it, let Him have the honour both of head and knee, and every member else."
There are some notable descendants of Lancelot Andrews living today, including the Parker Bowles children of HRH the Duchess of Cornwall. The families of General Frank Maxwell Andrews and William L. Andrews, descend from Lancelot's brother Nicholas.
According to the "Annals of Saint Mary Overy" written by William Taylor in 1833, book two of the parochial registries states that Mr. Nicholas Andrewes, "the Bishops Brother", was buried at what is now the Southwark Cathedral on August 12, 1626.
In the same book is the burial record for Lancelott Andrewes, "Lord Bishop of Winton" on November 11, 1626, also at the Southwark Cathedral. (Burial information from Lora Tatum)