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Archbishop Edward White Benson

Archbishop Edward White Benson

Birth
Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Death 9 Oct 1896 (aged 67)
Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales
Burial Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Plot Chapel
Memorial ID 21821 · View Source
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Archbishop of Canterbury. He served in this position from March 1883 until his death. Born in Highgate, Birmingham, England his father was a chemical manufacturer. He received his education at King Edward's School, Birmingham and Trinity College, Cambridge, England where he graduated with a BA (8th classic) in 1852. He began his career as a schoolmaster at Rugby School at Rugby, Warwickshire, England in 1852, and was ordained as a deacon. In 1857 he was ordained a priest and two years later he was chosen by Prince Albert as the first Master (headmaster) of Wellington College in Berkshire, England which had been built as the nation's memorial to Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington. During his tenure he was largely responsible for establishing Wellington as a public school, closely mirroring the Rugby School, rather than the military academy originally planned. From 1872 until 1877 he served as Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England, and then served as the first Bishop of Truro in Canterbury, England from 1877 until 1882. While at Truro, he devised the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, first used there on Christmas Eve in 1880. Considerably revised by Eric Milner White for King's College Cambridge, this service is now used every Christmas around the world. In 1880 he founded the Truro High School for Girls. In March 1883 he was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury to fill the vacancy left by the death of Archbishop Archibald Campbell Tait. While at Canterbury, to avoid the prosecution before a lay tribunal of Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, under the Public Worship Regulation Act 1874 for six ritual offenses, he heard the case in his own archiepiscopal court which had been inactive since 1699. In his judgment (often called "the Lincoln Judgment"), he found against the Bishop King on two points, with a proviso as to a third that, when performing the manual acts during the prayer of consecration in the Holy Communion service, the priest must stand so that they can be seen by the people. He also tried to amalgamate the two Convocations and the new houses of laity into a single assembly. In 1896 it was established that he and Bishop King could unofficially meet together. In September of that year, the papal apostolic letter "Apostolicae Curae" was published and he began to work on a reply before his sudden death of a heart attack at the age of 67 while attending Sunday service in St. Deiniol's Church at Hawarden, Wales, on a visit to former Prime Minister William Gladstone. He was interred in a tomb at the western end of the nave at Canterbury Cathedral. He was succeeded by Archbishop Frederick Temple. A plaque in his honor was installed at Trinity College in Cambridge, England. In 1914 a boarding house at Wellington College was named in his honor.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 19 Apr 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21821
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Archbishop Edward White Benson (14 Jul 1829–9 Oct 1896), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21821, citing Trinity College, Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .