Abbot, George (1562-1638)

Abbot, George, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born, the son of a Guildford cloth-worker, 29th October 1562. In his seventeenth year he entered Balliol College, Oxford, where he obtained a fellowship (1583); and through Lord Buckhurst's influence he rose to be Master of University College (1597), Dean of Winchester (1600), and thrice Vice-chancellor of Oxford University (1600-5). To a new patron, the Earl of Dunbar, with whom he visited Scotland (1608), he owed his promotion to the sees of Lichfield (1609), London (1610), and finally Canterbury (1611). A sincere but narrow-minded Calvinist, he was equally opposed to Catholics and to heretics. He fined two recusants, he burnt two Arians, he consented that a clergyman should be put to the torture; but, withal, he was charitable, and far less obsequious to the kingly will than most of his compeers. His closing years were clouded by an accident, the shooting of a gamekeeper (1621); and during the last six he was almost superseded by Laud. He died at Croydon, 4th August 1638, and was buried at Guildford, where in 1619 he had founded a hospital. His brother, Robert (1560-1617), from 1615 Bishop of Salisbury, was a learned theologian.
References
1. Chamber's Biographical Dictionary, Philadelphia, 1926, page 5.

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