Portal:Anglicanism/Bio Archive

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/1

James VI and I

James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scots as James VI, and King of England and King of Ireland as James I.

He ruled in Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567, when he was only one year old, succeeding his mother Mary, Queen of Scots, who had been forced to abdicate. Regents governed during his minority, which ended officially in 1578, though he did not gain full control of his government until 1581. On 24 March 1603, as James I, he succeeded the last Tudor monarch of England and Ireland, Elizabeth I, who died without issue. He then ruled England, Scotland and Ireland for 22 years, until his death at the age of 58.

James achieved most of his aims in Scotland but faced great difficulties in England, including the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and repeated conflicts with the English Parliament. According to a tradition originating with historians of the mid-seventeenth-century, James's taste for political absolutism, his financial irresponsibility, and his cultivation of unpopular favourites established the foundation for the English Civil War. Recent historians, however, have revised James's reputation and treated him as a serious and thoughtful monarch.

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/2

'The Venerable Bede translates John' J. D. Penrose (ca. 1902)

Bede, also Saint Bede, the Venerable Bede, (c. 672 or 673May 25, 735), was a Benedictine monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow (see Wearmouth-Jarrow), both in the English county of Durham (now Tyne and Wear). He is well known as an author and scholar known as "The father of English history".

The most important and best known of his works is the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, giving in five books and 400 pages the history of England, ecclesiastical and political, from the time of Caesar to the date of its completion (731). Pilgrims were claiming miracles at Bede's grave only fifty years after his death. His body was transferred to Durham Cathedral in the mid-11th century and to its present location in the Galilee Chapel there in 1370.

His scholarship and importance to the Church were recognised in 1899 when he was declared by the Roman Catholic Church to be the first English Doctor of the Church as St Bede The Venerable. He is also the only Englishman in Dante's Paradise (Paradiso' X.130), mentioned among theologians and doctors of the church.

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Charles II

Charles II (Charles Stuart; 29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. According to royalists, Charles II became king when his father Charles I was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649. After the Protectorate collapsed under Richard Cromwell in 1659, General George Monck invited Charles to return and assume the thrones in what became known as the Restoration. Charles's English parliament enacted harsh anti-Puritan laws known as the Clarendon Code, designed to shore up the position of the re-established Church of England. Charles acquiesced to the Clarendon Code even though he himself favoured a policy of religious toleration. In 1670, Charles entered into the secret treaty of Dover, an alliance with Louis XIV under the terms of which Louis agreed to aide Charles in the Third Anglo-Dutch War and pay Charles a pension, and Charles promised to convert to Roman Catholicism at an unspecified future date. In 1679, Titus Oates's revelations of a supposed "Popish Plot" sparked the Exclusion Crisis when it was revealed that Charles's brother and heir (the future James II) was a Roman Catholic. This crisis saw the birth of the pro-exclusion Whig and anti-exclusion Tory parties. Charles sided with the Tories, and dissolved the English Parliament in 1679, and ruled alone until his death on 6 February 1685.

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Coronation portrait of Elizabeth I of England. Copy c. 1600-1610 by an unknown painter of a lost original of 1559.

Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England, France (in name only), and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. She is sometimes referred to as The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, and was immortalised by Edmund Spenser as the Faerie Queene. A new Act of Supremacy became law under Elizabeth. The queen's title was agreed to be Supreme Governor of the Church of England rather than the more contentious Supreme Head. At the same time, a new Act of Uniformity was passed, which made attendance at church and the use of an adapted version of the 1552 Book of Common Prayer compulsory, though the penalties for disobedience were not extreme. Many Roman Catholics, particularly on the continent, regarded Elizabeth as a heretic. In 1570, Pope Pius V excommunicated her, calling her the "pretended queen of England". This sanction, which in theory released English Catholics from allegiance to Elizabeth, only served to link loyalty to the throne and membership of the Anglican church more closely together. It also placed English Roman Catholics in greater danger, encouraging them to rebel and raising doubts about their loyalty to the crown.

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/5

Thomas Cranmer

Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI. He helped build a favourable case for Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon which resulted in the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See. During Cranmer's tenure as archbishop, he was responsible for establishing the first doctrinal and liturgical structures of the Church of England. Under Henry's rule, he succeeded in publishing the first officially authorised vernacular service, the Exhortation and Litany. Later, he wrote and compiled the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer, a complete liturgy for the English Church. Cranmer promulgated reformed doctrines through the Prayer Book, the Homilies and other publications. Cranmer was tried for treason and heresy when Mary I came to the throne. Imprisoned for over two years, he made several recantations and reconciled himself with the Roman Catholic faith. However, on the day of his execution, he dramatically withdrew his recantations and died as a martyr. His legacy lives on within the Church of England through the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nine Articles.

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/6

Edward VI of England

Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) became King of England, King of France (in practice only the town and surrounding district of Calais) and Edward I of Ireland on 28 January 1547, and crowned on 20 February, at just nine years of age. Edward, the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first ruler who was not Roman Catholic at the time of his ascension to the throne. Edward's entire rule was mediated through a council of regency as he never reached maturity. The council was first led by his uncle, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (1547–1549), and then by John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland (1549–1553). Although Henry VIII had severed the link between the English church and Rome, it was during Edward's reign that further reforms were established. It was during Edward's reign that Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, implemented the Book of Common Prayer. Edward's reign was marked by increasingly harsh religious reforms. Following Edward's death at the age of fifteen, a disputed succession reopened the religious conflicts. Lady Jane Grey was Queen for only nine days, and during that time reigning in name only, before she was replaced by Mary.

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/7

Christopher Smart

Christopher Smart (11 April 1722 – 21 May 1771), also known as "Kit Smart", "Kitty Smart", and "Jack Smart", was an English poet. He was a major contributor to two popular magazines and a friend to influential cultural icons like Samuel Johnson and Henry Fielding. Smart, a high church Anglican, was widely known throughout London.

Smart was infamous for the widespread accounts of his father-in-law, John Newbery, locking him away in a mental asylum for many years over Smart's supposed religious "mania". Even after Smart's eventual release, a negative reputation continued to pursue him as he was known for incurring more debt than he could pay off; this ultimately led to his confinement in debtor's prison until his death.

Smart's two most widely-known works are A Song to David and Jubilate Agno, both at least partly written during his confinement in asylum. To his contemporaries, Smart was known mainly for his many contributions in the journals The Midwife and The Student, along with his famous Seaton Prize poems and his mock epic The Hilliad. Although he is primarily recognized as a religious poet, his poetry includes various other themes, such as his theories on nature and his promotion of English nationalism.

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/8

Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn (1501/1507–19 May 1536) was the second wife of Henry VIII of England and the mother of Elizabeth I of England. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key player in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation. In 1525, Henry VIII became enamoured with Anne and began his pursuit of her. It soon became the one absorbing object of the king's desires to secure an annulment from his wife, Catherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne. As a result of Anne's marriage to the king, the Church of England was forced to break with Rome and was brought under the king's control. Anne gave birth to a baby girl who would one day reign as Queen Elizabeth I of England. When Anne failed to quickly produce a male heir, the king grew tired of her and a plot was hatched by Thomas Cromwell to do away with her. Although the evidence against her was unconvincing, Anne was beheaded on charges of adultery, incest, and high treason in 1536. Following the coronation of her daughter Elizabeth as queen, Anne was venerated as a martyr and heroine of the English Reformation, particularly through the works of John Foxe.

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Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist. He showed that the motion of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are governed by the same set of natural laws by demonstrating the consistency between Kepler's laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation, thus removing the last doubts about heliocentrism and advancing the scientific revolution.

Although the laws of motion and universal gravitation became Newton's best-known discoveries, he warned against using them to view the universe as a mere machine, as if akin to a great clock. He said, "Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done." His scientific fame notwithstanding, Newton's studies of the Bible and of the early Church Fathers were also noteworthy. Newton wrote works on textual criticism, most notably An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture. He also placed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at 3 April, AD 33, which agrees with one traditionally accepted date. He also attempted, unsuccessfully, to find hidden messages within the Bible (See Bible code).

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/10

Godfrey Kneller, 1684

James II (14 October 1633 – 16 September 1701) was King of England, King of Scots, and King of Ireland from 6 February 1685 to 11 December 1688. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of Scotland, England, and Ireland. Many of his subjects distrusted his religious policies and autocratic tendencies, leading a group of them to move against him in the Glorious Revolution in 1688. James fled the country. James made one serious attempt to recover his crowns, when he landed in Ireland in 1689. After his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in the summer of 1690, James returned to France.

James is best known for his belief in absolute monarchy and his attempts to create religious liberty for his subjects. Both of these went against the wishes of the English Parliament and of most of his subjects. Parliament, opposed to the growth of absolutism that was occurring in other European countries, as well as to the loss of legal supremacy for the Church of England, saw their opposition as a way to preserve traditional English liberties. This tension made James's three-year reign a struggle for supremacy between the Parliament and the crown, resulting in his ouster, the passage of the English Bill of Rights, and the Hanoverian succession.

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/11

Bishop Robinson in 2006, during the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church

V. Gene Robinson (born (1947-05-29)May 29, 1947) is the ninth bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Robinson was elected bishop in 2003 and entered office on March 7, 2004. Before becoming bishop, he served as assistant to the retiring New Hampshire bishop. Robinson is widely known for being the first openly gay, noncelibate priest to be ordained to the historical episcopate. Robinson's appointment prompted a group of 19 bishops, led by Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, to make a statement warning the church of a possible schism between The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, stated that "[it] will inevitably have a significant impact on the Anglican Communion throughout the world and it is too early to say what the result of that will be." He added: "[I]t is my hope that the church in America and the rest of the Anglican Communion will have the opportunity to consider this development before significant and irrevocable decisions are made in response." Since Robinson's election, theologically conservative parishes have aligned themselves with bishops outside The Episcopal Church, a movement called the Anglican realignment. His story has appeared in print and film.

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/12

Henry Martyn

Henry Martyn (18 February 1781 - 16 October 1812), was an Anglican priest and missionary to the peoples of India and Persia. Born in Truro, Cornwall, he was educated at St John's College, Cambridge. A chance encounter with Charles Simeon led him to become a missionary. He was ordained a priest in the Church of England and became a chaplain for the British East India Company.

Martyn arrived in India in April 1806, where he preached and occupied himself in the study of linguistics. He translated the whole of the New Testament into Urdu, Persian and Judaeo-Persic. He also translated the Psalms into Persian and the Book of Common Prayer into Urdu. From India, he set out for Bushire, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Tabriz.

On his way to Constantinople, Martyn was seized with fever, and, though the plague was raging at Tokat, he was forced to stop there, unable to continue. On 16 October 1812 he died. He was remembered for his courage, selflessness and his religious devotion. In parts of the Anglican Communion he is celebrated with a Lesser Festival on 19 October.

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Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper, 1657.

Oliver Cromwell (25 April 1599 – 3 September 1658) was an English military and political leader best known for his involvement in making England into a republican Commonwealth and for his later role as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland. He was one of the commanders of the New Model Army, which defeated the royalists in the English Civil War. After the execution of King Charles I in 1649, Cromwell dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England, conquered Ireland and Scotland, and ruled as Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658. Cromwell has been seen by some as a regicidal dictator. In Ireland, he is widely hated to this day.

Under Cromwell, episcopacy was abolished and the use of the 1604 Book of Common Prayer prohibited (at least in theory), a virtually congregational polity was introduced, the Thirty-Nine Articles were replaced with the Westminster Confession, and the Directory of Public Worship issued. Despite this, about one quarter of English clergy and countless citizens refused to conform. When the Royalists returned to power in 1660, his corpse was dug up, hung in chains, and beheaded. The Restoration government re-established Anglicanism, the episcopal polity, and issued a new revision of the Book of Common Prayer in 1662.

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Augustine of Canterbury

Augustine of Canterbury (died 26 May 604) was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in 598. He is considered the "Apostle to the English", and a founder of the English Church. Augustine was the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him in 595 to lead a mission to Britain to convert the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity. Æthelberht allowed the missionaries to preach freely and converted to Christianity, giving the missionaries land to found a monastery outside the city walls. Augustine was consecrated bishop of the English, and converted many of the king's subjects, including thousands during a mass baptism on Christmas Day in 597. Pope Gregory sent more missionaries in 601, along with encouraging letters and gifts for the churches, although attempts to persuade the native Celtic bishops to submit to Augustine's authority failed. Roman Catholic bishops were established at London and Rochester in 604, and a school was founded to train Anglo-Saxon priests and missionaries. Augustine arranged the consecration of his successor, Laurence of Canterbury. Augustine died in 604 and was soon revered as a saint. The authority of the Roman Catholic Church over the Church of England remained in place for ten centuries, until the latter broke away in the 16th century during the English Reformation.

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/15

William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce (August 24 1759July 29 1833) was a British politician and philanthropist. A native of Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780 and became the independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire (1784–1812). A close friend of Prime Minister William Pitt, in 1785 he underwent a conversion experience and became an evangelical Christian. In 1787 he came into contact with Thomas Clarkson and a group of anti-slave trade activists, including Granville Sharp, Beilby Porteus, Hannah More and Lord Middleton.

At their suggestion, Wilberforce was persuaded to take on the cause; he became one of the leading English abolitionists, heading the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade, which he saw through to the eventual passage of the Slave Trade Act in 1807. In later years Wilberforce supported the campaign for complete abolition, which eventually led to the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833; this Act paved the way for the complete abolition of slavery in the British Empire. A tireless campaigner for the abolition of slavery, Wilberforce died just three days after hearing that the passage of the Act through Parliament was secure. He was buried in Westminster Abbey, close to his friend William Pitt.

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/16

Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, of which Chadwick was Dean for ten years.

Henry Chadwick KBE (23 June 1920 – 17 June 2008) was a British academic and Church of England clergyman. A former Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford (pictured)—and as such also head of Christ Church, Oxford—he also served as Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, becoming the first person in four centuries to have headed a college at both universities. A leading historian of the early church, Chadwick was appointed Regius Professor at both the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He was a noted supporter of improved relations with the Roman Catholic Church, and a leading member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC). An accomplished musician, having studied music to degree level, he took a leading part in the revision and updating of hymnals widely used within Anglicanism, chairing the board of the publisher, Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd., for twenty years. After his death, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams wrote, "'The Anglican church,' it was said, 'may not have a Pope, but it does have Henry Chadwick.'" and further described him as an "aristocrat among Anglican scholars".

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Woodcut of John Day (dated 1562) included in the 1563 and subsequent editions of Actes and Monuments

John Day or Daye (c. 1522 – 23 July 1584) was an English printer. He specialised in printing and distributing Christian literature and pamphlets, and produced many small-format religious books, sermons, and translations of psalms. He found fame, however, as the publisher of John Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Day rose to the top of his profession during the reign of Edward VI (1547–1553). At this time, restrictions on publishers were relaxed, and a wave of propaganda on behalf of the English Reformation was encouraged by the government of the Lord Protector, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. During the reign of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary I he was arrested and imprisoned. Under Queen Elizabeth I, Day enjoyed the patronage of officials and nobles, including William Cecil, Robert Dudley, and Matthew Parker. With their support, he published the Book of Martyrs and was awarded monopolies for some of the most popular English books, such as The ABC with Little Catechism and The Whole Booke of Psalmes. Day has been called "the master printer of the English Reformation".

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/18

Cosmo Lang as Archbishop of Canterbury, c. 1932

William Cosmo Gordon Lang, 1st Baron Lang of Lambeth (31 October 1864 – 5 December 1945), was an Anglican prelate who served as Archbishop of York (1908–1928) and Archbishop of Canterbury (1928–1942). His rapid elevation to Archbishop of York, within 18 years of his ordination, is unprecedented in modern Church of England history. As Archbishop of Canterbury during the abdication crisis of 1936 he took a strong moral stance and comments he made in a subsequent broadcast were widely condemned as uncharitable towards the departed king.

Beginning in 1890, his early ministry was served in slum parishes in Leeds and Portsmouth, except for brief service as an Oxford college chaplain. In 1908 Lang was nominated Archbishop of York, his religious stance was broadly Anglo-Catholic. After World War I, he began to promote church unity and at the 1920 Lambeth Conference was responsible for the Church's Appeal to All Christian People. Lang became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1928. He presided over the 1930 Lambeth Conference, which gave limited church approval to the use of contraception. After denouncing the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in 1935 and strongly condemning European antisemitism, he retired in 1942. He was then created Baron Lang of Lambeth and continued to attend and speak in House of Lords debates until his death in 1945. Lang himself believed that he had not lived up to his own high standards. Others, however, have praised his qualities of industry, his efficiency and his commitment to his calling.

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Portal:Anglicanism/Selected biography/19

Robert Catesby, unknown artist, 1794

Robert Catesby (b. in or after 1572 – 8 November 1605), was the leader of a group of provincial English Roman Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

James I was less tolerant of Roman Catholicism than its followers had hoped, and Catesby therefore planned to kill the king by blowing up the House of Lords with gunpowder, the prelude to a popular revolt against the Anglican government during which a Roman Catholic monarch would be restored to the English throne. Early in 1604 he began to recruit other Roman Catholics to his cause, including Thomas Wintour, John Wright, Thomas Percy, and Guy Fawkes. Described variously as a charismatic and influential man, as well as a religious zealot, over the following months he helped bring a further eight conspirators into the plot, whose naissance was planned for 5 November 1605. A letter sent anonymously to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, alerted the authorities, and on the eve of the planned explosion, during a search of Parliament, Fawkes was found guarding the barrels of gunpowder. News of his arrest caused the other plotters to flee London, warning Catesby along their way. With his diminished group of followers, Catesby made a stand at Holbeche House in Staffordshire, against a 200-strong company of armed men. He was shot, and later found dead, clutching a picture of the Virgin Mary. As a warning to others, his body was exhumed and his head exhibited outside Parliament.

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Samuel Johnson c. 1772,painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 [O.S. 7 September] – 13 December 1784), often referred to as Dr Johnson, was a British author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". He is also the subject of "the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature": James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson.

Johnson's Anglican morality permeated his works, and he would write on moral topics with such authority and in a trusting manner. However, He did not let his own faith prejudice him against others, and had respect for those of other denominations who demonstrated a commitment to Christ's teachings. Although Johnson respected John Milton's poetry, he could not tolerate Milton's Puritan and Republican beliefs, feeling that they were contrary to Anglicanism. After nine years of work, Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755; it had a far-reaching effect on Modern English and has been described as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship. After a series of illnesses he died on the evening of 13 December 1784, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. In the years following his death, Johnson began to be recognised as having had a lasting effect on literary criticism, and even as the only great critic of English literature.

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