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Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury, whose see is Canterbury Cathedral, is the head cleric[?] of the Church of England. Since Henry VIII broke with Rome, archbishops of Canterbury have been selected by the English (latterly British) monarch; at present, the choice is made in his or her name, but by the prime minister, from a shortlist of two selected by a committee of clergy and laity.

The current Archbishop of Canterbury, the 104th, is Dr Rowan Douglas Williams, previously Archbishop of Wales[?]. He succeeded Dr George Leonard Carey[?].

The first Archbishop of Canterbury was Saint Augustine of Canterbury, who arrived in Kent in 597, all Archbishops of Canterbury since have been referred to as occupying the Chair of St Augustine.

The Archbishop has a number of roles to fulfil that include:

  1. Bishop of Canterbury
  2. Primate of all England
  3. 'Chaplain to the Nation'
  4. Leader of the Anglican Communion around the World
  5. The Ecumenical Role
  6. The Inter-faith Role

This adds up to a large amount of responsibility, and the current archbishop recently convened an advisory group for suggestions on spreading the workload. One suggestion being considered is the appointment of an auxiliary "bishop in Canterbury" to take on most of the responsibility for the diocese.

Previous occupiers of the Chair of St Augustine:

  1. Saint Augustine of Canterbury 597 --
  2. Saint Laurence of Canterbury 604-619 --
  3. Mellitus (St.) 619 --
  4. Justus (St.) 624 --
  5. Honorius[?] (St.) 627 --
  6. Deusdedit[?] (St.) 655 --
  7. Wighard[?] 666 --
  8. Theodore (St.) 668 --
  9. Bertwald[?] (St.) 693 --
  10. Tatwin[?] (St.) 731 --
  11. Nothelm[?] (St.) 735 --
  12. Cuthbert[?] (St.) 740 --
  13. Bregwin[?] (St.) 761 --
  14. Jaenbert[?] (St.) 765 --
  15. Aethelhard[?] (St.) 793 --
  16. Wulfred[?] 805 --
  17. Feologild[?] 832 --
  18. Ceolnoth[?] 833 --
  19. Aethelred[?] 870 --
  20. Plegmund[?] 890 --
  21. Athelm 923 --
  22. Wulfhelm[?] 926 --
  23. Oda the Severe (St.) 941 --
  24. Aelfsige[?] 958 --
  25. Berthelm[?] 959 --
  26. Saint Dunstan 960 --
  27. Athelgar[?] 988 --
  28. Sigeric the Serious[?] 990 --
  29. Aelfric 995 --
  30. Aelfheah (St Alphege) 1006 --
  31. Lyfing 1013 --
  32. Aethelnoth 1020 --
  33. Edsige[?] 1038 --
  34. Robert of Jumieges 1051 --
  35. Stigand 1052 --
  36. Lanfranc 1070 --
  37. Alselm (St.) 1093 --
  38. Ralph d'Escures 1114 --
  39. William de Corbeil 1123 --
  40. Theobald of Bec 1139 --
  41. Thomas Becket (St.) 1162 --
  42. Richard of Dover 1174 --
  43. Baldwin of Exeter[?] 1184 --
  44. Reginald FitzJocelin[?] 1191 --
  45. Hubert Walter 1193 --
  46. Reginald[?] 1205 --
  47. John de Gray 1206 --
  48. Stephen Langton 1207 --
  49. Walter d'Eynsham[?] 1228 --
  50. Richard le Grant[?] 1229 --
  51. Ralph Neville[?] 1231 --
  52. John of Sittingbourne[?] 1232 --
  53. John Blund[?] 1232 --
  54. Edmund Rich (St.) 1234 --
  55. Boniface of Savoy 1241 or 1245 --
  56. Adam of Chillenden[?] 1270 --
  57. Robert Kilwardby 1273 --
  58. Robert Burnell 1278 --
  59. John Peckham 1279 --
  60. Robert Winchelsey 1294 --
  61. Thomas Cobham[?] 1313 --
  62. Walter Reynolds 1314 --
  63. Simon Mepeham[?] 1328 --
  64. John de Stratford 1333 --
  65. John Offord[?] 1348 --
  66. Thomas Bradwardine 1349 --
  67. Simon Islip[?] 1349 --
  68. Simon Langham 1366 --
  69. William Whittlesey 1368 --
  70. Simon Sudbury 1375 --
  71. William Courtenay 1381 --
  72. Thomas Arundel 1396 --
  73. Roger Walden 1397 --
  74. Thomas Arundel 1399 --
  75. Henry Chicheley[?] 1414 --
  76. John Stafford[?] 1443 --
  77. John Kemp 1452 --
  78. Thomas Bourchier 1454 --
  79. John Morton 1486 --
  80. Thomas Langton 1501 --
  81. Henry Dean[?] 1501 --
  82. William Warham 1503 --
  83. Thomas Cranmer 1533 --
  84. Reginald Pole[?] 1556 --
  85. Matthew Parker 1559 --
  86. Edmund Grindal 1576 --
  87. John Whitgift 1583 --
  88. Richard Bancroft 1604 --
  89. George Abbot 1611 --
  90. William Laud 1633 --
  91. William Juxon 1660 --
  92. Gilbert Sheldon 1663 --
  93. William Sancroft 1678 --
  94. John Tillotson 1691 --
  95. Thomas Tenison 1695 --
  96. William Wake 1716 --
  97. John Potter 1737 --
  98. Thomas Herring[?] 1747 --
  99. Matthew Hutton[?] 1757 --
  100. Thomas Secker 1758 --
  101. Frederick Cornwallis[?] 1768 --
  102. John Moore 1783 --
  103. Charles Manners-Sutton 1805 --
  104. William Howley[?] 1828 --
  105. John Bird Sumner 1848 --
  106. Charles Thomas Longley 1862 --
  107. Archibald Campbell Tait 1868 --
  108. Edward White Benson 1883 --
  109. Frederick Temple 1896 --
  110. Randall Thomas Davidson[?] 1903 --
  111. Cosmo Gordon Lang[?] 1928 --
  112. William Temple[?] 1942 --
  113. Geoffrey Francis Fisher[?] 1945 --
  114. Arthur Michael Ramsey[?] 1961 --
  115. Frederick Donald Coggan[?] 1974 --
  116. Robert Alexander Kennedy Runcie[?] 1980 --
  117. George Leonard Carey[?] 1991 --
  118. Rowan Douglas Williams 2002 --

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