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Lancelot Andrewes,
 Bishop of Winchester

Lancelot Andrewes by Simon de Passe

Engraving of Lancelot Andrewes by Simon de Passe. From Wikimedia.

Lancelot Andrewes was one of the great writers and churchmen of his day. Born in 1555, he received his Master of Arts degree at Cambridge in 1578. He was quite a polyglot, having mastered most of the languages of Western Europe. Andrewes was noted for his sermons, including one delivered to Queen Elizabeth, and a series of 26 sermons delivered at St Paul’s on the first four chapters of Genesis. During the reign of James I, he was elected Bishop of Chichester in 1605, and Bishop of Winchester in 1619.

Andrewes led the team of divines appointed to compile the Authorised Version (KJV) of the Bible, acting as general editor. Andrewes’ writing has such power that T. S. Eliot cribbed the first five lines of his poem, ‘Journey of the Magi’, from the ‘Nativity Sermon’ preached by Andrewes before James I on Christmas Day, 1622.

Andrewes’ feast day is 25 September.

4 comments to Lancelot Andrewes,
 Bishop of Winchester

  • The Reverend Peter M. Hawkins.

    Lancelot Andrewes was never Bishop of Westminster as shown in the title. Westminster was a diocese for a short period under Henry VIII but it did not survive. The point is that the Abbey at Westminster is Saint Peter’s and thus is the large church in the West of the City, whilst London Cathedral is Saint Paul’s and is the East Minster, the large Church in the East. The Abbey contains the Shrine of Edward the Confessor, not despoiled by Henry VIII, and thus is the present place of the Court of Saint James, with the palaces for the Parliament, Synod, and Sovereign in the vicinity.
    Lancelot Andrewes was first nominated and elected as Bishop of Chichester and then later as Bishop of Winchester. Bishops have been “elected” since Apostolic times, but by the Tudor period the Electoral College were and remain the Canons of the Cathedral (in Rome known as Cardinals) and there is only one Nomination by the Monarch. Today a Synod Committee gives two names to the Ecclesiatical Secretary of the Prime Minister who is also nominated. One of the names is then forwarded to the Cathedral Chapter, who were required to elect it on pâin of terrible penalties.
    At Winchester, Lancelot Andrewes was Bishop at the former Saxon seat of Government. He composed a book of prayers “Preces privatae” which made a good impression.

  • petrus

    Yes, you’re right, Fr Hawkins. That was a misprint (does that apply online?) in the title, which has been corrected. (The text got his appointment correct.)

  • The Reverend Peter M. Hawkins.

    Thank you petrus for your use of the honorific title “Fr”, but I am a Secular Cleric, and thus my correct title in English is Mr, Mister, see Crockfords for a detailed explanation. It is appropriate to use ‘Fr’ for Religious Clergy, that is to say those who have taken Religious Vows and are not paid a Stipend.