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Tait, Archibald Campbell

Archibald Campbell Tait, 1811–82, British churchman, archbishop of Canterbury, b. Edinburgh. He grew up a Presbyterian, but he early decided to enter the ministry of the Church of England. In 1834 he was elected a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford; in 1836 he was ordained an Anglican priest. The Oxford movement never won his favor, and when Tract 90 appeared (1841) he was one of the "Four Tutors" who issued a formal protest. Tait succeeded Thomas Arnold as headmaster at Rugby in 1842. He became dean of Carlisle (1849), then bishop of London (1856), where his open-air preaching increased his fame. In 1868 he was named archbishop of Canterbury. He sympathized with Broad Church views, although he joined in the censure of Essays and Reviews (1860). An antiritualist, he was one of the creators of the Public Worship Regulation Act (1874), but its final form was more severe than he intended.

See biography by R. T. Davidson and D. Benham (2 vol., 1891); study by P. T. Marsh (1969).

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