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Bancroft, Richard (1544–1610). Archbishop of Canterbury. Born in Lancashire and educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, Bancroft was successively canon of Westminster (1587), chaplain to Archbishop Whitgift (1592), bishop of London (1597), and archbishop (1604). From 1597 he was virtually acting primate during Whitgift's illness and attended Elizabeth at her death. A powerful advocate of episcopacy, whether preaching as canon of Westminster or making overtures to secular catholic clergy rather than Jesuits, his profound animosity towards presbyterianism was evident at the Hampton Court conference (1604). As archbishop, he was tough with potential schismatics, helped restore episcopacy to Scotland, and secured the passage through convocation of the canons of 1604, the Latin corpus of Anglican canon law, virtually unmodified until Fisher. A man of scholarly interests, Bancroft zealously supported work on the 1611 translation of the Bible and sought to improve intellectual standards of the clergy.
Revd Dr William M. Marshall