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Parker, Matthew

Parker, Matthew (1504–75). Archbishop of Canterbury. Born in Norwich and educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, Parker was successively chaplain to Anne Boleyn, master of Corpus Christi (1544), vice-chancellor (1545 and 1549), dean of Lincoln (1552), and archbishop. Close to Bucer and a supporter of Lady Jane Grey, he was deprived under Mary and lived in obscurity. As a diffident, scholarly man, he reluctantly agreed to the primacy at Elizabeth's request. His consecration in Lambeth palace in 1559 by four former Edwardine bishops was unusually significant, for it claimed to transmit valid succession to the Anglican episcopate despite catholic denials. Though earlier associated with Cambridge reformers, his patristic studies gave him independence, and a distaste for extreme protestantism. The major architect of the Elizabethan settlement, Parker courageously promoted theological comprehension within liturgical conformity, a middle road between Rome and calvinism. For this he revived convocation, revised the Thirty-Nine Articles (1563), initiated a new translation of the Bible, the ‘Bishops’ Bible' (1568), and published his ‘Advertisements’ (1566), enjoining the use of cope and surplice.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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Parker, Matthew

Matthew Parker, 1504–75, English prelate, archbishop of Canterbury. At Cambridge he was influenced by the writings of Martin Luther and other reformers. In 1535 he was appointed chaplain to Anne Boleyn and in 1537 to Henry VIII. In 1544, Parker became master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, to which he later left his fine collection of ancient manuscripts, and in 1545 he was made vice chancellor of Cambridge. Under Edward VI he was presented with the deanery of Lincoln, but after the accession of Mary I, who deprived him of his preferments, he lived in obscurity until he was called (1559) by Elizabeth I to the see of Canterbury. He courageously undertook the primate's responsibilities in a time of change and peculiar difficulty, sustaining a distinctly Anglican position between extreme Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. In 1562 he revised the Thirty-nine Articles. He supervised (1563–68) the preparation of the Bishops' Bible, published anonymously De antiquitate Britannicae ecclesiae (1572), and is also noted for his editions of the works of Matthew of Paris and other chroniclers.

See biographies by J. Strype (new ed., 3 vol., 1821, repr. 1973), E. C. Pearce (1925), E. W. Perry (1940), and V. J. K. Brook (1962).

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Parker, Matthew

Parker, Matthew (1504–75). Archbishop of Canterbury from 1559. His main objective as archbishop was to preserve the Elizabethan religious settlement which sought to safeguard Protestantism while retaining some of the moderation placed on it by the experience of the past. He sought to find the proper doctrinal and historical basis for the Church of England, and to this end he accumulated a library with many Anglo-Saxon and medieval manuscripts (which can be seen in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge).

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Parker, Matthew

PARKER, MATTHEW

Scholar and archbishop of Canterbury who helped shape the Elizabethan religious settlement; b. Norwich, Aug. 6, 1504; d. London, May 17, 1575. Parker entered Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1522 and took his B.A. degree in 1525. In 1527 he was ordained, and in 1528 he became associated with the Cambridge Reformers, a student group with Lutheran sympathies. When Anne Boleyn became queen, Parker was made her chaplain, and in 1537 he became chaplain to Henry VIII. In 1544, on the king's recommendation, he became master of his old college and in 1545, vice chancellor of Cambridge. At the accession of Edward VI in 1547 Parker married Margaret Harlestone of Norfolk. Parker's Protestant sympathies were avowed with increasing openness as the successive regencies of Somerset and Northumberland drew England steadily in a Protestant direction. Upon Edward's death in 1553 Parker espoused the cause of Northumberland's unfortunate pawn, Lady Jane Grey. For this and for his marriage he was deprived of his offices by Catholic Queen Mary. Having no taste for martyrdom, he spent the five years of her reign in hiding, devoting his time to translating the Psalms and writing in defense of the marriage of priests.

Following the accession of Elizabeth I, Parker was elected Archbishop of Canterbury in 1559 and was consecrated by four Henrician and Edwardian bishops. Since the Ordinal employed had been repealed in the reign of Mary, the consecration was valid only if royal supremacy was also accepted. Parker's consecration thus became a key problem in the later controversy over Anglican Orders. The most important among Archbishop Parker's hundreds of appointments were to ten sees that Mary and Cardinal Pole had left vacant. He furthered the English Reformation by filling them with Protestants.

Parker, a modest, pious, reserved man, was always a moderate. In 1545 he saved Cambridge's colleges from dissolution during the Henrician confiscations. Years later, he strove to limit further spoliation of the church by Elizabethan courtiers. Always interested in scholarship and antiquities, Parker tried to revive the Saxon language, founded the Society of Antiquaries, and collected ancient manuscripts at a time when learning was being plundered. His magnificent manuscript collection was the most important of many gifts he bequeathed to Cambridge. As archbishop, Parker sought a middle way between Catholics and Puritans. Significantly, the worst Elizabethan persecution of Catholics commenced only after his death. With the Puritans, Parker ordered an end to "prophesyings" and enforced a compromise between the queen's desire for elaborate vestments and the Puritans' insistence upon none at all, depriving those Puritans who refused to comply.

Bibliography: j. strype, The Life and Acts of Matthew Parker, 3 v. (Oxford 1821). h. gee, The Elizabethan Clergy and the Settlement of Religion, 15581564 (Oxford 1898). h. n. birt, The Elizabethan Religious Settlement (London 1907). b. m. h. thompson, The Consecration of Archbishop Parker (London 1934). j. b. mullinger, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 18851900) 15:254264. v. j. k. brook, A Life of Archbishop Parker (Oxford 1962). e. w. perry, Under Four Tudors (London 1940). p. hughes, The Reformation of England (New York 1963).

[b. norling]

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Parker, Matthew

PARKER, Matthew

PERSONAL: Male. Education: Attended Oxford University.


ADDRESSES: Home—London, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Doubleday, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.


CAREER: Author and editor.


WRITINGS:

The Battle of Britain, July-October, 1940: An OralHistory of Britain's Finest Hour, Hodder Headline (London, England), 2000.

Monte Cassino: The Hardest-fought Battle of WorldWar II, Hodder Headline (London, England), 2003, Doubleday (New York, NY), 2004.


SIDELIGHTS: Matthew Parker is an author and editor who specializes in the history of the twentieth century, particularly military history. His book Monte Cassino: The Hardest-fought Battle of World War II recounts the events of the winter of 1943-1944, during which Allied forces attempted to liberate southern Italy from Nazi occupation. In a review for the Economist, a contributor commented that the battle was "perhaps the most interesting campaign of all. It lasted six months, a quarter of a million soldiers died or were wounded, and probably it should never have been fought." The reviewer noted that Parker interviewed many surviving veterans of the battle, and also researched existing writings on the campaign. Jay Freeman, in a review for Booklist, called MonteCassino "an outstanding chronicle illustrating both valor and futility," while Library Journal contributor Jim Doyle remarked that the book serves "an outstanding example of military history." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews remarked that "the battle, Parker concludes, was disorganized, politicized, and needlessly bloody." Washington Post Book World contributor Jonathan Yardley, referring to what he viewed as the sentimentalized portrayal of World War II as popularized by Hollywood and the media at the turn of the twenty-first century, wrote that Monte Cassino serves as "a useful curative, or corrective, and it comes at the right moment: the ruffles and flourishes attendant to the sixtieth anniversary of D-Day, and the dedication of [the] World War II Memorial on the National Mall." Yardley went on to call Parker's work an "exemplary, heartbreaking book."


BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2004, Jay Freeman, review of MonteCassino: The Hardest-fought Battle of World War II, p. 1691.

Economist (U.S.), September 29, 2003, "The Worst Battle: Second World War," p. 81.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2004, review of MonteCassino, p. 316.

Library Journal, May 1, 2004, Jim Doyle, review of Monte Cassino, p. 127.

Publishers Weekly, April 12, 2004, review of MonteCassino, pp. 54-55.

Washington Post Book World, May 30, 2004, Jonathan Yardley, "A Chronicle of an Allied Fight Out of a Tactical Trap," p. T2.


ONLINE

Metsenschilt Web site,http://www.metsenschilt.com/ (November 12, 2004), "Monte Cassino" (in German).*

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