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Davidson, Randall Thomas


Archbishop of Canterbury; b. Edinburgh, April 7, 1848; d. London, May 25, 1930. Although he came of Scottish Presbyterian ancestry, Davidson received confirmation in anglicanism while attending school at Harrow. At Trinity College, Oxford, he took his degree in law and modern history. After ordination (1875) he became a curate at Dartford in Kent, and then (187783) resident chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archibald Tait, whose daughter he married (1878). Largely because of Queen Victoria's favor, he became dean of Windsor (1883). After being named bishop of Rochester (1891), he associated himself with the efforts of his friend Abp. Edward Benson to prevent Viscount halifax from negotiating with the Holy See over the recognition of an glican orders. Davidson moved to the See of Winchester (1895), and then to that of Canterbury (190328). He gave no more than a certain "friendly cognizance" to the malines conversations between Anglicans and Roman Catholics; yet his churchmanship was broad and diplomatically comprehensive. His statesmanship, able administration, and simplicity of character increased the prestige of the primatial see, but his last years were saddened by failure when Parliament rejected the Revised Anglican Prayer-Book in 1927, and again in 1928. He retired from Canterbury in 1928 and was created Baron of Lambeth.

Bibliography: g. k. a. bell, Randall Davidson: Archbishop of Canterbury (2d ed. Oxford 1938). The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, Supplement (London 192230) 240248.

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