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Archbishop of Canterbury
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Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England is the senior cleric of the Church of England. His see is Canterbury Cathedral and his official London residence is Lambeth Palace. Since Henry VIII broke with Rome, archbishops of Canterbury have been selected by the English (latterly British) monarch; at present, the choice is made in his or her name, but by the prime minister, from a shortlist of two selected by a committee of clergy and laity.

The current Archbishop of Canterbury, the 104th, is Dr Rowan Douglas Williams, previously Archbishop of Wales. He succeeded Dr George Leonard Carey.

The first Archbishop of Canterbury was Saint Augustine of Canterbury, who arrived in Kent in 597, all Archbishops of Canterbury since have been referred to as occupying the Chair of St Augustine.

The Archbishop has a number of roles to fulfil that include:

  1. Bishop of the See of Canterbury
  2. Metropolitan of the Province of Canterbury
  3. Primate of All England
  4. Lord Spiritual
  5. 'Chaplain to the Nation'
  6. Leader of the Anglican Communion around the World
  7. The Ecumenical Role
  8. The Inter-faith Role

This adds up to a large amount of responsibility, and the current archbishop recently convened an advisory group for suggestions on spreading the workload. One suggestion being considered is the appointment of an auxiliary "bishop in Canterbury" to take on most of the responsibility for the diocese.

List of Archbishops

Previous incumbents of the Chair of St Augustine:
RankNameTerm
1Saint Augustine of Canterbury597 -- 605
2Saint Laurence of Canterbury605 -- 619
3 Mellitus (St.)619 -- 624
4Justus (St.)624 -- 627
5Honorius (St.)627 -- 653
6Deusdedit (St.)655 -- 664
7Theodore (St.)668 -- 690
8Bertwald (St.)693 -- 690
9Tatwin (St.731 -- 734
10Nothelm (St.)734 -- 740
11Cuthbert (St.)740 -- 758
12Bregwin (St.)759 -- 762
13Jaenbert (St.)763 -- 790
14Aethelhard (St.)790 -- 803
15Wulfred803 -- 829
16Feologild829 -- 830
17Ceolnoth830 -- 870
18Aethelred870 -- 889
19Plegmund891 -- 923
20Athelm923 -- 925
21Wulfhelm928 -- 941
22Oda the Severe (St.)941 -- 958
23Aelfsige958 -- 959
24Saint Dunstan960 -- 988
25Athelgar988 -- 989
26Sigeric the Serious990 -- 994
27Aelfric995 -- 1005
28Aelfheah (St Alphege)1006 -- 1012
29Lyfing1013 -- 1020
30Aethelnoth1020 -- 1038
31Edsige1038 -- 1050
32Robert of Jumieges1051 -- 1052
33Stigand1052 -- 1070
34Lanfranc1070 -- 1089
35Anselm (St.)1093 -- 1109
36Ralph d'Escures1114 -- 1122
37William de Corbeil1123 -- 1136
38Theobald of Bec1139 -- 1161
39Thomas Becket (St.)1162 -- 1170
40Richard of Dover1174 -- 1184
41Baldwin of Exeter1185 -- 1190
42Reginald Fitz-Jocelin1191
43Hubert Walter1193 -- 1205
44Stephen Langton1207 -- 1228
45Walter d'Eynsham1229 -- 1231
46Edmund Rich (St.)1233 -- 1240
47Boniface of Savoy1240 -- 1270
48Robert Kilwardby1273 -- 1278
49John Peckham1279 -- 1292
50Robert Winchelsey1293 -- 1313
51Walter Reynolds1313 -- 1327
52Simon Mepeham1327 -- 1333
53John de Stratford1333 -- 1348
54John de Ufford1348 -- 1349
55Thomas Bradwardine1349
56Simon Islip1349 -- 1366
57Simon Langham1366 -- 1368
58William Whittlesey1368 -- 1374
59Simon Sudbury1375 -- 1381
60William Courtenay1381 -- 1396
61Thomas Arundel1396 -- 1414
62Henry Chicheley1414 -- 1443
63John Stafford1443 -- 1452
64John Kemp1452 -- 1454
65Thomas Bourchier1454 -- 1486
66John Morton1486 -- 1500
67Henry Dean1501 -- 1503
68William Warham1503 -- 1532
69Thomas Cranmer1533 -- 1556
70 Reginald Pole the last Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury1556 -- 1558
71Matthew Parker1559 -- 1575
72Edmund Grindal1575 -- 1583
73John Whitgift1583 -- 1604
74Richard Bancroft1604 -- 1610
75George Abbot1611 -- 1633
76William Laud1633 -- 1645
77William Juxon1660 -- 1663
78Gilbert Sheldon1663 -- 1667
79William Sancroft1678 -- 1691
80John Tillotson1691 -- 1694
81Thomas Tenison1694 -- 1715
82William Wake1716 -- 1737
83John Potter1737 -- 1747
84Thomas Herring1747 -- 1757
85Matthew Hutton1757 -- 1758
86Thomas Secker1758 -- 1768
87Frederick Cornwallis1768 -- 1783
88John Moore1783 -- 1805
89Charles Manners-Sutton1805 -- 1828
90William Howley1828 -- 1848
91John Bird Sumner1848 -- 1862
92Charles Thomas Longley1862 -- 1868
93Archibald Campbell Tait1868 -- 1882
94Edward White Benson1882 -- 1896
95Frederick Temple1896 -- 1902
96Randall Thomas Davidson1903 -- 1928
97Cosmo Gordon Lang1928 -- 1942
98William Temple1942 -- 1944
99Geoffrey Francis Fisher1945 -- 1961
100Arthur Michael Ramsey1961 -- 1974
101Frederick Donald Coggan1974 -- 1980
102Robert Alexander Kennedy Runcie1980 -- 1991
103George Leonard Carey1991 -- 2002
104Rowan Douglas Williams2002 --

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