Faithful Friday: George Abbot

By Maya Kirl

George Abbot was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1611 to 1633. He was born in Surrey in 1562. His father, Maurice Abbot, was a cloth worker. When George Abbot’s mother was pregnant with him, she had a dream that if she ate a pike fish, her child would be a son and become great. Soon after, she accidentally caught a pike while she was fetching water and took this as a great sign. 

George studied under many eminent scholars and was chosen Master of University College in 1597. He took a leading part in preparing the authorized version of the King James New Testament. In March of 1611, he was raised to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury. He defended the apostolic succession of Anglican bishops and validity of the church’s priesthood in 1614. 

In a hunting incident, Abbot accidentally killed another man and there was a debate within the church on whether or not he could keep his position as Archbishop. The King did give a vote in the Archbishops favor for a formal pardon. After this, Abbot seldom went anywhere other than to attend to the King constantly. One of the last things he did was crown King Charles I as king of England. George Abbot died in August of 1633 and was buried in Guildford, where he grew up. 

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