Edmund Grindal

1519?-1583. Archbishop of Canterbury from 1575. Born in Cumberland and educated at Cambridge, he adopted the Protestant views which were widespread in the university, and became vice-master of Pembroke Hall in 1549. Two years later he became chaplain to Ridley, then to Edward VI, and a canon of Westminster in 1552. During Mary's reign he was in exile, chiefly at Strasbourg, although he visited Frankfurt and was involved in the liturgical disputes there. Elizabeth made him bishop of London in 1559, whence he proceeded to York in 1570 and Canterbury five years later. In 1576 he rebuked the queen for ordering him to suppress the meetings of clergy known as “prophesyings,” which he believed were an important means of improving the standard of preaching in the church. For his disobedience he was sequestered from his jurisdiction. Despite efforts at mediation, no real reconciliation with the queen was achieved before Grindal died, a blind and pathetic figure. Though his primacy has often been judged a disastrous failure, it is now coming to be viewed as an interesting and important attempt to establish a Reformed type of episcopacy in which the bishop sought a much closer working relationship with his brother clergy.

J. Strype, The History of the Life and Acts of...Edmund Grindal (1821); E. Grindal, Remains (ed. W. Nicholson, 1843); S.E. Lehmberg, “Archbishop Grindal and the Prophesyings,” Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, xxxiv (1965), pp. 93-97; P. Collinson, “Episcopacy and Reform in England in the Later Sixteenth Century,” Studies in Church History, vol. III, ed. G.J. Cuming (1966), pp. 91- 125.