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Frederick Temple

1821-1902. Archbishop of Canterbury from 1896. Born in Greece where his father was a diplomat, he was educated largely by his widowed mother, to whom throughout his life he was closely attached. He entered Oxford on a Balliol scholarship and gained a first in classics and mathematics. In 1842 he was lecturer at Balliol and in 1846 was ordained. In 1850 he became principal of Kneller Hall, a training college for schoolmasters. In 1857 he was appointed headmaster of Rugby School where he gave vigorous leadership. His liberal sentiments had already found expression in his contribution to the celebrated volume Essays and Reviews, two of whose contributors were condemned by the church courts. Echoes of this controversy were found when in 1869 Temple was appointed bishop of Exeter and objections were made to his consecration. In Exeter he exhibited his lifelong interest in education, especially in the wake of the 1870 Education Act; another noteworthy field was in temperance reform.

He continued his interest in social questions after his appointment to the bishopric of London in 1885. In 1889 he helped to find a way of solving the dockers strike. In 1896 he was appointed archbishop of Canterbury, sold Addington Park, and with the proceeds bought the old Palace at Canterbury for his residence. He presided over the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and in the same year the Lambeth Conference.* He crowned Edward VII king. Throughout his time as primate he was involved in the ritual troubles. Straightforward and direct, often giving the impression of curtness, he was nevertheless a man of deep affection, as can be seen in his letters to his children, one of whom, William Temple,* also became archbishop of Canterbury.

See E.G. Sandford (ed.) Memoirs of Archbishop Temple by Seven Friends (2 vols., 1906).