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c. 1005-1089. Archbishop of Canterbury from 1070. Born in Pavia, he studied and practiced law before becoming a pupil of Berengar of Tours (1035). An excellent student of logic, he opened a school at Avranches (1039), but gave up his work and entered the Benedictine abbey of Bec in 1042. There he started another school that became famous throughout Europe, numbering among its alumni Anselm of Canterbury and Ivo of Chartres. Lanfranc also became an adviser to the future William I (the Conqueror) of England while the king was duke of Normandy. Against his inclinations and only because of papal orders, Lanfranc was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury. With the support of William he reformed the church by enforcing clerical celibacy, purifying the cathedral chapters, and introducing Norman personnel committed to the Hildebrandine reform program into England. Although he enjoyed the full confidence of William I, the reform movement alienated him from William II (Rufus). Lanfranc's work as a theologian includes glosses on the epistles of Paul and participation in controversies over the nature of Holy Communion. He developed the teaching of transubstantiation in opposition to Berengar of Tours at the Council of Rome and Vercelli (1050), at Tours (1059), and in his Liber de Corpore et Sanguine Domini (1059-1066).

See A.J. MacDonald, Lanfranc: A Study of His Life, Work and Writing (2nd ed., 1944).