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City, county, and parliamentary borough and see town of the archbishopric of York. It was founded in a.d. 71 as Eboracum by the Romans as a headquarters for the ninth legion. It became the Roman military capital in Britain and was visited by the emperors Hadrian, Severus, and Constantine Chlorus (who died there). Constantine was proclaimed emperor at York. Mention is made of a bishop of York at the Council of Arles* in 314, but the Roman occupation ended soon after a.d. 400 and little is known about York or the church there till the appointment of Paulinus* as bishop in 625. Edwin, king of Northumbria, was baptized at York in 627 and founded a church there. Paulinus departed to Rochester in 633 after the defeat of Edwin by Cadwallon. For the next thirty years York came under the spiritual oversight of the bishops of Lindisfarne, who followed the Celtic customs of the church.

At the Synod of Whitby* in 663/4 King Oswy decided that the Northumbrian church should follow Roman customs and soon after, Wilfrid,* who was the leader of the Roman party, was appointed bishop of Northumbria with his see at York. He went to Gaul for consecration, and because of his delaying there, Chad* was appointed in his place. The see was restored to Wilfrid in 669, but in 678 Theodore,* archbishop of Canterbury, divided the diocese into four and appointed other bishops. In 735 under Egbert* the see was made into an archbishopric and a school was founded which included among its pupils the scholar Alcuin.* From the eleventh until the fourteenth centuries there was a struggle for precedence between the sees of Canterbury* and York. It was finally decided that the archbishop of Canterbury had precedence with the title “Primate of All England,” while the archbishop of York was to be “Primate of England.” Famous archbishops include Thomas Wolsey and William Temple. York Minster, dating largely from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, stands on the site of Edwin's church, and the city has a unique collection of medieval parish churches still in use, as well as other ecclesiastical remains.

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