Edmund Grindal

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Edmund Grindal (c. 1519 – 6 July 1583) was an English church leader who successively held the posts of Bishop of London, Archbishop of York and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Elizabeth I of England.

Contents

Early life to the death of Edward VI

Tradition, also retailed by Grindal's biographer John Strype, had long held that Grindal was born in Hensingham, now a suburb of Whitehaven. However recent scholarship has shown that his birthplace was Cross Hill House, St. Bees, Cumberland. Grindal himself gave a description of his birth place in a letter to Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth I's Secretary of State, "... the house wherein I was born, and the lands pertaining thereto, being a small matter, under twenty shillings rent, but well builded at the charges of my father and brother", which corresponds to Cross Hill House. This has been proven by the discovery of the long-mislaid St. Bees long leases, which have provided the missing link in the chain of ownership back to William Grindal, Edmund's father, a farmer in the village.[1] Edmund Grindal's exact date of birth is uncertain, but is c.1519.

His education may have started with the monks at the nearby St Bees Priory, though this is not recorded. It is believed by Collinson[2] that both Grindal and Edwin Sandys shared a childhood, quite probably in St Bees. Sandys himself recalled that he and Grindal had lived "familiarly" and "as brothers" and were only separated between Sandys's 13th and 18th Years. It is thought likely that Sandys grew up at nearby Rottington. Edwin Sandys kept one step behind Grindal in their subsequent careers, succeeding him as bishop of London, and then as archbishop of York. Whatever the place of early education, it is known that the Marian martyr John Bland was the schoolmaster of Sandys,[2] so it is likely he would also have taught Grindal.

Grindal was educated at Magdalene and Christ's Colleges and then at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he graduated BA and was elected fellow in 1538.[3] Having obtained his MA in 1541, he was ordained deacon in 1544, appointed proctor in 1550 and was Lady Margaret preacher 1548-1549. Probably through the influence of Nicholas Ridley, who had been master of Pembroke Hall, Grindal was selected as one of the Protestant disputants during the visitation of 1549. He had a talent for this work and was often given similar tasks. When Ridley became Bishop of London, he made Grindal one of his chaplains and gave him the precentorship of St Paul's Cathedral. He was soon promoted to be one of King Edward VI's chaplains and prebendary of Westminster, and in October 1552 was one of six to whom the Forty-Two Articles were submitted for examination before being sanctioned by the Privy Council. According to John Knox, Grindal distinguished himself from most of the court preachers in 1553 by denouncing the worldliness of courtiers and foretelling the evils that would follow the king's death.

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