The life of Dr. George Abbot, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, reprinted with some additions and corrections from the Biographia Britannica; with his character, ... a description of the hospital, which he erected and endowed ... To which are added the lives of his two brothers, Dr. Robert Abbot, ... and Sir Morris Abbot,:
Oldys, William, 1696-1761.
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GEORGE ABBOT, was born October 29th, 1562, at Guildford, in Surrey, of very wor∣thy parents, remarkably distinguished by their steady zeal for the Protestant Religion, for their living long, and happily together, and for their singular felicity in their children.a

While his mother was pregnant with this son, she is said to have had a dream which proved at once an omen, and an instrument of his future fortunes. Her dream was this. She fancied she was told in her Page  2 sleep that if she could eat a Jack, or Pike, the child she went with would prove a son, and rise to great preferment. Not long after this, in taking a pail of water out of the river Wey, which ran by their house, she accidentally caught a Jack, and had thus, an odd opportunity of fulfilling her dream. This story being much talked of, and coming to the ears of some persons of distinction, they offered to be∣come sponsors for the child, which was kindly accept∣ed, and they had the goodness to afford many testi∣monies of their affection to their godson while at school, and after he was sent to the university. Such was the good effects of his mother's dream.

When he was grown up to an age proper for re∣ceiving the first tincture of learning, he was sent with his elder brother Robert to the free school, erected in their native town of Guildford, by K. Edward VI; and having passed thro' the rudiments of Literature, under the care of Mr. Francis Taylor, who had then the direction of that school, he was in 1578 removed to the university of Oxford, and entered a student in Baliol College. On November the 29th, 1583, being then bachelor of arts, he was elected probationer fellow of his college; and afterwards proceeding in the faculty of arts, he entered into holy orders, and became a celebrated preacher in the university. He commenced bachelor of divinity in 1593, and pro∣ceeded doctor in that faculty, in May, 1597: and in the month of September, of the same year, he was elected master of University College. About this time it was, that the first differences began between him and Dr. Laud, which subsisted as long as they lived, and was the cause of great uneasiness to both. On March 6, 1599, he was installed dean of Win∣chester, in the room of Dr. Martin Heton, who was Page  3 preferred to the bishoprick of Ely: Dr. Abbot be∣ing then about thirty-seven years of age.

In 1600, he was vice-chancellor of the Universi∣ty of Oxford, and distinguished himself while in that high office, by the opinion he gave with respect to the setting up again the cross in Cheapside, about which there were great disputes, but in the end he carried his point against Dr. Bancroft, then Bishop of London, and afterwards Archbishop of Canter∣bury; which gained him great reputation as appears by a tract published on that subject.b

Page  4 In 1603, he was again chosen vice-chancellor of the university, and discharged that office a second time with general approbation. In 1605, he was a third time vice-chancellor. In the succeeding year, he is said to have had a great share in the troubles of Laud, who was called to an account by the vice-chan∣cellor, Dr. Ayry, for a Sermon of his preached before the university; and that year likewise, he lost his father and mother.

In 1608, died his great patron Thomas Sackville, Earl of Dorset, Lord High Treasurer of England, and Chancellor of the University of Oxford, sudden∣ly at the council table, at whose funeral, Dr. Abbot preached a sermon, which was afterwards printed, and generally commended. After his decease, Dr. Abbot became chaplain to George Hume, Earl of Dunbar, and Treasurer of Scotland, one of King James's early favourites, and who had all along had Page  5 a very high share in his esteem, and with him he went this year into Scotland, in order to assist in the exe∣cution of a very important design, for establishing an union between the Churches in that kingdom, and this, wherein he behaved with so much prudence and moderation, as gained him a very high character, and is thought to be the first step to all his future preferments.c

Page  6 While he was at Edinburgh upon this occasion, a Page  7 prosecution was commenced against one George Sprot, Notary of Aymouth, for having been con∣cerned in Gowry's conspiracy eight years before, for which he was tried before Sir William Hart, Lord Justice General of Scotland, condemned and execu∣ted. A large account of this affair was drawn up by the judge, and a narrative prefixed thereto, by Dr. Abbot, who had been eye-witness of all that passed, and this was published at London, in order to settle the minds of the people, with regard to that conspiracy; which had hitherto been looked upon as a very mysterious affair, and about the reality of which there had been very great doubts.d

Page  8 The King knew so well the difficulties that were Page  9 to be encountered in this northern nation, that it gave Page  10 him very high ideas of the abilities of the man, who Page  11 was able to overcome them; and therefore, when Page  12 another set of men filled the King's head and heart with apprehensions, he had recourse to Dr. Abbot, as Page  13 the fittest person, to put things again into the right channel. The case was this, his majesty being en∣gaged in the mediation of peace between the crown of Spain, and the United Provinces; by which the sovereignty of the latter, was to be acknowledged by the former: he demanded the advice of the con∣vocation then sitting, as to the lawfulness of espou∣sing the cause of the States. Upon this opening, they launched at once into the wide sea of politicks, and instead of satisfying the King's Scruples, excited new jealousies and apprehensions, as appears by a very singular letter written by him to Dr. Abbot, upon this subjecte.

Page  14 It does not appear what effect this letter of the Page  15 King's produced, but in all probability it answered his majesty's end in writing it, as it is an incontest∣able proof of the confidence he had in the person it was written to. At least thus much is certain, that Dean Abbot, stood so high in the King's favour, that on the death of Dr Overton, Bishop of Litchfield and Coventry, which happened the latter end of April, 1609, his majesty thought of Dr. Abbot for his suc∣cessor, and he was accordingly consecrated Bishop of those united sees, on December 3, in the same year.

But this it seems did not appear in the King's eyes a sufficient recompence, for the services rendered him by so able a man; and therefore, before he had set a month in this bishoprick, he was translated to Lond∣on, that see becoming void by the death of Dr. Tho∣mas Ravis, and he was accordingly removed thither on the 20th of January following. It was but a short time that he possessed both these bishopricks, and yet in that short time, he so remarkably distin∣guished himself by the diligent performance of his function, by constant preaching, and by expressing the utmost readiness to promote learning, and learned men, that he obtained a general good character, as appears from several memorials of those timesf.

Page  16 While the good Bishop was thus employed, a new opportunity offered of the King's testifying his esteem of, and confidence in, this worthy person, by the Archiepiscopal See of Canterbury's becoming vacant as it did, on the 2d of November, 1610, by the death of Dr. Richard Bancroft.

The court Bishops immmediately cast their eyes upon the celebrated Dr. Lancelot Andrews, then Bishop of Ely, and pointed him out to the King, as one sufficiently qualified to take upon him the go∣vernment of the Church; and they thought this re∣commendation Page  17 joined to the King's known regard for the parts and piety of this eminent man, enough to secure his promotion to the Primacy; but either the King himself thought of the Bishop of London, or he was proposed to him by his old friend and patron, the Earl of Dunbar; and therefore, without taking the advice of those prelates, his majesty prefer∣red Bishop Abbot to the throne of Canterbury, in which he was seated on the 9th of April, 1611; and on the 23d of June following, was sworn of his ma∣jesty's most honourable privy council.

Thus we see him, before he had arrived at the age of fifty, exalted to the highest dignity of the Church, and celebrated by one of his con-tempora∣ries, and a bishop too, [Godwin] for his learning, eloquence, and indefatigable diligence in preaching and writing, notwithstanding the great burthen that lay upon him, from the necessary attendance on the duties of his high office; especially presiding in the high commission court, which sat weekly at his pa∣lace, and his regular assisting at council, which, while his health permitted, he never failed.

At this time, he was in the highest favour both with Prince and people; and appears to have had a principal hand in all the great transactions in Church and State; he was never esteemed excessively fond of power, or desirous of carrying his Prerogative, as Primate of England, to an extraordinary height; yet as soon as he had taken possession of the archbishoprick, he shewed a steady resolution in the maintainance of the rights of the high commission court, and would not submit to Lord Coke's prohibitions.

He likewise shewed his concern for the interest of the Protestant Religion abroad, by procuring his majesty's application to the States General, against Page  18 Conrade Vorstius, whom they called to the Profess∣orship of Leyden; in which affair Sir Ralph Win∣wood was employed: and when it was found diffi∣cult to obtain from the States that satisfaction which the King desired, his Grace, in conjunction with the Lord Treasurer, Salisbury, framed an expedient for contenting both parties.

In all probability this alarmed some of the warm churchmen at home, who were by no means pleased with the King's discountenancing abroad, those opi∣nions which themselves favoured in both universities; but, whatever their sentiments upon this matter might be, Archbishop Abbot seems to have had as great concern for the Church, as any of them, when he thought it really in danger, as appears by a short and plain letter of his to Sir Ralph Winwood, about one Mr. Amias, who had been appointed preacher in the English congregation at the Hague, of whom the Bishop says, that he was a fit person to breed up the captains and soldiers there in mutiny and faction, and, consequently, very unfit for his office.

His great concern for the true interest of religion, made him a zealous promoter of the match between the Elector Palatine, and the Princess Elizabeth; and that Prince being here in the beginning of the year 1612, his Grace thought fit to invite the nobi∣lity that attended him to an entertainment, at his ar∣chiepiscopal palace at Lambeth, where, though un∣invited and unexpected, the Elector himself resorted, to shew his great respect for the Archbishop, and was so well pleased with his welcome, that when he feast∣ed the members of the privy council at Essex House, he shewed particular respect to the Archbishop, and thse who attended him.

On the fourteenth of February following, the Page  19 marriage was solemnized with great splendor, the Archbishop performing the ceremony on a stage e∣rected in the middle of the royal chapel; and on the tenth of April, his Electoral Highness returned to Germany; but before his departure, he made a pre∣sent of plate to the Archbishop, of the value of a thousand pounds, as a mark of the just sense he had of the pains his Grace had taken in the accomplish∣ing his marriage; and as an additional mark of his confidence, he wrote to him from Canterbury, in relation to the causes of that discontent, with which he left Englandg

Page  20 The concern his majesty had shewn for removing Arminius first, and then Vorstius, had given their favourers in Holland so much uneasiness, that the famous Hugo Grotius, the great champion of their cause, was sent over to England, to endeavour to mitigate the King's displeasure, and if possible, to give him a better opinion of the Remonstrants, as they began then to be called; and we have a very singular account of the man, and of his negotiation, from the pen of the Archbishoph.

Page  21 In the spring of the year 1613, the affair of the Charterhouse was settled, and at the close of the month of June, his Grace, and the rest of the trus∣tees, took possession of that place, pursuant to the will of Mr. Sutton; and if this gave the Archbishop, Page  22 as no doubt it did, great satisfaction, an affair that happened about the same time, disturbed him not a little.

This was the famous case of divorce between the Lady Frances Howard, daughter to the Earl of Suf∣folk, and Robert, Earl of Essex, her husband; which has been always considered as one of the great∣est blemishes of King James's reign, though the part acted therein by the Archbishop of Canterbury, added much to the reputation he had already acqui∣red, for unshaken and incorruptible integrity.i

Page  23 The circumstances that attended this affair, might Page  24 possibly leffen the King's favour to him in some res∣pects, but he still retained a great share of it, as ap∣pears by the raising his brother to the see of Salisbury, in the year 1615; but with Queen Anne, he stood always on the best terms possible, as we learn from himself, in a passage of a work of his transcribed in the following note.

He made use of his interest with her majesty, when all other applications had failed, to engage her to recommend Mr. George Villiers, so well known af∣terwards in the world, to his majesty's favour, for which at that time, the young man was so grateful as to call him father, and to desire his advice as to his behaviour, which the Archbishop very freely Page  25 gave him; and it had been very happy for him if he had always followed those councilsk.

Page  26 Towards the close of the next year, the famous Antonio de Dominis, Archbishop of Spalato, took shelter here, from the persecution with which he was threatened by the Pope, for discovering his dislike both of the doctrine and discipline of the Church of Rome, and was very kindly received by his majesty, who was pleased to order the Archbishop to entertain him, which he did with generous hospitality, till he was otherways provided for by the King. His Grace Page  27 however thought himself sufficiently recompenced for the trouble given him in this affair by this stran∣ger's procuring for him the manuscript of Father Paul's excellent history of the council of Trent.

In the spring of the year 1618, viz. on the second of March, our good Archbishop lost his brother the Bishop of Salisbury, and before his grief was well over for so near a relation, he met with fresh disturb∣ances from the King's declaration for permitting sports and pastimes on the Lord's day, which was dated at Greenwich, May 24, 1618l.

This declaration was ordered to be read in church∣es, and the Archbishop being accidentally at Croy∣don in Surrey when it came thither, had the courage to forbid it's being read, which however the King winked at, notwithstanding there were some about him, who let no opportunity slip of irritating him against this prelate.

The council of Dort set this year, to which were sent from hence in the beginning of the month of Page  28 October four commissioners, and amongst them Dr Hall, Dean of Winchester, with whose health the climate of Holland disagreeing, he returned, and Dr Goad, the Archbishop's chaplain, was sent in his place.

The end of this year proved as disagreable to the Archbishop as it's beginning; in Autumn, the Queen, his gracious mistress, falling ill of that dis∣temper, which, after a tedious sickness, brought her to her end on the first of March following.

The Archbishop himself began also to grow in∣firm, and finding himself less fit for the affairs of the world than he had been, resolved, while he had still strength, to enter upon a great and good design, which he had long meditated as a testimony of affection to his native town of Guildford, where on the fifth of April, 1619, he laid the first stone of his hospital, and afterwards nobly endowed it; a par∣ticular account of which will be given.

It was towards the end of this year, that the Elector Palatine accepted of the crown of Bohemia, 〈◊〉 occasioned great disputes in King James's 〈◊〉 some desiring that his majesty should not 〈◊〉 in this matter at all, from a foresight that t would produce a war in Germany; others again believing that both natural affection to his son and daughter, and a just concern for the Protestant in∣terest, ought to have engaged his majesty warmly to support the new election. The Archbishop agreed 〈◊〉ntiment with the last mentioned party, and not being able at that time to attend the privy council, he wrote his mind with great plainness and freedom Page  29 the Secretary of Statem

Page  30 The next year was in a great measure spent in de∣bates Page  31 and negotiations upon this subject, in which the King took a great deal of pains with little effect.

The Archbishop's declining state of health, ma∣king exercise a thing not only convenient but necess∣ary for him, he was wont in the summer to make a tour into Hampshire for the sake of recreation, and being invited by the Lord Zouch to hunt in his park at Bramzil upon the edge of Berkshire, and not far from Hartford Bridge, his Grace met there with the greatest misfortune that befel him in the whole course of his life; for hunting in this park on the twenty∣fourth of July, he let fly a barbed arrow from a cross-bow at one of the deer; which unfortunately struck one Peter Hawkins, my Lord Zouch's keep∣er, who was quite out of the Bishop's sight, and had been warned more than once to keep out of the way, in the left arm, by which wound a large blood-ves∣sel being pierced, he bled to death in an hour's time. This unforeseen accident threw the Archbishop into a deep melancholy, tho' he was not conscious to him∣self of the least inadvertency or indiscretion, neither did this wear off in time, but throughout his whole life he observed a monthly fast on a Tuesday, the day on which this fatal mischance fell out, and settled an annuity of twenty pounds on the widow, which soon procured her another husband.

This affair made a very great noise, and there wanted not some to represent it in a sinister light to King James, but his majesty gave his judgment of matter in a short and clear sentence, An angel, said he, might have miscarried in this sort. When he was afterwards informed of the legal penalties which his grace had incurred by this accident, he wrote him a consolatory letter with his own hand, in which a∣mongst Page  32 other things he told him, that he would not add affliction to his sorrow, or take one farthing from his chattels or moveables which were forfeited by law.

The Archbishop immediately on this misfortune retired to his own hospital at Guildford, there to wait the decision of the great point as to the irregu∣larity, which some imagined he had incurred, for it happened very unluckily that at this juncture, there were four Bishops elected but not consecrated, viz. Dr John Williams, lord keeper of the great seal, to the see of Lincoln; Dr John Davenant, to that of Salisbury; Dr Valentine Cary, to that of Exeter; and his old antagonist Dr William Laud, whose preferment, on this occasion, he had warmly oppo∣sed, to that of St David's; and all, except Dr Da∣venant, scrupled the Archbishop's capacity to lay hands on them till he was cleared from all imputa∣tion as to this fact. The King being informed of this, directed, in the beginning of October follow∣ing, a commission to the ten following persons, viz. the Lord Keeper; the Bishops of London, Winch∣ester, and Rochester; the Elects of Exeter and St Davids; Sir Henry Hobart, Lord Chief Justice of the common pleas; Sir John Dodderidge, one of the justices of the King's bench; Sir Henry Mar∣tin, Dean of the Arches; and Dr. Steward; to consider and resolve the three following questions. 1. Whether the Archbishop was irregular by the fact of involuntary bomicide? The Bishop of Winchester, the two Judges, and the two Civilians, were very clear that he was not irregular; the other five thought he he was. 2. Whether that act might tend to scandal in a churchman? The Bishop of Winchester, the Lord Chief Justice Hobart, and Dr Steward, doubted; all the rest agreed, that a scandal might be taken tho' Page  33 not given. 3. How his Grace should be restored, in case the King should follow the decision of those commission∣ers, who had found him irregular? All agreed that it could not be otherwise done than by restitution from the King, but they varied in the manner. The Bishop of Winchester, the Lord Chief Justice, and Dr Steward, thought it should be done by the King, and by him alone, in the same patent with the par∣don. The Lord Keeper, and the Bishops of Lond∣on, Rochester, Exeter, and St David's, were for a commission from the King directed to some Bishops. Judge Dodderidge, and Sir Henry Martin, were desirous it should be done both ways, for abundant caution. This return was made to his majesty on the tenth of November 1621, and accordingly a pardon and a dispensation both bearing date at West∣minster, the twenty-second of November, passed the great seal, by which his majesty assoiled the Arch∣bishop from all irregularity, scandal, or infamation, (if any was incurred) and declared him capable of all metropolitical authority, as if this accident had never happened. Such was the close of this business, after a great variety of proceedings, and many ar∣guments published on both sidesn.

Page  34 Yet all this could not satisfy the minds of those who had scrupled the power of laying on hands, and therefore they petitioned the King, that they might not be compelled to wound their consciences by sub∣mitting to such a consecration; and, in compliance with their desire, the Bishop of Lincoln was conse∣crated in King Henry VII's chapel, on the eleventh of November, by the Bishops of London, Wor∣cester, Ely, Oxford, and Llandaff; and the Bish∣ops of Sarum, Exeter, and St David's, in the chapel of the Bishop of London's palace, on the eighteenth of November, by the same reverend Prelates.

It does not appear, that his Grace was at all lessened, by the suggestions of his enemies, in the King's favour, or his courage in any degree abated, by the troubles he had met witho. On the con∣trary, Page  35 we find him, in the year 1622, opposing the Spanish match, which was a thing the King had set his heart upon, with the greatest firmness and spirit, and even venturing, under his hand, to give his sentiments on that subject in terms so vigorous and pathetick, that no pen can properly represent them but his ownp. The King however remained Page  36 fixed in his resolution, and the articles agreed on for Page  37 the said marriage, were sworn to, in the presence of the Archbishop, and other great officers of state, notwithstanding which they never took effect.

The Archbishop thenceforward assisted but seldom at council, being hindered chiefly by his infirmities, but in the King's last sickness he was called for, and attended with great constancy, and received the highest marks of the King's confidence, to the very last moment of his life, and was near him when he expired, on the twenty-seventh of March 1625.

At the coronation of King Charles I, the Arch∣bishop, as his office required, set the crown upon his majesty's head, tho' he was extremely weak, and much troubled with the gout, but thenceforward he visibly declined in the King's favour, and the Duke of Buckingham, who was his declared enemy, watched for an opportunity to make the Archbishop Page  38 feel the weight of his displeasure.

This was at last taken, for his refusing to license a sermon, preached by one Dr Sibthorpe, Vicar of Brackley in Northamptonshire, to justify and pro∣mote a loan, which the King had demanded. This sermon was preached at Northampton, in the Lent assizes 1627 before the Judges at Northampton, and it was transmitted to the Bishop, with the King's directi∣on, to license it, which he refused to do, and gave his reasons for it; notwithstanding which, the sermon was licensed by the Bishop of London, (Dr Moun∣taigne) after many things had been corrected therein, from the lights given by the Archbishop's objections, for which however it was resolved that he should suffer. Discourses of this nature were so loud at court, that some of his Grace's friends overheard and reported them to him, upon which he thought fit to retire to his palace at Croydon; a month before his usual time. On the fifth of July, Lord Con∣way, who was then Secretary of State, made him a visit, and intimated to him, that the King expected he should withdraw to Canterbury, which the Arch∣bishop declined, because he had a law-suit at that time with that city, and desired he might rather have leave to go to his house at Ford, five miles beyond Canterbury, which was yielded to; and on the ninth of October following, the King granted a commission to the Bishops of London, Durham, Rochester, Oxford, and Bath and Wells, to execute archiepiscopal authority, the cause assigned being no more than this, That the Archbishop could not at that time, in his own person, attend those services, which were otherwise proper for his cognizance and jurisdiction. Some writers have pretended, that his supposed irre∣gularity, occasioned by the Death of Peter Hawkins, Page  39 was revived; but the commission which is extant on record shews the contrary, nor indeed was that affair ever thought of afterwards; but the Archbishop did not remain long in this situation, for the necessities of the times rendering a parliament necessary, his Grace was sent for about Christmas, and not only restored to his authority aad jurisdiction, but, on his coming to court from his palace at Lambeth, was received when he quitted his barge, by the Archbishop of York and the Earl of Dorset, who conducted him to his majesty, where, having kissed the King's hand, he was desired not to fail the coun∣cil chamber twice a week. His Grace sat in that parliament which began on the seventeenth of March following, and continued in the full exercise of his office ever after, of which it may not be amiss to take notice in this single instance. On the twenty-fourth of August 1628, he consecrated Richard Montagu, to the see of Chichester, a man who had been remarkably busy in supporting th pretence of his irregularity, and at this consecration Dr Laud, then Bishop of London, assisted, which is the clearest proof that can be, that no doubts stuck longer as to his irregularity, even with those who loved him least.

In parliament, the Archbishop maintained his credit in as high a degree as any of his predecessors, and it is more than probable, that the knowledge of this procured him such marks of respect, as were at this time afforded him by the court. When the Petition of Right, that great pillar of the English liberty, was under consideration, the Arch∣bishop of Canterbury delivered the sense of the house of Lords thereupon, at a conference with the house of Commons, and at the same time, laid Page  40 before them such propositions as their Lordships had agreed upon, for which, thanks were returned, in set speech, by Sir Dudley Diggs.

The interest of Bishop Laud was now so great at court, that he drew up a scheme of instructions, which having the King's name at the head of them, were, in the month of December, 1629, transmitted to his Grace, under the pompous title, His Majesty's instructions to the most reverend father in God, George, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, containing certain orders to be observed and put in execution, by the several Bishops in his province. These instructions his Grace com∣municated to his suffragan Bishops, in which, as Heylin observes, he acted ministerially; but to shew that he still meant to exercise his own authority in his own diocese, he restored Mr Palmer and Mr Udnay to their lectureships, after the Dean and Archdeacon of Canterbury had suspended them; and, in other respects, softened the rigour of those instructions, which were contrived to enforce the particular no∣tions of a prevailing party in the Church, which the Archbishop thought a burden too hard to be borne by the tender consciences of those who made the fundamentals of religion their study, and were not so zealous for forms.

His conduct in this and other respects, is said to have made his presence unwelcome at court, and o indeed it seems to have been, for upon the birth of Charles, Prince of Wales, (afterwards King Charles II,) which happened on the 29th of May, 1630, Laud, then Bishop of London, had the honour to baptize him as Dan of the chapel, notwithstanding that the Archbishop of Canterbury is the Ordinary of the court, and the King's houshold, wherever it is, are regarded as his parishioners; so this was Page  41 visibly as much a slight upon the Archbishop, as an act of favour towards his antagonist.

The Archbishop however was proof against all such accidents as these, and went on doing his duty without fear or favour, and yet one of the last acts of his life plainly shews, that he was very far from being so indifferent towards the discipline and cere∣monies of the Church of England, as some have represented him. This act of his was an order dated the third of July 1633, requiring the parish∣ioners of Crayford in Kent, to receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, on their knees, at the steps ascending to the communion table.

We may well stile this one of his last acts, since a month aterwards, viz. on the fourth of August in the same year, he deceased at his palace of Croydon, worn out with cares and infirmities, at the age of seventy-one.

He was buried according to his own express direction, in the chapel of our Lady, within the church dedicated to the holy Trinity, in his native town of Guildford in Surrey. Soon after his de∣cease, a noble monument was erected over his grave with the effigies of the Archbishop in his Episcopal robes, and over that his Parliament Robes, in white marble, lying under the Arch supported by six black marble pillars of the Dorick Order, raised on pedestals of books piled up. In niches, at the East end of the Monument, are two figures, over their heads, thus, Hinc Lumen [Hence Light], Hic Gratia [Here Grace]. On the top prettily disposed are nine small figures, one of which has the following in∣scription, Fidit & Patitur [he Trusts and Suffers.] On the West end, below the cushion, is a representa∣tion Page  42 of a sepulchre filled with skulls and bones, with an iron grate before it: and on several parts of the monument, are the arms of Abbot.

On the west end is this Inscription in capitals


Honoratissimi Archi-Praesulis, Doctoris Georgii Abbot, qui hanc natalibus Guilfordiam, studiis literarum Oxoniam decoravit, ubi Socius primo Collegii Baliol, dein Collegii Universitatis Praefectus, et Academiae Pro∣caxeliarius laudatissimus, Prudentiae, Pietatis, Erudi∣tionis aestimatione adeo gratiam pientissimi Regumque omium doctissimi, Jacobi, Magnae Britanniae Monar∣c•• promeruit ut post Decanatum Winton. ad Episco∣patum Covent: & Lichfield. mox ad London. statim ad Cant. Archiepiscopatum, et totius Angliae Pri∣matum, et Sacratissimi Concilii Regii Senatum cito sub∣volaret: Cum{que} inde altius in terris non posset, coelos pe••it, derum, honorum plenus. Fratri, eidm{que} Patri summe venerando, Mauricius Abbot Eques Auratus, 〈◊〉 m••rentssimus hie aeviternum parentat.


Sacred to the Memory

Of the most Honourable Archbishop Doctor George Abbot, who graced this Town of Guildford with his Birth, and Oxford with his Studies, where first he was Fellow of Baliol College, then Master of University College, and worthy Vice-Chancellor of the University. By his great Prudence, Piety, and Learning, he so erited the favour of the most pious and learned of all Kings, James King of Great-Britain, that from the Dean'r o Wnchester, e was translated to the Bishop∣rickPage  43of Coventry and Litchfield, soon after to London, and then to the Archbishoprick of Canterbury, and Primacy of all England, and one of his Majesty's Privy Council. When he could go no higher on the earth he ascended to Heaven, full of Years and Honour. Maurice Abbot, full of sorrow, a Knight of the gilt Spurs, eternally pays the Funeral Obsequies to his de∣serving Brother, and the same his [ghostly] Father, greatly to be revered.

At the East end, at his feet, is this inscription.

Memoriae Sacrum

Magni hic (Hospes) Hospitis Monumenta vides, sd Mortui videsis viventis etiam viventia. Quod pagum unc utrius{que} sexus Ptocho-Trophio sumptuoso, Provin∣ciae suae Metropolin Aquaeductu specioso ornavit. Quod primas Annos 22 praesederit duorum optimorum R. R. Conciliis inservierit, Carolum pium Dademate et Unct∣one sacravit: Quod R. Jacobi jussu Ecclesias olim Scotiae perlustravit, quod curà ipsius eundem R. erud∣tiss. Academia Oxon. allubescentiâ mirâ exceperit, sibi{que} tum Burgenses Parliamenti, tum Auctiores Professorum reditus impetravit; Quanti haec! sed quod pie, patienter, ••benter tanta liquerit; hoc unm in ultimis recensen∣dum, in primis censendum censeas Hospes, et valeas.


Sacred to Eternal Memory.

Reader, here you see the Monument of a great Man, now dead, you may see also the memorable Deeds of his Life, which now remain. He adorn'd this Town Page  44a sumptuous Hospital, for both Sexes; and the Metropo∣lis of his Province with a spaious Aqueduct. He pre∣sided as Primate 22 Years; was in the Privy-Council of two emin••t Kings; and crown'd and aninted Charles 〈…〉 By the ord r o K. James, he surveyed for∣merly the Church of Scotland; by his care, the Univer∣sity of Oxford receiv'd the same learned King with sigu••r sat •••ction; e 〈◊〉 likewise for it Members to sre in 〈◊〉〈◊〉 a re Salary for the Pro∣fessors. How 〈…〉 this one thing is to be accounted 〈…〉 that he left such great Things, 〈…〉 and willingly, but you, Reader, may e 〈…〉 as to think it of great con••quence. aewel.

On the cushion under his head, thus;

〈◊〉 Ao D. 1633. Augusti d IVto. Anno Aetai XXXI.

The facts related in the ••••ription, sufficiently prove that e 〈◊〉 a man of great natural parts, and those 〈◊〉 improved, or the worthy perform∣ance 〈…〉 h s high station in the Church 〈◊〉.

e shewed h mself in many circumstances of his life, a man of great moderation towards all parties, 〈…〉 to the Protetant religion, an honest 〈…〉 not 〈◊〉 humble courtier, and one 〈…〉 should have attracted the 〈…〉 laity, by the sanct∣ity of 〈…〉 and the uprightness of their behaviour, rath••〈◊〉 have claimed them as ne∣ce••ariy annexed to their function. These notions of his, 〈◊〉 little with the humour of some Page  45 writers, has drawn upon him many reflections that he did not deserveq.

Page  46 The general historians of those times ran much into writing of characters, and that which Hammond l'Estrange bestowed upon the Archbishop, has been copied into various works. Dr. Heylin, in his life of Abp. Laud, makes use of it to express what he did not care should fall from his own pen, though upon other occasions, he has treated this writer in his history very freely. Lloyd, in his State Worthies, has copied that character without naming his author, Page  47 and to say the truth, it is from thence, that most of the strokes of satire bestowed upon the memory of this great man have been stolen; [see the notes [q] and [r] and yet how little suitable that character is to the person for whom it was drawn, the reader will easily perceive from the piece itselfr. He Page  48 has not met with much better quarter from the noble historian, tho' there is more of decency preserved in his animadversions, as the reader will perceive from the picture of our Archbishop drawn by his pens. A later writer justly esteemed for his Page  49 perfect knowledge of the English history, and not Page  50 so much addicted to party, has done much more justice to the virtues and abilities of this great Prelate, and therefore we held it reasonable to annex his testimony to these memoirst.

His charity and publick spirit ought certainly to have been set in a clearer light, than hitherto they have been, by the friends to the Church; the rather, because a writer, remarkable for his keenness, [Heylin] has been pleased to assert, that marks of his∣benesaction we find none, in places of his breeding and preferment; which is at once an unjust and unchristi∣an aspersion, as will be made appearu.

Page  51 In regard to his learning, succeeding ages may judge thereof, from his writings upon various sub∣jects, of the most remarkable of which, we have, for the reader's satisfaction, added a succinct ac∣countx

Page  52 It may not be amiss to observe here, that there was Page  53 another writer of both his names, who flourished somewhat later. This George Abbot wrote a paraphrase on Job, a vindication of the Sabbath, and a paraphrase on the Psalms. This last was printed in 1650, and it appears from thence, that the author was lately dead, and had been, while living, a member of the parliament then sitting. Another George Abbot, fellow of Merton college in Oxford, Page  54 in 1622, and who took the degree of Bachelor of Law, in 1630, was our Prelate's nephew, and the son of Sir Maurice Abbot, but it does not appear that he was a writer.