Lancelot Andrewes was born at Allhallows, Barking, in 1555. He was an excellent scholar at Merchant Tailor’s School, and gained a fellowship at Pembroke College, Cambridge. When Jesus College, Oxford, was founded, young Andrewes was invited to be one of its foundation fellows, and in 1580 he took holy orders. He was a great favorite with Queen Elizabeth, who appointed him one of her chaplains and Dean of Westminster.
At the accession of James I, Andrewes rose higher still in Court favor, and was made Bishop of Chichester in 1605, and had promotions showered upon him. Andrewes became successively Bishop of Ely and of Winchester. He headed the list of authorised translators of the Bible in 1611. Fuller tells us that James I had so great an awe and veneration of Andrewes that, in the bishop’s presence, he refrained from that uncouth and unsavoury jesting in which he was accustomed to indulge at other times.
This admirable prelate, “an infinite treasure, an amazing oracle,” died at Winchester House, Southwark, on September 25, 1626. His English Sermons, at the particular desire of Charles I, were collected by Laud and Buckeridge, and ninety-six of them were published in 1628. In his lifetime there had only appeared a little volume of sermons on the Lord’s Prayer, entitled Scala Cæli, in 1611.
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