|Archbishop of Canterbury|
|Church||Church of England|
|Consecration||10 January 1692|
by John Tillotson
|Born||29 September 1636|
Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, England
|Died||14 December 1715 79) (aged|
|Alma mater||Corpus Christi College, Cambridge|
Thomas Tenison (29 September 1636 – 14 December 1715) was an English church leader, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1694 until his death. During his primacy, he crowned two British monarchs.
He was born at Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, the son and grandson of Anglican clergymen, who were both named John Tenison; his mother was Mercy Dowsing. He was educated at Norwich School, going on to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, as a scholar on Archbishop Matthew Parker's foundation. He graduated in 1657, and was chosen fellow in 1659.For a short time he studied medicine, but in 1659 was privately ordained. As curate of St Andrew the Great, Cambridge from 1662, he set an example by his devoted attention to the sufferers from the plague. In 1667 he was presented to the living of Holywell-cum-Needingworth, Huntingdonshire, by the Earl of Manchester, to whose son he had been tutor, and in 1670 to that of St Peter Mancroft, Norwich.
In 1680 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity, and was presented by King Charles II to the important London church of St Martin-in-the-Fields. Tenison, according to Gilbert Burnet, "endowed schools including Archbishop Tenison's School, Lambeth, founded in 1685 and Archbishop Tenison's School, Croydon, founded in 1714, set up a public library, and kept many curates to assist him in his indefatigable labours". Being a strenuous opponent of the Church of Rome, and "Whitehall lying within that parish, he stood as in the front of the battle all King James's reign". In 1678, in a Discourse of Idolatry, he had condemned the heathenish idolatry practised in the Church of Rome, and in a sermon which he published in 1681 on Discretion in Giving Alms was attacked by Andrew Poulton, head of the Jesuits in the Savoy. Tenison's reputation as an enemy of Romanism led the Duke of Monmouth to send for him before his execution in 1685, when Bishops Thomas Ken and Francis Turner refused to administer holy communion; but, although Tenison spoke to him in "a softer and less peremptory manner" than the two bishops, he was, like them, not satisfied with the sufficiency of Monmouth's penitence.
Under King William III, Tenison was in 1689 named a member of the ecclesiastical commission appointed to prepare matters towards a reconciliation of the Dissenters, the revision of the liturgy being specially entrusted to him. A sermon he preached on the commission was published the same year.
He strongly supported, at least in public, the Glorious Revolution, though not without some private misgivings, especially concerning the ejection of Archbishop William Sancroft and the other "non-juring" bishops. Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Clarendon in his diary records some frank remarks made by Tenison on this subject at a dinner party in 1691:
That there had been irregularities in our settlement; that it was wished that things had been otherwise, but that we were now to make the best of it, and support this government as it was, for fear of a worse.
He preached a funeral sermon for Nell Gwyn in 1687, in which he represented her as truly penitent – a charitable judgment that did not meet with universal approval. The general liberality of Tenison's religious views won him royal favour, and, after being made Bishop of Lincoln in 1691, he was promoted to Archbishop of Canterbury in December 1694.
He attended Queen Mary during her last illness and preached her funeral sermon in Westminster Abbey.When William in 1695 went to take command of the army in the Netherlands, Tenison was appointed one of the seven lords justices to whom his authority was delegated. After Mary's death, Tenison was one of those who persuaded the King that his long and bitter quarrel with her sister Anne must be ended, as it had weakened the authority of the Crown. He was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council of England in 1695 upon his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury. This gave him the Honorific Title "The Right Honourable" for Life.
Along with Gilbert Burnet he attended the King on his deathbed. He crowned William's successor, Queen Anne, but during her reign was in very little favour at court : the Queen thought that he inclined too much to the Low Church, and clashed repeatedly with him over her sole right to appoint bishops. She entirely ignored his wishes when she appointed Sir Jonathan Trelawny, 3rd Baronet, as Bishop of Winchester: when he tried to remonstrate, the Queen cut him short with the cold remark that "the matter was decided." Only with great difficulty did he persuade her to appoint his nominee William Wake, as Bishop of Lincoln.
Increasingly he lost influence to John Sharp, Archbishop of York, whom the Queen found far more congenial.He was a commissioner for the Union with Scotland in 1706; but in the last years of the Queen's reign was he very much a secondary political figure, and from September 1710, though he was still nominally a member of the Cabinet, ceased to attend its meetings. A strong supporter of the Hanoverian succession, who shocked many by referring to Anne's death as a blessing, he was one of three officers of state to whom, on the death of Anne, was entrusted the duty of appointing a regent till the arrival of George I, whom he crowned on 20 October 1714. For the last time at the coronation of an English monarch, the Archbishop asked if the people accepted their new King: the witty Catherine Sedley, former mistress of James II, remarked "Does the old fool think we will say no?" Tenison died in London a year later. He was instrumental in the last years of his life in the literary executorship of Sir Thomas Browne's manuscript writings known as Christian Morals.
He married Anne, daughter of Richard Love; but died without issue.Edward Tenison (1673–1735) LL.B (Cantab.), his cousin, became Bishop of Ossory (Ireland) (1730/1731-1735). Another relative, Richard Tennison (1642-1705), became Bishop of Meath. Thomas is said to have advanced Richard in his career: in his will he left legacies to all of Richard's five sons.
In appearance he was described as a large, brawny, "hulking" figure, very strong when young but afflicted with gout in later life.
The personal coat of arms of Archbishop Tenison consist of the arms of the see of Canterbury impaled with the Tenison family arms. The former, placed on the dexter side of honour, are blazoned as: Azure, an archiepiscopal cross in pale or surmounted by a pall proper charged with four crosses patee fitchee sable . The arms of Tenison, placed on the sinister side of the escutcheon are blazoned as: Gules, a bend engrailed argent voided azure, between three leopard's faces or jessant-de-lys azure. In standard English: a red field bearing a white (or silver) diagonal band with scalloped edges, and a narrower blue band running down its centre. This lies between three gold heraldic lion's faces, each of which is pierced by a fleur-de-lys entering through the mouth.
These arms are a difference, or variant, of the mediaeval arms of the family of Denys of Siston, Gloucestershire, and may have been adopted by the Tenison family because its name signifies "Denys's or Denis's son". The arms were originally those of the Norman de Cantilupe family, whose feudal tenants the Denys family probably were in connection with Candleston Castle in Glamorgan. St Thomas Cantilupe (d.1282), bishop of Hereford, gave a reversed (i.e. upside down) version of the Cantilupe arms to the see of Hereford, which uses them to this day. A version of the Denys arms was also adopted by the family of the poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, not known to have been a descendant of Archbishop Thomas Tenison.
In 2016, during the refurbishment of the Garden Museum,which is housed at the medieval church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, 30 lead coffins were found; one with an archbishop's red and gold mitre on top of it. Two archbishops were identified from nameplates on their coffins; with church records revealing that a further three archbishops, including Tenison, were likely to be buried in the vault.
Boniface of Savoy was a medieval Bishop of Belley in France and Archbishop of Canterbury in England. He was the son of Thomas, Count of Savoy, and owed his initial ecclesiastical posts to his father. Other members of his family were also clergymen, and a brother succeeded his father as count. One niece was married to King Henry III of England and another was married to King Louis IX of France. It was Henry who secured Boniface's election as Archbishop, and throughout his tenure of that office he spent much time on the continent. He clashed with his bishops, with his nephew-by-marriage, and with the papacy, but managed to eliminate the archiepiscopal debt which he had inherited on taking office. During Simon de Montfort's struggle with King Henry, Boniface initially helped Montfort's cause, but later supported the king. After his death in Savoy, his tomb became the object of a cult, and he was eventually beatified in 1839.
John Peckham was Archbishop of Canterbury in the years 1279–1292. He was a native of Sussex who was educated at Lewes Priory and became a Friar Minor about 1250. He studied at the University of Paris under Bonaventure, where he would later teach theology. From his teaching, he came into conflict with Thomas Aquinas, with whom he debated on two occasions. Known as a conservative theologian, he opposed Aquinas' views on the nature of the soul. Peckham also studied optics and astronomy, and his studies in those subjects were influenced by Roger Bacon.
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John Whitgift was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1583 to his death. Noted for his hospitality, he was somewhat ostentatious in his habits, sometimes visiting Canterbury and other towns attended by a retinue of 800 horses. Whitgift's theological views were often controversial.
Matthew Parker was an English bishop. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Church of England from 1559 until his death in 1575. He was also an influential theologian and arguably the co-founder of a distinctive tradition of Anglican theological thought.
Thomas Bourchier was a medieval English cardinal, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor of England.
John Potter was Archbishop of Canterbury (1737–1747).
William Wake was a priest in the Church of England and Archbishop of Canterbury from 1716 until his death in 1737.
John Strype was an English clergyman, historian and biographer.
Edmund Gibson was a British divine who served as Bishop of Lincoln and Bishop of London, jurist, and antiquary.
John Overall (1559–1619) was the 38th bishop of the see of Norwich from 1618 until his death one year later. He had previously served as Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, as Dean of St Paul's Cathedral from 1601, as Master of Catharine Hall from 1598, and as Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University from 1596. He also served on the Court of High Commission and as a Translator of the King James Version of the Bible.
Archbishop Tenison's Church of England High School, commonly known as Tenison's, is a co-educational 11-18, voluntary aided, school in the London Borough of Croydon, England, part of the educational provision of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark and Croydon Council. It is a specialist Mathematics and Computing College.
Archbishop Tenison's C of E School, commonly known as Tenison's, is a Church of England mixed secondary School located in the London Borough of Lambeth.
John Sharp, English divine who served as Archbishop of York.
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George Hooper was a learned and influential English High church cleric of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. He served as bishop of the Welsh diocese, St Asaph, and later for the diocese of Bath and Wells, as well as chaplain to members of the royal family.
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John Johnson, of Cranbrook (1662–1725) was an English clergyman, known as a theologian in the Laudian tradition.
Jessant-de-lys is a heraldic term denoting a fleur-de-lys issuing out of any object. It is most frequently seen in conjunction with a leopard's face, meaning in heraldic language the face of a lion.
Edward Tenison (1673–1735) was an English bishop of Ossory. An example of the workings of the system of patronage in the Church of England, Tenison also was a significant Whig and controversialist.
|Church of England titles|
| Bishop of Lincoln |
| Archbishop of Canterbury |