The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Parker, Matthew
PARKER, Matthew, the second Protestant archbishop of Canterbury, born in Norwich, Aug. 6, 1504, died in London, May 17, 1575. He entered Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, in 1520, and in 1527 was ordained, made M. A., and received a fellowship, and was offered by Cardinal Wolsey a professorship in his newly founded college at Oxford. In 1533 he received a license to preach, and soon after became chaplain to Anne Boleyn, dean of the college of Stoke Clare in 1535, chaplain to Henry VIII. in 1537, master of Corpus Christi college in 1544, vice chancellor of Cambridge university in 1545, and dean of Lincoln in 1552. Upon the outbreak of Kett's insurrection in 1549, he had the boldness to preach to the rebels in their camp, exhorting them to submission. Having married in 1547, he was deprived upon the accession of Queen Mary of his offices, and during her reign was obliged to remain in obscurity. Part of this time he spent in translating the Psalms into English verse, and writing a treatise entitled “A Defence of Priests' Marriages.” On the accession of Queen Elizabeth he was chosen archbishop of Canterbury, and on Dec. 17, 1559, consecrated in Lambeth chapel. He successfully combated the queen's lingering affection for the use of images, filled all the vacant sees with men of decided Protestant opinions, and strove to render the rites and ceremonies of the church as uniform as possible. He founded several schools, and made many valuable presents to the colleges at Cambridge, besides establishing scholarships and fellowships. He was one of the first chosen to review the “Book of Common Prayer,” and the revision called the “Bishop's Bible” was made in great part under his inspection, and published at his expense in 1568. He published a Saxon homily on the sacraments, and caused to be printed the chronicles of Matthew of Westminster, Matthew Paris, and Thomas Walsingham, and Asser's “Life of King Alfred.” The work entitled De Antiquitate Britannicæ Ecclesiæ (1572) is commonly attributed to him, and without doubt he had much to do with its preparation.