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THOMAS SECKER (1693-1768)

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 570 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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THOMAS SECKER (1693-1768), archbishop of Canterbury, was born at Sibthorpe, Nottinghamshire. He studied medicine in London, Paris and Leiden, receiving his M.D. degree at Leiden in 1721. Having decided to take orders he graduated, by special letters from the chancellor, at Exeter College, Oxford, and was ordained in 1722. In 1724 he became rector of Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, resigning in 1727 on his appointment to the rectory of Ryton, Durham, and to a canonry of Durham. He became rector of St James's, Westminster, in 1733, and bishop of Bristol in 1735. About this time George II. commissioned him to arrange a reconciliation between the prince of Wales and himself, but the attempt was unsuccessful. In 1737 he was translated to Oxford, and he received the deanery of St Paul's in 1750. In 1758 he became archbishop of Canterbury. His advocacy of an American episcopate, in connexion with which he wrote the Answer to Dr Mayhew's Observations on the Charter and Conduct of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (London 1764), raised considerable opposition in England and America. His principal work was Lectures on the Catechism of the Church of England (London, 1769).
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