Bancroft Gardens, HA3

Place Name

Richard Bancroft (September 1544 – November 2, 1610) served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1604 until his death, notably he was “chief overseer” of the King James Bible. This is one of a cluster of streets that remembers the Lords of Harrow Manor Rectory alias Harrow-on-the-Hill, which came to the church in the 9thCentury via a priest named Werhardt. From 1094 Harrow Rectory was a peculiar of the archbishopric of Canterbury, with the rector having sole manorial jurisdiction over Harrow-on-the-Hill and Roxborough, allowing him to collect tithes over a large area. This was a prized position which attracted ambitious and important men, and the rectory house was accordingly fine and spacious. The archbishops of Canterbury lost much of this prized possession on December 30, 1545 when Henry VIII forced the then incumbent, Thomas Cranmer, to sell the property to him. Six days later, the king sold it to Sir Edward (later Lord) North, Chancellor of the Court of Augmentations and a court favourite. It remained in his family’s ownership until 1630. After local grammar school in Cheshire Bancroft moved to Cambridge, attending Christ’s College, followed by Jesus College. He was made Bishop of London and was at the death of Queen Elizabeth I. He was then promoted to chief primate where he was known for his fiery attacks on puritans, he also laid laid the foundations of the Scottish Episcopal Church. He died at Lambeth Palace.


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