John Whitgift (c. 1530 – February 29, 1604) was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1583 until his death. He was renowned for his extravagance and, at least according to The Christian Remembrancer, would visit towns within his see with a retinue of 800 to 1,000 horses. He was also the scourge of the Puritans, having many leading members arrested. It was Whitgift who attended Elizabeth on her deathbed, and who crowned James I. More locally he set up charitable foundations (almshouses), now The Whitgift Foundation, in Croydon, supporting homes for the elderly and infirm, and runs three independent schools – Whitgift School, which was founded in 1596. He is buried in Croydon Minster. Like many of the nearby roads it is named after a former Archbishop of Canterbury, who used Croydon Palace as a summer residence to escape the plague as it periodically ravaged through the City of London.
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