Farnworth – Richard Bancroft – 1604

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Farnworth is a township in the Bolton Union, and forms part of the ancient parish of Deane. It lies on the highroad from Bolton to Manchester, and overlooks the winding and picturesque valley of the river Irwell.

Richard Bancroft was born in Farnworth during the reign of Henry VIII and became the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1604 during the reign of James I.


Richard Bancroft (1544-1610) – Archbishop of Canterbury 1604

Farnworth was the birthplace of Richard Bancroft.  He was the second son of John Bancroft, by Mary, daughter of Mr. John Curwyn, and niece of Hugh Curwyn, Archbishop of Dublin.  He was born in September, 1544, receiving his early education in the free school of his native village; was afterwards entered as a student of Christ’s College, Cambridge, took his degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1567, and that of Master of Arts in [1570].  He was successively chaplain to the Bishop of Ely; rector of Feversham; one of the preachers of the University; Bachelor of Divinity; rector of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, London; Doctor of Divinity; treasurer of St. Paul’s Cathedral; chaplain to Lord Chancellor Hatton; rector of Cottingham; prebendary of St. Paul’s; prebendary of Westminster; canon of Canterbury; chaplain to Dr. Whitgift, the Archbishop of Canterbury; Bishop of London in 1597; Archbishop of Canterbury in 1604; a Lord of the Privy Council in 1605; Chancellor of the University of Oxford in [1608]. He was the chief overseer of the last translation of the Bible.  He died on the 2nd of November, [1610], in the 67th year of his age, and was buried in the chancel of Lambeth Church.

Whatever may be thought of his opinions there can be no doubt that he was a man of extraordinary abilities; that he gave himself with rare devotion to the service of the church; and his career is only one among many proofs of the fact that diligence, integrity, and persevering activity can command the highest honours without the aid of noble birth or family influence.

Excerpt from Proceedings at the Opening of Farnworth Park – 1864


Further Reading and External Links

Farnworth Park Archive Pictures 

Richard Bancroft – Archbishop of Canterbury