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Dean of Westminster

The west façade of the Abbey

The Dean of Westminster is the head of the chapter at Westminster Abbey. Due to the Abbey's status as a Royal Peculiar, the dean answers directly to the British monarch (not to the Bishop of London as ordinary, nor to the Archbishop of Canterbury as metropolitan). Initially, the office was a successor to that of abbot of Westminster, and was for the first 10 years cathedral dean for the Diocese of Westminster. The deanery is currently vacant.

List of deansEdit

 
The Deanery at Westminster Abbey
Name Portrait Term of office
William Benson
(formerly last abbot of the Benedictine abbey)
  1540 1549[†]
Richard Cox   1549 1553
Hugh Weston   1553 1556
Vacancy (restored as Benedictine abbey)
John Feckenham, abbot
1556 1559
William Bill   1560 1561[†]
Gabriel Goodman   1561 1601[†]
Lancelot Andrewes   1601 1605
Richard Neile
(in commendam as Bishop of Rochester from 1608)
  1605 1610
George Montaigne   1610 1617
Robert Tounson   1617 1620
John Williams
(in commendam as Bishop of Lincoln 1621–41,
as Archbishop of York from 1641)
  1620 1644
Richard Steward
(not installed)
  1644 1651[†]
Vacancy (English Interregnum) 1651 1660
John Earle   1660 1662
John Dolben
(in commendam as Bishop of Rochester from 1666[R 1])
  1662 1683
Thomas Sprat
(in commendam as Bishop of Rochester from 1684[R 1])
  1683 1713[†]
Francis Atterbury
(in commendam as Bishop of Rochester[R 1])
  1713 1723
Samuel Bradford
(in commendam as Bishop of Rochester[R 1])
  1723 1731[†]
Joseph Wilcocks
(in commendam as Bishop of Rochester[R 1])
  1731 1756[†]
Zachary Pearce
(in commendam as Bishop of Rochester[R 1])
  1756 1768
John Thomas
(in commendam as Bishop of Rochester from 1774[R 1])
  1768 1793[†]
Samuel Horsley
(in commendam as Bishop of Rochester[R 1])
  1793 1802
William Vincent   1802 1815[†]
John Ireland   1816 1842[†]
Thomas Turton   1842 1845
Samuel Wilberforce   March–October 1845
William Buckland   1845 1856[†]
Richard Chenevix Trench   1856 1864
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley   1864 1881[†]
George Granville Bradley   1881 1902
Armitage Robinson   1902[1] 1911
Herbert Edward Ryle   1911 1925[†]
William Foxley Norris   1925 1937[†]
Paul de Labilliere   1938 1946[†]
Alan Don   1946 1959
Eric Abbott   1959 1974
Edward Carpenter   1974 1985
Michael Mayne   1986 1996
Wesley Carr   1997 2006
John Hall   2006[2] 2019
David Hoyle   16 November 2019 dean-designate[3]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h In 1666, John Dolben was additionally appointed Bishop of Rochester, retaining the Deanery of Westminster in commendam. His successor as Dean, Thomas Sprat, was additionally appointed to Rochester in 1684. From then until 1802, it was customary for the Bishop of Rochester to hold the Deanery of Westminster in commendam. These eight deans held both offices concurrently.
  • Died in office

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "No. 27486". The London Gazette. 21 October 1902. p. 6647.
  2. ^ "No. 58165". The London Gazette. 28 November 2006. p. 16399.
  3. ^ https://www.westminster-abbey.org/abbey-news/david-hoyle-new-dean-westminster

Horn, Joyce M. (ed.). "Deans of Westminster". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541-1857. 7. pp. 69–71. Retrieved 12 September 2019.