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Cosmo Gordon Lang


(Baron Lang of Lambeth)

1864 - 1945

Archbishop of Canterbury. Born and raised in the manse at Fyvie (Aberdeenshire), the son of a minister in the Church of Scotland, Lang was raised in Anderston (Glasgow). He was educated at the University of Glasgow and Balliol College, Oxford. Abandoning a legal career he enrolled in a theological college and entered the Church of England in 1890. Lang became a curate in Leeds and was then appointed Dean of Divinity at Magdalen College, Oxford (1893-96), and Vicar of the University Church (1894-96). He served successively as Vicar of Portsea (Hampshire), Bishop of Stepney (1901-8), Canon of St. Paul's and Archbishop of York (1908-28), succeeding another Scot, William Maclagan (1826 - 1910), in this latter role. Lang was installed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1928 and served until 1941. He was deeply involved in precipitating the abdication crisis of 1936 but became a close friend and advisor to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Lang was created a life peer as Baron Lang of Lambeth in 1942. He died on the street while approaching Kew Gardens station (London) and his ashes were buried in Canterbury Cathedral.


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