Lancelot Andrewes

English bishop and scholar

Lancelot Andrewes (155525 September 1626) was an English clergyman and scholar, who held high positions in the Church of England during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I.

Lancelot Andrewes


  • A cold coming they had of it, at this time of the year; just the worst time of the year to take a journey, and specially a long journey, in.
    • Speaking of the Three Magi in Sermon 15, Of the Nativity (1622)
  • But because in the Sacrament all those doe meete together, therefore nothing so availeable to take away sinne, as the touching of bread and wine, with our lips.
    • Apospasmatia Sacra, Or A Collection of Posthumous and Orphan Lectures: delivered at St. Pauls and St. Giles his Church (1657), p. 520

Quotes about Lancelot Andrewes

  • I had dinner to-day with the Bishop of Ely [Andrewes] and heard him read chapter VIII of his book [Responsio ad ‘Apologiam’ Card. Bellarmine]. It is wonderful with what elegance this most learned man confutes the theological scum, the folly, and sometimes the impious blasphemies of Bellarmine.
    • Isaac Casaubon, diary entry (24 November 1610), quoted in James Brodrick, The Life and Work of Blessed Robert Francis Cardinal Bellarmine, S.J. 1542–1621, Volume II (1928), p. 227
  • I have read and daily read this work [Responsio ad ‘Apologiam’ Card. Bellarmine] in which sincere piety contends for the first place with varied learning and a certain most sweet elegance... Truly wretched Cardinal, who has thus found in his effete old age an antagonist full of genius, rare erudition, and eloquence... If there is any sense of shame left in him I do not think he will ever again dare to descend into the arena with this adversary—certe enim impar congressus Achilli.
    • Isaac Casaubon to James Montague, the Bishop of Bath and Wells (November 1610), quoted in James Brodrick, The Life and Work of Blessed Robert Francis Cardinal Bellarmine, S.J. 1542–1621, Volume II (1928), p. 227
  • The bishop of Chichester is appointed to aunswer Bellarmin about the oth of allegeaunce, which taske I doubt how he will undertake and performe, beeing so contrarie to his disposition and course to meddle with controversies.
    • John Chamberlain, letter (21 October 1608), quoted in The Letters of John Chamberlain, Vol. I, ed. N. E. McClure (1939), p. 264
  • It is only when we have saturated ourselves in his prose, followed the movement of his thought, that we find his examination of words terminating in the ecstasy of assent. Andrewes takes a word and derives the world from it; squeezing and squeezing the word until it yields a full juice of meaning which we should never have supposed any word to possess. In this process the qualities which we have mentioned, of ordonnance and precision, are exercised.
  • Master Lillies immoderate commending him, by little and little I was drawne on to bee an auditor of his: since when, whensoever I heard him, I thought it was but hard and scant allowance that was giv'n him, in comparison of the incomparable gifts that were in him.
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