Born 19th October 1562 at a home near the pub bearing his name, George Abbot is arguably the most significant Guildfordian in history – holding senior appointments in the church, academically prominent, and highly regarded in royal circles.
Initially educated at what is now the Royal Grammar School, he moved to Balliol College (Oxford) in 1579. Regarded as a highly talented scholar, and having taken Holy Orders in 1583, he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University in 1600 – a post he held three times.
Perhaps the most notable contribution Abbot made was his role in the translation of the bible in the early years of James I’s reign. He was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1611 serving in the position for twenty-two years.
He died at Croydon in August 1633 and his tomb is inside Holy Trinity church.
The statue to mark his connection to Guildford, the work of local sculptor Faith Winter, was erected in April 1993.
Located behind the George Abbot statue is Constitutional Hall – home to West’s Picture Palace – Guildford’s first cinema, which opened its doors in 1909.
Follow the Upper High Street up and away from town for a further 100m until you reach the white-washed frontage of the Royal Grammar School.
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