Who’s Who ‘D’

Davidson, Randall 1848 – 1930. Educated Harrow and Trinity College Oxford. Much liked by Queen Victoria he became Dean of Windsor. After two bishoprics at Rochester and Winchester, he became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1903. He would remain in that office until 1928 when succeeded by Cosmo Lang. His tenure was one during tempestuous times: the social reforms of Lloyd George and the Parliament Act 2011, WWI, the Independence of Ireland and Partition, Welsh disestablishment and the General Strike. He sought social reform, reduction of violence in warfare, reconciliation, and the supremacy of the Commons.  He was a modest, hardworking, cautious and fair-minded man who guided the church, and sought unity with other churches, during climactic times. He retired when eighty, dying two years later .    

Donne John, Metaphysical Poet and Dean of St Paul’s 1571-1631. Broughtup a Roman Catholic. Educated at Hart Hall at Oxford and then Lincoln’s Inn. Private Secretary to Sir Thomas Egerton, married Ann More his social superior. Initially he wrote satires and love -poems and them more metaphysical poems in his years of poverty with a young family. He was encouraged to be ordained by King James I in 1615, six years later was Dean of St Paul’s. Famed as preacher he dwelt on the reality of death, the bliss of union- eg Batter my heart three-person’d God– and God’s mercy. He had a poet’s gift of concentrated memorable expression as in Meditation XVII No man is an Island, making him a vivid preacher.

Dunstan St. Archbishop of Canterbury, c909-988 Monk at Glastonbury, served in the court of King Athelstan, monastic reformer, strict ascetic, fully implemented the Benedictine Rule. Served King Edred 946-55. Exiled. Bishop of Worcester and London under Edgar, then Archbishop of Canterbury 960.  973 Crowned Edgar at Bath Abbey. Wrote the Coronation service; elements of which survive to today. Monastic reforms his chief legacy. Established communities at Peterborough, Ely and Thorney. Feast Day May 19  Duns Scotus Philosopher c1265-1308. Referred to as the Doctor Subtilis. Franciscan from Roxburgh Scotland. Ordained 1291. Studied in Paris, Lectured on Lombard’s Sentences. Lectured at Cambridge, Oxford and Paris. Aristotle in in emphasis but differs from Aquinas (1225-1274) in that puts love and will as primary, while Aquinas makes knowledge and reason as primary. Both believed that Revelation dies not contradict reason, unlike Bonaventure. Scotus held that prime matter was found in all creatures but individuation comes from haecceitas being superimposed on creatures. He believed in the immaculate conception and that the Incarnation would have occurred irrespective of the Fall. Later humanists and Reformers mocked the teaching and subtlety by using the term ‘dunce’