Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Lanfranc (d. 1089), Archbishop of Canterbury and chief minister of William the Conqueror, was born about 1005 at Pavia. He was well educated and as a youth distinguished himself as a pleader in the courts. Preferring to devote himself to learning, he went to France, and set np a famous school at Avranches, in Normandy, in 1039. After some years he determined to become a monk, and entered the newly-founded monastery of Bee, of which he became Prior. Here he had Anselm and the future Pope Alexander II. among his scholars. He soon gained the favour and confidence of Duke William, whose marriage he at first opposed but afterwards advocated at Rome in person. In 1066 he left Bee for Caen. William consulted him about the invasion of England, and offered him in 1067 the archiepiscopal see of Rouen. In 1070 he accepted with some reluctance the Primacy of England, and next year received the pallium from his former pupil. Lanfranc worked in complete harmony with William I. He had a great contempt for the English, and always promoted the appointment of foreigners to sees and benefices. The part he played in obtaining the crown for William II. was important, and he stood by the new king against his old enemy Odo. Before his death, however, he lost much of his influence over Ruf us. [William I.]