Guildford history trail for King James Bible translator

image captionGeorge Abbot was Archbishop of Canterbury for 22 years

One of the translators of the King James Bible who became Archbishop of Canterbury will be honoured with a historical trail in his hometown.

A trail has been devised in honour of George Abbot who was born in Guildford in 1562.

The 400th anniversary of the King James Bible is being celebrated this year and he was one of the book's 40 translators.

He also became the Archbishop of Canterbury the year it was published.

The trail's author, Mary Alexander of The Guildford History Press, said she wrote the guide to improve local knowledge of one of the Surrey town's most important residents.

"He was obviously very fond of Guildford because he asked to be buried here and founded the Abbot's Hospital," she said.

'Parents persecuted'

Born in the town to a merchant middleclass family he became fiercely protestant at a time of great religious upheaval.

He became an Oxford don and his group of translators were in charge of the gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and The Book of Revelation.

Ms Alexander, who is also curator of Guildford Museum, said: "There's a good chance he might have translated some the most famous passages in the bible.

"He was very much a Protestant and his parents, who were also Protestants, had been persecuted under the reign of Queen Mary when the country had been turned back to Catholicism.

"But during his time as archbishop no one was burnt at the stake."

The trail includes his birthplace, the church where his parents were married, Abbot's Hospital and the Royal Grammar School, where he was educated.

A map with the trail's route and information on George Abbot is available for free from the tourist information office, Guildford Museum, Abbot's Hospital and the Guildhall.

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