LANFRANC OF BEC(C. 1005–1089). Archbishop of Canterbury (1070–1089), Lanfranc served as an adviser and then justiciar to *William, duke of Normandy and later king of England.
An Italian by birth, Lanfranc studied and practiced law before migrating to Avranches, France, where he pursued theology and the Bible; he later established a school there. In 1042, Lanfranc left Avranches and entered the Benedictine monastery at Bec. He founded another school at Bec where he trained future Pope Alexander II and *Anselm, who later followed him at Bec and Canterbury. Beginning in 1050, Lanfranc defended the doctrine of transubstantiation against the views of *Berengar of Tours, who denied the physical change of the elements.
In 1070, Lanfranc was nominated to the see of Canterbury, where he reorganized the English ecclesiastical establishment, replacing most of the Saxon abbots and bishops with Normans and reaffirming the canon of clerical celibacy at the Winchester Council of 1076. While remaining faithful to Rome, Lanfranc sought to bolster English Church practice, bringing it more into the European mainstream, and to maintain its independence in the face of William’s program of political consolidation in the years following the Conquest.
Bibliography: M. T. Gibson, Lanfranc of Bec, 1978.
LANGTON, STEPHEN(C. 1155–1228). Scholar and theologian, professor at the University of Paris, cardinal and archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton spent several years in exile before taking up his duties as archbishop; he also played an important role in the composition of the Magna Carta.
Langton was born at Langton in Lincolnshire, England, perhaps about 1155, into a family of moderate local importance. Nothing is known of his early life.