Famous British Priests

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Thomas Wolsey

Thomas Wolsey.
Famous As: Cardinal
Birthdate: February 29, 1473
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ipswich
Died: November 29, 1530
Thomas Wolsey was an archbishop and a cardinal of the Catholic Church, who was made King Henry VIII’s chief advisor, or the Lord Chancellor. He failed to negotiate an annulment of the king’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and thus lost his titles. He was eventually charged with treason.

 2 Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon.
Famous As: Baptist Preacher
Birthdate: June 19, 1834
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kelvedon, Essex, England
Died: January 31, 1892
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 3 Bede

Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0672 AD
Birthplace: Jarrow
Died: May 26, 0735

Best known for his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, The Venerable Bede was an Anglo Saxon theologian and historian. An English Benedictine monk, he was taken to the monastery of St. Peter at age 7. He is now revered as the patron saint of English writers and historians.

 4 John Newton

John Newton.
Famous As: British Sailor and Anglican Clergyman
Birthdate: July 24, 1725
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wapping, London
Died: December 21, 1807

 5 Justin Welby

Justin Welby.
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 6, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom

 6 N. T. Wright

N. T. Wright
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: December 1, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Morpeth, Northumberland, England

 7 Pope Adrian IV

Pope Adrian IV
Famous As: Pope
Birthdate: 1100 AD
Birthplace: Abbot’s Langley, England
Died: September 1, 1159

Pope Adrian IV was the only Englishman to have served as the pope. Initially aspiring to study law, he later began his spiritual journey by joining the abbey of St Ruf. His reign as the pope lasted a little more than 4 years but was plagued by crisis and controversy.

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 8 John Sentamu

John Sentamu
Famous As: Politician, Priest, Cleric
Birthdate: June 10, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kampala

Born in Uganda, John Sentamu was a Supreme Court lawyer in his country before he fled to the U.K., having faced jail for criticizing President Idi Amin. He later devoted himself to theology and became the Archbishop of York, thus also becoming first black Archbishop of Britain.

 9 Swithin

Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0800 AD
Birthplace: Hampshire, England
Died: July 2, 0863

 10 Charles Freer Andrews

Charles Freer Andrews
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: February 12, 1871
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: April 5, 1940

 11 Oswald of Northumbria

Oswald of Northumbria
Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0604 AD
Birthplace: Deira, England
Died: August 5, 0642

 12 Margery Kempe

Margery Kempe
Famous As: Mystic
Birthdate: 1373 AD
Birthplace: Bishop's Lynn, Norfolk, England
Died: 1438 AD

 13 George Carey

George Carey
Famous As: Politician, Priest, University teacher
Birthdate: November 13, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London

After quitting school at 15, George Carey had been a Royal Air Force radio operator for a while. He supported the ordination of women and same-sex marriages. He was later made a life peer, as Baron Carey of Clifton, though he faced criticism for covering up sex abuse allegations.

 14 Robert Runcie

Robert Runcie
Famous As: Politician, Priest, Bishop
Birthdate: October 2, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool
Died: July 11, 2000

Robert Runcie was born to middle-class parents, and had been part of the Scots Guards during World War II. He later became the bishop of St. Albans, before taking over as the archbishop of Canterbury. A life peer, he had also penned works such as One Light for One World.

 15 Titus Oates

Titus Oates
Famous As: English priest
Birthdate: September 15, 1649
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oakham, England
Died: July 13, 1705

 16 Saint Edmund Campion

Saint Edmund Campion
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: January 24, 1540
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 1, 1581

 17 Geoffrey Fisher

Geoffrey Fisher
Famous As: Archbishop
Birthdate: May 5, 1887
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nuneaton, England
Died: September 15, 1972

Born into a family of Anglican rectors, Geoffrey Fisher had served as the bishop of Chester and of London, before becoming the archbishop of Canterbury. He later officiated the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and also crowned her as Queen Elizabeth II. He was later made a life peer, as Baron Fisher of Lambeth.

 18 John Ball

John Ball
Famous As: priest, presbyter
Birthdate: 1335 AD
Birthplace: St Albans
Died: July 15, 1381

 19 Hugh Latimer

Hugh Latimer
Famous As: Bishop
Birthdate: 1487 AD
Birthplace: Thurcaston, Leicestershire, England
Died: October 16, 1555

Born to a yeoman farmer, Hugh Latimer later studied at the University of Cambridge and became a Roman Catholic preacher. However, he later converted to Protestantism and became a major figure of the Reformation in England. He was burned at the stake after Mary Tudor took over the throne.

 20 Hilda of Whitby

Hilda of Whitby
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0614 AD
Birthplace: Northumbria, England
Died: 0680 AD

Saint Hilda of Whitby is remembered as the founder of the Streaneshalch Abbey, or Whitby Abbey. She was one of the most significant abbesses of her time and played a major role in the Christianization of Anglo-Saxon England. She is revered as the patron saint of learning and culture.

 21 Henry Garnet

Henry Garnet
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: June 30, 1555
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Heanor, England
Died: May 3, 1606

English Jesuit priest Henry Garnet was initially an Anglican but later converted to Roman Catholicism. After teaching Hebrew at a college in Rome, he went back to England as a missionary. Accused of being involved in the Gunpowder Plot against King James I, he was hanged to death in 1606.

 22 Elizabeth Barton

Elizabeth Barton
Famous As: Catholic nun
Birthdate: 1506 AD
Birthplace: Aldington Frith , England
Died: April 20, 1534

Elizabeth Barton was an English Catholic nun best remembered for her prophecies. Although her prophecies, which were fairly accurate, made her popular, they eventually led to her death. Her prophecy against Henry VIII was deemed fake and she was executed for treason. Barton continues to be revered by churches like the Anglican Catholic Church.

 23 Chad of Mercia

Chad of Mercia
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 0634 AD
Birthplace: Northumbria, England
Died: March 2, 0672

Chad of Mercia was an Anglo-Saxon churchman who, according to Saint Bede, is credited with bringing Christianity to the Mercian kingdom. After his death, Chad was venerated as a saint and continues to be venerated in several churches, such as the Anglican churches, the Roman Catholic, and the Celtic Orthodox Church.

 24 Saint Walpurga

Saint Walpurga
Famous As: Missionary
Birthdate: 0710 AD
Birthplace: Devon, England
Died: February 25, 0779

 25 Richard Hooker

Richard Hooker
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: March 25, 1554
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Heavitree, England
Died: November 3, 1600

 26 Henry Beaufort

Henry Beaufort
Famous As: English cardinal
Birthdate: 1375 AD
Birthplace: Château de Beaufort, Anjou, Kingdom of France
Died: April 11, 1447

 27 Cormac Murphy-O'Connor

Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
Famous As: Cardinal
Birthdate: August 24, 1932
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reading, England
Died: September 1, 2017

Cormac Murphy-O'Connor was a British Archbishop of Westminster and cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He made headlines when he was serving as the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton; he was subjected to public scrutiny when a priest in his diocese was accused of sexually abusing children.

 28 Michael Ramsey

Michael Ramsey
Famous As: Archbishop
Birthdate: November 14, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Died: April 23, 1988

Michael Ramsey was an English Anglican bishop, educator, theologian, and supporter of Christian unity. He is best remembered for serving as the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury. Also a life peer, Ramsey received several honors during his lifetime. He also held honorary degrees from several prestigious universities, including Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, Durham, Manchester, and Kent.

 29 Ronald Knox

Ronald Knox
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 17, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kibworth, Leicestershire, England
Died: August 24, 1957

 30 Harold Davidson

Harold Davidson
Birthdate: July 14, 1875
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sholing
Died: July 30, 1937

 31 Abdullah el-Faisal

Abdullah el-Faisal
Birthdate: September 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint James Parish

 32 Nicholas Ridley

Nicholas Ridley
Famous As: Martyr
Birthdate: 1500 AD
Birthplace: South Tynedale, England
Died: October 16, 1555

 33 R. S. Thomas

R. S. Thomas
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 29, 1913
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cardiff, Wales
Died: September 25, 2000

 34 Henry Liddell

Henry Liddell
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 6, 1811
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bishop Auckland, County Durham, United Kingdom
Died: January 18, 1898

 35 Gilbert White

Gilbert White
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: July 18, 1720
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Selborne, Hampshire, England
Died: June 26, 1793

 36 Richard of Chichester

Richard of Chichester
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: 1197 AD
Birthplace: Droitwich, England
Died: April 3, 1253

 37 Basil Hume

Basil Hume
Famous As: Bishop
Birthdate: March 2, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Died: June 17, 1999

Born George Hume, Basil Hume changed his name after becoming a priest. He is known for his 13-year stint at the Benedictine monastery of Ampleforth Abbey and had also been the Archbishop of Westminster and a cardinal. He was also a huge fan of Newcastle United F.C.

 38 Francis Asbury

Francis Asbury
Famous As: Bishop
Birthdate: August 20, 1745
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hamstead Bridge, England
Died: March 31, 1816

Francis Asbury was a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He played an important role during the Second Great Awakening, popularizing Methodism in British colonial America. He is credited with establishing many schools and his journal is deemed important by scholars due to its account of frontier society; his journal has descriptions of the functioning of towns in Colonial America.

 39 Matthew Parker

Matthew Parker
Famous As: Archbishop of Canterbury
Birthdate: August 6, 1504
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: May 17, 1575

Anglican archbishop of Canterbury Matthew Parker had faced hostility under Roman Catholic queen Mary I’s reign but got his privileges back when Elizabeth I came to power. Among his many works was his own translation of the Bible. He had also been the vice chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

 40 John Needham

John Needham
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: September 10, 1713
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 30, 1781

 41 Frederick Copleston

Frederick Copleston
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: April 10, 1907
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Taunton, England
Died: February 3, 1994

 42 Henry More

Henry More
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 12, 1614
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England
Died: September 1, 1687

 43 Henry Edward Manning

Henry Edward Manning
Famous As: British cardinal
Birthdate: July 15, 1808
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Totteridge, England
Died: January 14, 1892

 44 Robert Southwell

Robert Southwell
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1561 AD
Birthplace: Norfolk, England
Died: February 21, 1595

 45 E.B. Pusey

E.B. Pusey
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: August 22, 1800
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pusey, England
Died: September 16, 1882

 46 Myles Coverdale

Myles Coverdale
Famous As: Translator
Birthdate: 1488 AD
Birthplace: North Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died: January 20, 1569

Bishop of Exeter Myles Coverdale is best remembered for releasing the first printed translation of the Bible in English. He had been a major figure of the Reform cause. He escaped being burned at the stake during Roman Catholic Mary I’s reign by moving to Denmark.

 47 Thomas Traherne

Thomas Traherne
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 10, 1636
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hereford, England
Died: September 27, 1674

 48 Orderic Vitalis

Orderic Vitalis
Famous As: Monk
Birthdate: February 16, 1075
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shropshire, England
Died: 1142 AD

Orderic Vitalis was an English Benedictine monk and chronicler. He is credited with writing one of the most popular chronicles of the 11th and 12th-century Normandy. His works are considered important as they give a detailed description of the history of the Normans from the founding of Normandy; his works are viewed as a reliable source by modern historians. 

 49 Trevor Huddleston

Trevor Huddleston
Famous As: Clergyman
Birthdate: June 15, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bedford, England
Died: April 20, 1998

Trevor Huddleston was an Anglican bishop who served as the second Archbishop of the Indian Ocean from 1978 to 1983. He is best remembered for fighting against the apartheid laws in South Africa. During his stay in South Africa, Trevor Huddleston was much-loved and respected. He is credited with changing many lives in South Africa including that of Hugh Masekela.     

 50 Aldhelm

Famous As: Bishop
Birthdate: 0639 AD
Birthplace: Wessex, England
Died: May 25, 0709