John Moore
Archbishop of Canterbury
Portrait by Thomas Lawrence
ChurchChurch of England
Elected26 April 1783 (confirmation of election)[1]
Term ended18 January 1805 (death)
PredecessorFrederick Cornwallis
SuccessorCharles Manners-Sutton
Other post(s)Dean of Canterbury (1771–1775)
Bishop of Bangor (1774–1783)
Consecration12 February 1775
by Frederick Cornwallis
Personal details
Born(1730-04-26)26 April 1730
Died18 January 1805(1805-01-18) (aged 74)
Lambeth, Surrey, England
BuriedSt Mary-at-Lambeth
Alma materPembroke College, Oxford
Ordination history of
John Moore
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorFrederick Cornwallis (Canterbury)
Co-consecratorsEdmund Keene (Ely)
Robert Lowth (Oxford)
John Thomas (Rochester)
Date12 February 1775
PlaceLambeth Palace Chapel

John Moore (26 April 1730 – 18 January 1805) was Archbishop of Canterbury in the Church of England.


Moore was the son of Thomas Moore, a butcher, and his wife Elizabeth. He was born in Gloucester and was baptised at St. Michael's Church, Gloucester. He was educated at The Crypt School, Gloucester. He was a student at Pembroke College, Oxford (matriculated 1745; BA 1748; MA 1751).[3]

After ordination, he was for some years tutor to Lord Charles Spencer and Lord Robert Spencer, the younger sons of Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough. On 21 September 1761, he was preferred to the fifth prebendal stall in the church of Durham and, in April 1763, to a canonry at Christ Church, Oxford. On 1 July 1764, he received the degrees of B.D. and D.D. On 19 September 1771, he was made Dean of Canterbury, and on 10 February 1775, Bishop of Bangor.[3]

On the death of Archbishop Frederick Cornwallis, he was translated to the See of Canterbury on 26 April 1783,[4] on the joint recommendation of bishops Robert Lowth and Richard Hurd, both of whom had declined the primacy.

Though not a great ecclesiastic, Moore was an amiable and worthy prelate, a competent administrator, and a promoter of the Sunday-school movement and of missionary enterprise. He appears to have dispensed his patronage with somewhat more than due regard to the interests of his own family.[3]

He died at Lambeth Palace on 18 January 1805 and was buried in Lambeth parish church.[5]


Moore was married twice, first to Jane Wright (1736[6] – about 1765[7][8]), the sister of Sir James Wright, Resident at Venice[9][10][7][8] on 29 April 1763 at Walcot St. Swithin, Somerset, England;[11] and secondly, on 23 January 1770, to Catherine Eden, daughter of Sir Robert Eden of West Auckland. He left children;[3] one son, Roger Moore, would go on to be a Canon of Canterbury Cathedral.[12]

More than 30 years after his first wife's death the Archbishop would officiate at the wedding of her nephew, the later Sir George Wright, 2nd Baronet, to Rebecca Maclane, on 3 June 1796.[13]

Discovery of his coffin

In 2017, during the refurbishment of the Garden Museum,[14] which is housed at the medieval church of St Mary-at-Lambeth,[15] 30 lead coffins were found; one with an archbishop's red and gold mitre on top of it.[16] A metal plate identified one of these as belonging to Moore, with another being that of his wife Catherine.[17]


  1. ^ Hasted, Edward. The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 12 pp. 484–515
  2. ^ Perceval, A.P. An Apology for the Doctrine of Apostolical Succession: with an Appendix on the English Orders p. 241 (Google Books)
  3. ^ a b c d Rigg 1894.
  4. ^ Fasti ecclesiae Anglicanae, III, viii. 89; III, iii. 14; III, iii. 11. [1]
  5. ^ Lysons, Daniel (14 August 1810). "The Environs of London: pt. 1. Surrey". T. Cadell and W. Davies – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Jane, daughter of James Wright Esqr. & Mary baptised on 15 September 1736 at Warwick, St. Mary, Warwickshire, England
  7. ^ a b Deeds relating to Cubbington, Warwickshire, 1646–1812. Description: Bargain & sale, with lease and release from Edward Croft of Warwick, gent.; Mary Wright of Bath, widow and executrix of James Wright late of Warwick; James Wright of Berkeley Square, Middlesex, only son and heir of James and Mary; William Adams, Bath, esq., trustee of the marriage settlement of Rice Charlton and Mary Wright, George Lucy, of Charlecote, esq., a trustee of the marriage settlement of John Moore of Christ Church College, DD, and Jane Wright, since deceased to Edward, Lord Leigh of Stoneleigh, for £3750 of the Rectory of Cubbington with tithes and appurtentnat premises. Signed and sealed. Date: 30 & 31 May 1765. 31 May 1765.
  8. ^ a b Item to my son in law Doctor Moore for his [...] to me since the death of his dear wife I give fifty Guineas and to his sister miss Elizabeth Moore five pounds – Will of Mary Wright, Widow of Bath, Somerset. 13 December 1768.
  9. ^ Nichols, John (1814). Literary anecdotes of the eighteenth century;: comprizing biographical memoirs of William Bowyer, printer, F.S.A. and many of his learned friends; ...
  10. ^ Deeds relating to Cubbington, Warwickshire, 1646–1812. Description: [Copy] Marriage articles between Jane Wright, daughter of Mary, widow of James of Warwick, esq., deceased and Rev. John Moore, Overton, Wiltshire. Recites grant of annuity by Duke of Marlborough of £350 to James Wright, brother of Jane, in Trust to provide a jointure for Jane. Reciprocally the moiety of the estates at Butlers Marston and Cubbington bequeathed to Jane by her father, are settled on trustees in trust for Jane and her husband and their issue. Date: 28 April 1763. 28 April 1763.
  11. ^ The Reverend Mr. John Moore of Christ Church in the University of Oxford and Jane Wright were married on 29 April 1763 at Walcot St. Swithin, Somerset, England. The Revd Mr John Moore of Christ Church in the University of Oxford a Bachelor and Jane Wright of the Parish of Walcot a Spinster were Married in this Chapel by Licence this twenty nineth Day of April in the Year One Thousand and Seven Hundred and sixty three by me W Davenport Rector of Bredon Worcestershire. This Marriage was solemnised between Us John Moore Jane Wright in the presence of Mary Wright Cathe: Wright
  12. ^ See John Pearce, Seeking a See, (Standing Committee of the Diocese of Dunedin, 1984), 31.
  13. ^ George Ernest James Wright and Rebecca Maclane were married on 3 June 1796 at St. Mary, Lambeth, Surrey, England. George Ernest James Wright Esquire of Ray House in the Parish of Woodford in the County of Essex a Batchelor and Rebecca Maclane of the Parish of Ham in the county of Surrey were Married in the Chapel belonging to Lambeth House by special Licence ; this third Day of June in the Year One Thousand seven Hundred and ninety six By me J. Cantuar. This Marriage was solemnized between Us George Ernest James Wright Rebecca Maclane In the Presence of Wentworth John Bradney ("Cantuar" is part of the Archbishop of Canterbury's formal signature).
  14. ^ "Museum web-site". Archived from the original on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Church of St Mary, Lambeth | British History Online".
  16. ^ Seymour, Lizzie (29 May 2023). "Builders discover archbishops' tombs under church floor" – via
  17. ^ The Sunday Telegraph 'Lost in Lambeth: the tombs that time forgot' p17 Issue no 2,913 dated Sunday 16 April 2017


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainRigg, James McMullen (1894). "Moore, John (1730-1805)". In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co.


Church of England titles Preceded byBrownlow North Dean of Canterbury 1771–1775 Succeeded byThe Hon James Cornwallis Preceded byJohn Ewer Bishop of Bangor 1774–1783 Succeeded byJohn Warren Preceded byThe Hon Frederick Cornwallis Archbishop of Canterbury 1783–1805 Succeeded byCharles Manners-Sutton