WAKE, WILLIAM (1657-1737), English archbishop, was bom at Blandford, Dorset, on the 26th of January 1657, and educated at Christ Church, Oxford. He took orders, and in 1682 went to Paris as chaplain to the ambassador Richard Graham, Viscount Preston (1648-1695). Here he became acquainted with many of the savants of the capital, and was much interested in French clerical affairs. He also collated some Paris manuscripts of the Greek Testament for John Fell, bishop of Oxford. He returned to England in 1685; in 1688 he became preacher at Gray's Inn, and in 1689 he received a canonry of Christ Church, Oxford. In 1693 he was appointed rector of St James's, Westminster. Ten years later he became dean of Exeter, and in 1705 he was consecrated bishop of Lincoln. He was translated to the see of Canterbury in 1716 on the death of Thomas Tenison. During 1718 he negotiated with leading French churchmen about a projected union of the Gallican and English churches to resist the claims of Rome (see J. H. Lupton, Archbishop Wake and the Project of Union, 1896). In dealing with nonconformity he was tolerant, and even advocated a revision of the Prayer Book if that would allay the scruples of dissenters. His writings are numerous, the chief being his State of the Church and Clergy of England . . , historically deduced (London, 1703). He died at Lambeth on the 24th of January 1 736/7.
Sir Isaac Wake (c. 1580-1632), the diplomatist, was a kinsman of the archbishop. He commenced his diplomatic career in Venice, and then he represented his county for sixteen years at Turin ; he was knighted in 1619, and after being sent on various special missions by James I. he was British ambassador in Paris from 1630 until his death in June 1632. Among Sir Isaac's writings is Rex platonicus, a description of the entertainment of James I. at Oxford in 1605; this was published in 1607 and has often been reprinted.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)