Matthew Parker (6 August 1504 – 17 May 1575) was an English bishop. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Church of England from 1559 to his death. He was also an influential theologian and arguably the co-founder (with a previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer and the theologian Richard Hooker) of a distinctive tradition of Anglican theological thought.
Parker was one of the primary architects of the Thirty-nine Articles, the defining statements of Anglican doctrine. The Parker collection of early English manuscripts, including the book of St Augustine Gospels and "Version A" of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was created as part of his efforts to demonstrate that the English Church was historically independent of Rome and was one of the world's most important collections of ancient manuscripts. Along with the pioneering scholar Lawrence Nowell, Parker's work concerning Old English literature laid the foundation for Anglo-Saxon studies.
Early years (15041525)