Britain's Only Pope | A Talk by Adrian Waddingham

Friends Talk Heritage
  • Venue

    Southwark Cathedral

  • Time

    11:30 AM

  • Price


  • Book Tickets

An event organised by the Friends of Southwark Cathedral.

Overlooked for centuries, Nicholas Breakspear’s achievements outshone those of his contemporary, the martyr Thomas Becket. Born in poverty and probably illegitimate (born at about the time that Southwark Cathedral was founded by the Augustinians), Breakspear rose to become the only Englishman to ascend the throne of Saint Peter, ruling over the papal states as Adrian IV. He had become an Augustinian monk in Avignon. His life is not a tale of liturgy or sermons, and there are more cannons than canons, as Breakspear faced fighting in Scandinavia and the Second Crusade in Spain. He was immediately thrust into conflicts upon his election as pope in 1154.

Adrian Waddingham CBE retired in 2018 after a 47-year career as a consulting actuary. In retirement Adrian has turned to history, studying at Birkbeck in 2018/2019. His first book ‘Breakspear: the English Pope' was published by The History Press in August 2022.

The ticket price inludes a light lunch after the talk