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Gibson, Edmund

Gibson, Edmund (1669–1748). Bishop of London, scholar and prelate. Educated at Oxford, Gibson produced several translations of major historical works, including Camden's Britannia, before being ordained in 1697. In the convocation controversy he vigorously defended the archbishop's prerogatives, and in 1703 was made canon of Chichester and rector of Lambeth. His extensive researches in ecclesiastical law resulted in 1713 in the publication of his monumental Codex juris. A high-church Whig, he was appointed bishop of Lincoln in 1716, and in 1723 translated to the see of London. In the early years of his administration Walpole relied heavily on him in church affairs and patronage, and their partnership went far in replacing the old Tory hierarchy of Queen Anne's day with a Whiggish one firmly yoked to the Hanoverian dynasty. Nevertheless, Walpole resisted Gibson's calls for ecclesiastical reform, anxious to keep the church off the political agenda. Their association, long under strain, ended in 1736 over Walpole's support for the Quakers' Bill which Gibson had advised his fellow bishops to oppose. Gibson was passed over for Canterbury in 1737.

Andrew Hanham

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