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Tillotson, John

Tillotson, John (1630–94). Archbishop of Canterbury. As a graduate and fellow (1651) of Clare Hall, Cambridge, calvinistic writings impressed Tillotson. Though initially nonconforming, he was ordained (c.1661). As lecturer at St Lawrence Jewry (from 1664), he ‘revolutionised preaching style’, weaning some away from extreme puritanism. Despite some anti-catholic sermons, Charles II, who admired his preaching, appointed him royal chaplain and dean of Canterbury (1672). With Baxter he supported comprehension of nonconformists (1674–5). Favoured by William III (1689), he became dean of St Paul's (1689) and was nominated by the Canterbury chapter to exercise archiepiscopal authority during Sancroft's suspension, reluctantly accepting the see of Canterbury (1691) on Sancroft's deprivation. Despite his personal views, he was tolerant towards non-jurors and worked with Nottingham, the moderate Tory secretary of state, to preserve peace in the church.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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Tillotson, John

John Tillotson, 1630–94, English prelate, archbishop of Canterbury (1691–94). He was ordained in 1661. At the Savoy Conference (1661) he was present as an auditor on the side of the Presbyterians, but upon the passing of the Act of Uniformity (1662) he yielded to its requirements. In 1663 he became rector of Kedington, Suffolk, and in 1664 preacher at Lincoln's Inn. In 1670 he was made a prebendary of Canterbury, and in 1672 dean. He was chaplain to Charles II and was admitted to the special favor of William and Mary. He became (1689) dean of St. Paul's and was persuaded in 1691 to accept the archbishopric of Canterbury, left vacant when the nonjuror William Sancroft was deposed. A biography by Thomas Birch accompanied Tillotson's collected Works (3 vol., 1752).

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