John Tillotson

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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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