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Creighton, Mandell


Historian and Anglican bishop; b. Carlisle, England, July 5, 1843; d. London, Jan. 14, 1901. He was educated at Carlisle and Durham, received a B.A. degree from Merton College, Oxford (1867), and continued on as tutor. Creighton successfully pursued two vocationsclergyman and scholar. He received Anglican orders (1873) and administered a Northumbrian vicarage (187584). When he was appointed bishop of Peterborough (1891) and London (1897), he combined firm episcopal authority with tolerance for latitudinarian views. He was an urbane, talented administrator and a gifted speaker; among his many concerns, Creighton displayed a particular interest in English educational reforms at all levels.

Creighton is remembered chiefly as a historian. He was first to hold the Dixie Professorship of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge (188490), first editor of the English Historical Review (188691), and first president of the Church Historical Society (18941901). His major writing was History of the Papacy from the Great Schism to the Sack of Rome (5 v., 188294; 2d ed. six v., 1897). Though lacking sufficient opportunity for archival research, Creighton skillfully utilized published sources to write a balanced, impartial account of the papacy from 1378 to 1527. Ironically, Catholic historian Lord John acton criticized Creighton for being too charitable in his moral judgments, particularly regarding certain Renaissance popes. Cardinal Wolsey (1888) and Queen Elizabeth (1896) are Creighton's best minor works.

Bibliography: l. creighton, Life and Letters of Mandell Creighton, 2 v. (New York 1904). g. l. strachey, Biographical Essays (New York 1949). j. w. thompson and b. j. holm, History of Historical Writing, 2 v. (New York 1942) 2:572574. w. g. fallows, Mandell Creighton and the English Church (London 1964).

[j. t. covert]

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