Stillington, Robert

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Chancellor of England, bishop of Bath and Wells; d. between April 8 and May 15, 1491. The son of John Stillington of Nether Acaster, near York, England, he was educated at Oxford, where he became a doctor of civil law by 1443. Before 1448 he entered the royal service and held office as keeper of the privy seal (July 1460June 1467) and as chancellor of England (June 1467June 1473, except during King Henry VI's restoration). He was rewarded with valuable ecclesiastical preferments, including the London deanery of St. Martin-le-Grand, which he retained after his provision in October 1465, to the See of bath and Wells, a diocese he visited only twice in 25 years. A timeserver in politics, he supported King Richard III by drawing up the bill declaring Edward IV's issue illegitimate. Although pardoned by King Henry VII in 1485, he was imprisoned in 148889 for suspected complicity in rebellion. "Ce mauvais évesque," as Comines called him, had a discreditable political record and seems to have been wholly indifferent to his diocesan responsibilities.

Bibliography: r. stillington, Registers, ed. h. c. maxwell-lyte (Somerset Record Society 52; Somerset 1937). c. l. scofield, The Life and Reign of Edward the Fourth, 2 v. (New York 1923). a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the Scholars of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 195759) 3:177779.

[c. d. ross]