Archbishop Gilbert Sheldon

Archbishop Gilbert Sheldon

Birth
Stanton, East Staffordshire Borough, Staffordshire, England
Death 9 Nov 1677 (aged 79)
Lambeth, London Borough of Lambeth, Greater London, England
Burial Croydon, London Borough of Croydon, Greater London, England
Plot monument, south aisle
Memorial ID 12943846 · View Source
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Archbishop of Canterbury. He served in this position from September 1663 until his death. Born in Stanton, Staffordshire, England, his father worked for Gilbert Talbot, the 7th earl of Shrewsbury. In July 1614 he entered Trinity College, Oxford, England and graduated with his Bachelor's Degree in November 1617, followed by his Master's Degree in June 1620. In 1622 he was ordained, and shortly afterwards he became domestic chaplain to Thomas Coventry, 1st Baron Coventry. The same year he was elected fellow of All Souls' College, Oxford, where he received his Bachelor of Divinity in November 1628 and his Doctor of Divinity in June 1634. In March 1626 he was elected warden of All Souls' College on the death of Richard Astley. He had already made the acquaintance of English churchman and academic William Laud, and corresponded with him on various matters, including the conversion of theologian William Chillingworth from Roman Catholicism. He was not initially a Laudian, and he unsuccessfully resisted Laud's appointment of Jeremy Taylor to a fellowship at All Souls' College. In 1634 and 1640 he became pro-vice-chancellor of All Souls'. He gravitated towards the Great Tew circle of Lucius Cary (Falkland), and was on friendly terms with Edward Hyde, and had no sympathies for the Puritans. He became a royal chaplain through Coventry, and King Charles I intended preferment for him, plans that were interrupted by the political upheaval that became known as the English Civil War. He became allied with the Royalist leaders, and participated in the negotiations for the Uxbridge Treaty of 1645. During this period, he became one of the churchmen closest to Charles I, and attended him in Oxford, and later in Newmarket, Suffolk and finally in the Isle of Wight. When the parliamentarians occupied Oxford in 1646 he resisted the visitation, but was finally and physically ejected from All Souls' in early 1648. Taken into custody, he was to have been imprisoned in Wallingford Castle in Oxfordshire but the commander was unwilling to have them and he was freed, with restrictions on his movements, later that year. He lived quietly for 12 years in the Midlands, at Snelston in Derbyshire or with friends in Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire. He was active in fundraising for the poor clergy and for Charles II in exile. In March 1659, on the death of John Palmer, who had become warden of All Souls' in his place, he was quietly reinstated. In September 1660 he was nominated Bishop of London and elected and confirmed the following month. Since William Juxon was now the Archbishop of Canterbury, but was aged and in poor health, he exercised many of the powers of the archbishopric up to 1663, and was on the privy council. In August 1663 he became Archbishop of Canterbury following the death of Archbishop William Juxon. He was greatly interested in the welfare of the University of Oxford, of which he became Chancellor in 1667, succeeding Lord Clarendon (Edward Hyde). The Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford was built and endowed at his expense. He lost political influence after the fall of Lord Clarendon in 1667, and by making King Charles II's philandering a matter of religious reproach. He was vocal against the Royal Declaration of Indulgence of 1672, Charles II's attempt to extend religious liberty to Protestant nonconformists and Roman Catholics in his realms, by suspending the execution of the penal laws that punished recusants from the Church of England. He died at Lambeth Palace, London, England on November 9, 1677 at the age of 79.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mark McManus
  • Added: 10 Jan 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12943846
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Archbishop Gilbert Sheldon (7 Sep 1598–9 Nov 1677), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12943846, citing St John the Baptist Churchyard, Croydon, London Borough of Croydon, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .