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Gilbert Sheldon

Gilbert Sheldon (1598-1677), Archbishop of Canterbury, was born at Stanton in the parish of Ellastone, Staffordshire, and educated at Oxford.

He was ordained in 1622 and was appointed chaplain to Lord Coventry (1578-1640). Four years later he was elected warden of All Souls College, Oxford. During the years 1632-1639 he received the livings of Hackney (1633); Oddington, Oxfordshire; Ickford, Buckinghamshire (1636); and Newington, Oxfordshire; besides being a prebendary of Gloucester from 1632.

In 1638 he was on a commission appointed to visit Merton College, Oxford. He was intimate with the Royalist leaders, participated in the negotiations for the Uxbridge treaty of 1644, and collected funds for Charles II in exile. In 1648 he was ejected from All Souls by order of parliament, and imprisoned for some months, but he regained the wardenship in 1659.

In 1660 he became bishop of London and master of the Savoy, and the Savoy Conference was held at his lodgings. He was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury in 1663. He was greatly interested in the welfare of Oxford University, of which he became chancellor in 1667, succeeding Clarendon (1609-1674). The Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford was built and endowed at his expense.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.