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Richard Sterne
Archbishop of York
In office1664–1683
PredecessorAccepted Frewen
SuccessorJohn Dolben
Personal details
Bornc. 1596
Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
Memorial to Archbishop Richard Sterne in the north choir aisle of York Minster by Grinling Gibbons.

Richard Sterne (c. 1596–1683) was a Church of England priest, Archbishop of York from 1664 to 1683.


He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated MA in 1618, BD in 1625 and DD in 1635.[1] He was elected a fellow of Benet College (now Corpus Christi College), Cambridge in 1623 and then served as Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, from 1634.

Around 1633, he became chaplain to Archbishop Laud. From 1642, he held the rectories of Yeovilton and Harleton. A Royalist, he was arrested and imprisoned by the Parliamentarians later the same year. In 1644, he was formally dismissed as Master of Jesus and, in 1645, he lost his rectories, although he was released from prison.

At the Restoration in 1660, Sterne was appointed Bishop of Carlisle — he was elected to the See on 15 November 1660, confirmed 1 December, and consecrated a bishop on 2 December 1660.[2] From there he was translated to York in 1664 — he was elected to that See on 28 April and confirmed on 31 May.[3] He is said to have been one of those who assisted in revising the Book of Common Prayer in 1662. He also assisted Brian Walton with the English Polyglot Bible and himself wrote Summa Logicae (published posthumously in 1685). He founded scholarships at both Corpus Christi and Jesus Colleges.

His great-grandson Laurence Sterne attended Jesus College, Cambridge, and would find literary fame in the 1760s as author of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent. and live as a curate and parson in Yorkshire.


  1. ^ "Sterne, Richard (STN611R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857, vol. 11, 2004, pp. 9–14
  3. ^ Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857, vol. 4, 1975, pp. 1–5


1 Annotation

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Richard Sterne, who was educated at Cambridge, was in the reign of Charles I. master of Jesus college in that university, and chaplain to archbishop Laud. Upon the commencement of the civil war, when the king's necessities were very urgent, he, and several others of the heads of houses, were very instrumental in sending the Cambridge plate to his majesty to be coined for his use. This gave great offence to Cromwell, who seized Dr. Sterne, Dr. Beale, master of St. John's College, and Dr. Martin, master of Queen's, and carried them to London; where they were imprisoned for a year, and afterwards sent on board a ship at Wapping, put under hatches, and treated with great inhumanity. A little before the execution of his good friend and patron, the archbishop, he was permitted to attend him, and performed the last offices for him on the scaffold. He lived in great obscurity till the Restoration, when he returned to his mastership of Jesus College which he held till he was made bishop of Carlisle. He was afterwards translated to York. He was a man of worth, and of good abilities as an author. He compiled a system of logic, and wrote a comment upon the 103d Psalm. He gave 1850 l. toward the re-building of St. Paul's church. Ob. 18 June, 1683, Æt. 87.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Apr