TILLOTSON, JoHN, Archbishop of Canterbury, was the son of a clothier, and was born at Sowerby, in Yorkshire, in 1630. His father, 11Ir. Robert Tillotson, was a zeal ous puritan—a circumstance that is not a little curious, when we consider that the son ultimately turned out the most catholic churchman of his age. Tillotson studied at Clare Hall, Cambridge, where he took the degree of B.A. in 1650, and of M.A. in 1654. The writings of Chillingworth are said to have exercised a powerful influence on his mtnd during his university curriculum; but he owed not less to'his friendly intercourse with Cudworth, More, Rust, Smith, Wilkins, and other eminent scholars. In 1656, he became private tutor in the house of Edmund Prideaux of Ford Abbey, Devonshire, attorney-general under the protector, but appears to have returned to London shortly before Cromwell's death. At what time Tillotson entered into orders, or who ordained him, is not known, but he was a preacher in 1661—attached apparently to the Presby terian party in the church of England, for at the famous Savoy conference (q.v.) he was present on the Presbyterian side; but be submitted at once to the act of uniformity <1662); and in December of that year, was offered the church of St. Mary Aldermanbury, London, of which Edmund Calamy had been deprived; but declined it. In 1663, he was appointed to the rectory of Keddington in Suffolk; but almost immediately after, was chosen preacher at Lincoln's Inn, where his mild, evangelical, but undoctrinal morality was at first little relished. " Since Mr. Tillotson came," said the benchers, "Jesus Christ has not been preached among us." However, as the graces of his char acter gradually displayed themselves, his popularity increased, especially when it was found, that although not a puritan, he was nevertheless averse to atheism and popery. In 1664, he published a sermon On the Wisdom of being Religious; and in 1666, The Rule of Faith, in reply to a work by an English clergyman named Sargeant, who had gone over to the church of Rome. About the same period, lie took the degree of D.D. ; and in
1670, was made a prebend of Canterbury. Two years later, he was promoted to a •eanery; and in 1680, published a somewhat notable sermon entitled The Protestant Re digion vindicated from the Charge of Singularity and Aovelty, in which he advanced the proposition, untenable by a Protestant, that " no man is at liberty to affront (i. c., to attack) the established religion of a nation, though it be false." This proposition he .subsequently, on reflection, abandoned. Along with Burnet, he attended lord Russell -during his imprisonment for complicity in the Rye-house plot; and on the accession of William III., rose high into favor. In 1689, lie was appointed clerk of the closet to the :king; and in April, 1691, was raised to the see of Canterbury, vacant by the deposition of Sancroft (q.v.), after vainly imploring William to spare him an honor which he fore boded would bring him no peace. Nor was he mistaken in his painful presentment. The non-juring party pursued him with unrelenting rage to the end of his life; but'their animosity could not extract one murmur of complaint, or one vindictive retaliation from the meek, humane, and tolerant primate. He did not long enjoy his dignity, dying of palsy, Nov. 18, 1694, at the age of 65. A collected edition of his Sermons was published .after his death by his chaplain, Dr. Barker; and has been frequently reprinted. They were translated into German by Mosheim; and were long highly-popular on account of their clear, solid, and refined thought, their easy eloquence, and their humane and moral piety. Tillotson's life was written by Dr. T. Birch (Lond. 1752).