A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Tillotson, John

Tillotson, John (1630-1694). -- Divine, s. of a Presbyterian clothier, was b. near Halifax, and ed. at Camb., where his originally Puritan views became somewhat modified. At the Savoy Conference in 1661 he was still a Presbyterian, but submitted to the Act of Uniformity, and became next year Rector of Keddington, and in 1664 preacher at Lincoln's Inn, where he became very popular. In 1672 he was made Dean of Canterbury. He vainly endeavoured to secure the comprehension of the Nonconformists in the Church. After the Revolution he gained the favour of William III., who made him Clerk of the Closet, and Dean of St. Paul's, and in 1691 he succeeded Sancroft as Archbishop of Canterbury. His sermons, which had extraordinary popularity, give him a place in literature, and he was one of those writers who, by greater simplicity and greater attention to clearness of construction, helped to introduce the modern style of composition.