Sterne, Richard

, archbishop of York, the son of Simon Sterne, was descended from a family in Suffolk, but was born at Mansfield in Nottinghamshire in 1596. He was admitted of Trinity-college, Cambridge, in 1611, whence, having taken his degrees of A. B. in 1614, and A. M. in 1618, he removed to Bene’t-college in 1620, and was elected fellow July 10, 1623. He then took pupils with great credit to himself and to the college, and proceeded B. D. the following year, and was incorporated in the same degree at Oxford in 1627. He had been appointed one of the university preachers the year before, and was in such high reputation, that he was made choice of for one of Dr. Love’s opponents in the philosophical act, kept for the entertainment of the Spanish and Austrian ambassadors, and fully answered their expectations. In 1632 he was made president of the college; and upon Dr. Beale’s translation from the mastership of Jesus to that of St. John’s college soon alter, was put in his room in March 1633. His promotion is thus noticed in a private letter “One Stearne, a solid scholar (who first summed up the 3600 faults that were in our printed Bibles of London) is by his majesty’s direction to the bishop of Ely (who elects there) made master of Jesus.” This occasioned him to take the degree of D.D. in 1635, and he then assumed the government of the college, to which he proved a liberal benefactor, and it was by his means that the north side of the outer court was built. In 1641 he was nominated by a majority of the fellows to the rectory of Harletpn in Cambridgeshire; but some contest arising, he did not get possession of it till the summer following. He had, however, from March 1634 enjoyed that of Yeovilton in the county of Somerset, through the favour of archbishop Laud, one of whose chaplains he was, and so highly esteemed, that he chose him to do the last good offices for him on the scaffold. On the breaking out of the rebellion, he incurred the fiercest anger of the usurper for having | conveyed to the king both the college plate and money, for which he was seized by Cromweii y and carried up to London. Here, after suffering the severest hardships in various prisons, he was ejected from all his preferments. Few men indeed suffered more cruel treatment; and it was some years before he was finally released, and permitted to retire to Stevenage in Hertfordshire, where he kept a private school for the support of his family till the restoration. Soon after that event, while he was carrying on the repairs of the college, he was appointed bishop of Carlisle, and was concerned in the Savoy conference, and in the revisal of the hook of Common-prayer. On the decease of Dr. Frevveii, he was translated to the archiepiscopal see of York, over which he presided with becoming dignity, till the time of his death, Jan. 18, 1683, in the eightyseventh year of his age. He was buried in the chapel of St. Stephen in his own cathedral, where an elegant monument uas afterwards erected to his memory by his grandson Richard Sterne, of Eivington, esq.

His character has been variously represented, as we have repeatedly had occasion to notice in the case of persons of eminence who lived in his disastrous period. Bishop Kennet informs us, “He was promoted to the bishopric of Carlisle, on account of his piety, great learning, and prudence, as being indeed not less exemplary in his notions and conversations, than if he himself had expected martyrdom, from the hour of his attendance upon his patron archbishop Laud.” Baxter says, “Among all the bishops there was none who had so promising a face. He looked so honestly, and gravely and soberly, that he thought such a face could not have deceived him;” but then he adds, “that he found he had not half the charity which became so grave a bishop, nor so mortified an aspect.” Notwithstanding this charge, he was one of those bishops who shewed great lenity, charity, and respect, in their treatment of the nonconformist clergy. The only substantial charge against him is that advanced by bishop Burnet, who censures him for being too eager to enrich his family. For this there seems some foundation, and Browne Willis allows that he ivould have deserved a larger encomium than most of his predecessors, if he had not demised the park of Hexgrave from the see to his son and t‘amiK His m.my benefactions to Bene’t and Jesus colleges, to the rebuildin of St. Paul’s, and other public and charitable purposes, show that if he was rich, fee was also liberal. | As an author, besides some Latin verses, in the “Genethliacon Caroli et Marioe, 1631,” at the end o‘ Winterton’s translation of the Aphorisms of Hippocrates in lb’33, on the birth of a prince in 1640, anil others in “Iivnodia Cantab, ob paciferum Catoli e Scotia remtum, 164.1,” he ivas one of the assistants in the publication of the Polyglot; published a “Comment on Psalms ciii.” Lond. 1641*. 8vo; and wrote an accurate treatise on logic, which was published after his death, in 16St5, 8vo, under the title of “Summa Logicæ, &c.1

1

Masters’s Hist, of C. C. C. C. Le Neve, vol. II. Walker’s Sufferings of the Clergy. Tlarwk-k’s Life. Burnet’s Own Times. Rennet’s Register and Chronicle. Willis’s Cathedrals.