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Gilbert Sheldon

1598-1677. Archbishop of Canterbury from 1663. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford, he was elected a fellow of All Souls in 1622, the year of his ordination. In 1626 he became warden of All Souls and actively supported William Laud's* university reforms. During the Civil War he was often with Charles I,* and consequently in 1648 was ejected from his wardenship and imprisoned for a time. Under the Commonwealth he lived quietly in the Midlands. At the Restoration he became bishop of London, but during Juxon's* archiepiscopate he exercised the real power. In 1663 he succeeded to Canterbury. A strong Laudian, he supported the severe measures against dissenters, and the restoration of the Anglican Church to its pre- Civil War position was due mainly to him. He negotiated with Clarendon the arrangement whereby Convocation no longer taxed the clergy. Chancellor of Oxford University (1667-79), he built the Sheldonian Theatre at his own cost.