Richard Sterne (bishop)

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

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


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.

In c.1633, Sterne 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, from where he was translated to York in 1664. 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.


Academic offices
Preceded by
William Beale
Master of Jesus College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Thomas Young
Preceded by
John Worthington
Master of Jesus College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
John Pearson
Church of England titles
Preceded by
James Ussher
vacancy from 1643
Bishop of Carlisle
Succeeded by
Edward Rainbowe
Preceded by
Accepted Frewen
Archbishop of York
Succeeded by
John Dolben