Richard Sterne 1595/6-1683

From Book Owners Online

Richard STERNE 1595/6-1683

Biographical Note

Son of Simon Sterne of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and younger brother of William Sterne. BA Trinity College, Cambridge 1615, MA 1618, BD 1625, DD 1635; fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge 1620. Chaplain to Archbishop Laud ca.1633; rector of Yeovilton, Somerset and master of Jesus College, Cambridge 1634, royal chaplain in ordinary 1638, rector of Harlton, Cambridgeshire 1642. He was arrested later that year for supplying plate to the King and subsequently ejected from his preferments; he attended Laud at his execution in 1645. During the interregnum he kept a school at Stevenage. Bishop of Carlisle 1660, Archbishop of York 1664; he was noted during his later years as a supporter of James, Duke of York (later James II). He was involved in the revision of the Book of Common Prayer, helped in the compilation of Walton’s Polyglot, and published a commentary on Psalm 103 (1649); the Whole duty of man, now usually thought to be the work of Richard Allestree, has been attributed to him in the past.


One of Sterne's sons, Simon, gave books to the parish of Halifax after his death, to augment the parish library there; many of these came from the libraries of his father, and from his uncle William, as well as his own. The size of Richard's library is not known; ca. 260 volumes survive today from Halifax Parish Library (now in York University Library), but an unknown number have been lost over the years. Examples: York UL Halifax C38.3 MAY, MA115.9 AUL, C30.2 BEL, MQ142.

Characteristic Markings

Sterne seems commonly to have inscribed flyleaves with his name and sometimes the date of acquisition.