The Works of the Most Reverend Dr. John Tillotson

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by John Tillotson

The Works of the Most Reverend Dr. John Tillotson (1630-1694) contained two hundred sermons, discourses, and prayers he had authored.[1] Educated at the University of Cambridge, Tillotson was a devout Protestant who opposed Catholicism.[2] Throughout his career, he served as chaplain to Charles II, dean of Canterbury, canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, and finally Archbishop of Canterbury.[3]

Tillotson was widely influential amongst his colleagues; sermons by Laurence Sterne, James Woodforde, and others borrowed heavily from his works.[4] Some clergyman went so far as to directly present Tillotson's sermons in lieu of their own.[5] He was even cited in dictionaries, with one particular lexicographer citing his works over one thousand times.[6]

Bibliographic Information

Author: John Tillotson.

Title: The Works of the Most Reverend Dr. John Tillotson, late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury: Containing Two Hundred Sermons and Discourses on Several Occasions: to Which are Annexed Prayers Composed by Him for His Own Use, a Discourse to His Servants Before the Sacrament, and a Form of Prayer Composed by Him, for the Use of King William: Being All That were Printed after His Grace's Decease: Now Collected into Two Volumes: Together with Tables to the Whole: One, of the Texts Preached Upon; Another of the Places of Scripture, Occasionally Explain'd; a Third, an Alphabetical Table of Matter.

Publication Info: London: Printed for Benjamin Tooke, John Pemberton, and Edward Valentone ..., Jacob Tonson ..., and James Round, 1722.

Edition: Third edition; two volumes.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Tillotson’s works. 2.v. fol. and given by Thomas Jefferson to his son-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph. Later appears on Randolph's 1832 estate inventory as "'Tillotson's discourses' (6[?] vols., $6.00 value)." We do not have enough information to conclusively identify which edition Wythe owned. George Wythe's Library[7] on LibraryThing indicates this, adding "Two-volume folio editions were published at London in 1712, 1717, and 1722." The Brown Bibliography[8] lists the first (1712) edition published in London. The Wolf Law Library purchased the third (1722) edition.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full tan leather with five raised bands, decoration and gilt lettering to spines. Contains attractive armorial bookplate to front pastedown of each volume and former owner's name and date 1756 to front blank endpaper. Purchased from Ely Books.

Find this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

External Links

Google Books


  1. Isabel Rivers, "Tillotson, John (1630–1694)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004- ), accessed October 3, 2013. (Subscription required for access.)
  2. Who's Who in Christianity, s.v. "Tillotson, John (1630 - 1694)," accessed October 03, 2013,
  3. The Hutchinson Encyclopedia, s.v. "Tillotson, John Robert ," accessed October 03, 2013,
  4. Isabel Rivers, ‘Tillotson, John."
  5. The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English, s.v. "Tillotson, John (1630 - 1694)," accessed October 03, 2013,
  6. Isabel Rivers, ‘Tillotson, John."
  7. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 18, 2013,
  8. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: