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Robert Kilwardby

Robert Kilwardby (d. 1279), archbishop of Canterbury and cardinal, studied at the university of Paris, where he soon became famous as a teacher of grammar and logic.

Afterwards joining the order of St Dominic and turning his attention to theology, he was chosen provincial prior of his order in England in 1261, and in October 1272 Pope Gregory X terminated a dispute over the vacant archbishopric of Canterbury by appointing Kilwardby.

Although the new archbishop crowned Edward I and his queen Eleanor in August 1274, he took little part in business of state, but was energetic in discharging the spiritual duties of his office. He was charitable to the poor, and showed liberality to the Dominicans.

In 1278 Pope Nicholas III made him cardinal-bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina[?]; he resigned his archbishopric and left England, carrying with him the registers and other valuable property belonging to the see of Canterbury. He died in Italy on September 11 1279.

Kilwardby was the first member of a mendicant order to attain a high position in the English Church. Among his numerous writings, which became very popular among students, are De ortu scientiarum, De tempore, De Universali, and some commentaries on Aristotle.

See N Trevet, Annales sex regum Angliae, edited by T Hog (London, 1845); WF Hook, Lives of the Archbisliops of Canterbury, vol. iii. (London, 18601876); J Quétif and J Echard, Scriptores ordinis Predicatorum (Paris, 17191721).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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