The Twickenham Museum
People : Lawyers and Clergy

Edward Stillingfleet
Prelate, author and Bishop of Worcester
1635 - 1699

Edward Stillingfleet was the seventh son of Samuel Stillingfleet of that place in Yorkshire and Susannah Norris of Petworth. He married, first, Andrea Dobyns of Dumbleton in 1659 by whom he had a son, Edward and two daughters. His second marriage was to Elizabeth Pedley (d1697) by whom he had seven children. He became Archdeacon of London in 1677, Dean of St Pauls in 1678 and Bishop of Worcester in 1689. In 1697 he wrote The Bishop of Worcester's Answer to Mr. Locke's Letter, in which he criticized John Locke for undermining the Trinity.

Pepys admired him, noting when he heard him preach at Whitehall on 25 April 1885, that "he did make a most plain, honest, good, grave sermon, in the most unconcerned and easy, yet substantial manner that ever I heard in my life."

Heatham House, Twickenham

Property in Twickenham
He paid rates in Twickenham during this period, but whether for a house or just land is not clear. His assessment for church rates for the combined years 1679 and 1680 amounted to £3-2s-0d, a sum only exceeded by Lady Berkeley (£4-8s-0d) at Twickenham Park for that part which lay in the parish, and Lord Belasyse (£3-12s-6d) at Whitton. All the other known "great" houses in Twickenham are accounted for at this time except, perhaps, Fulwell Lodge (later Fulwell Park) whose ownership between about 1650 (William Jones) and 1748 (John Chunn) is obscure at present. Another possible house, its immediate demesne shown divided by the Crane River on Moses Glover's map of 1635 and occupied at that time by Richard Corbet (1582-1635), Bishop of Norwich was later replaced by Heatham House.

First described as The Reverend Deane Stillingflete, he was listed in 1688 as The Reverend Dean of St Pauls, and in 1689 as The Bishop of Worcester, paying £2-7s-1d. This was the last year in which he was rated. In 1690 the rates increased but there is not an exact mathematical correlation between the two years so a successor cannot be identified with confidence.

Stillingfleet died at his house in London on 27 March 1699 and was taken to Worcester for burial.

His property acquired by Matthew Harvey?

Matthew Harvey had appeared in 1686, paying 18s-0d then 15s-0d for three years and in 1690 his rate increased to £2-16s-0d, a considerable increase. Harvey died in 1694; his last assesment, for 1693 amounted to £2-8s-6d at 4d in the pound. It is possible, though speculative, that he acquired Stillingfleet's estate.

Further reading:

Twickenham 1600-1899 - People and Places, Borough of Twickenham Local History Society Paper No47, 1981 reprinted 1988
Richard Bentley, Works - with a life, 1710
Dictionary of National Biography

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