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Robert Kilwardby

Robert Kilwardby (c. 1215- 11 September 1279) was an archbishop of Canterbury and cardinal.

He studied at the university of Paris, where he soon became famous as a teacher of grammar and logic.

Afterwards joining the Dominican Order 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 the following year.

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.

De tempore has been translated and edited by Alexander Broadie recently, and published as On Time and Imagination, Part 2: Introduction and Translation (Oxford University Press, 1993), ISBN 0197261213. (Part 1 is the original text.)


  • N. Trevet , Annales sex regum Angliae, edited by T Hog (London, 1845)
  • W.F. Hook , Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, vol. iii. (London, 1860—1876)
  • J. Quétif and J. Echard , Scriptores ordinis Predicatorum (Paris, 1719—1721)

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45