Robert Sanderson (theologian)

Robert Sanderson (19 September 1587 – 29 January 1663) was an English theologian and casuist.

Robert Sanderson
Bishop of Lincoln
Robert Sanderson by John Riley.jpg
Robert Sanderson by John Riley
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Lincoln
In office1660–1663
PredecessorThomas Winniffe
SuccessorBenjamin Lany
Personal details
Born(1587-09-19)19 September 1587
Died29 January 1663(1663-01-29) (aged 75)
BuriedSt Mary's Church, Buckden
SpouseAnn Nelson
Alma materLincoln College, Oxford

He was born in Sheffield in Yorkshire and grew up at Gilthwaite Hall, near Rotherham.[1] He was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford. Entering the Church, he rose to be Bishop of Lincoln.

His work on logic, Logicae Artis Compendium (1615), was long a standard treatise on the subject. It enjoyed at least ten editions during the seventeenth century and was widely read as a textbook. Sanderson's biographer, Izaak Walton writes that by 1678 'Logicae' had sold 10,000 copies. In her introduction to the 1985 facsimile edition E. J. Ashworth writes that "The young Isaac Newton studied Sanderson's logic at Cambridge, and as late as 1704." Thomas Heywood of St. John's College, Ashworth adds, recommended Newton "Sanderson or Aristotle himself". Sanderson's logic remained popular even after the appearance of the influential Port-Royal Logic.

Sanderson's sermons were also admired; but he is perhaps best remembered for his Nine Cases of Conscience Resolved (1678), in consideration of which he has been placed at the head of English casuists. He left large collections of historical and heraldic matter in MS.

Sanderson is today perhaps best known as the subject of one of Izaak Walton's Lives, published in 1678.


  • The Works of Robert Sanderson in Six Volumes (1854) edited by William Jacobson. Oxford at the University Press. Most volumes are available in full or partial views in Google Books.
  • Logicae Artis Compendium, edited by E. J. Ashworth. Bologna: Editrice CLUEB, 1985. Also published as vol.VI in 'The Works of Robert Sanderson in Six Volumes' W. Jacobson (ed).


  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons – via Wikisource.

  Lupton, Joseph Hirst (1897). "Sanderson, Robert (1587-1663)". In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 50. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

  1. ^ Odom, William (1926). "Bishops—Clergy—Ministers". Hallamshire worthies. Sheffield: Northend. pp. 30–31. OCLC 23581396.

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Academic offices
Preceded by
John Prideaux
Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford
Succeeded by
Joshua Hoyle
Preceded by
John Conant
Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford
Succeeded by
William Creed
Church of England titles
Title last held by
Thomas Winniffe
Bishop of Lincoln
Succeeded by
Benjamin Lany