He was the son of a glover of Norwich. He matriculated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1688, graduating B.A. in 1692 and M.A. in 1695. He became D.D. in 1705. He was a Fellow of Corpus from 1696 to 1703.
He became chaplain to Archbishop Thomas Tenison in 1702. Subsequently, he had rectories in Kent: Biddenden (1702); Ivychurch from 1705; and Great Mongeham from 1707. He was a canon of Canterbury Cathedral from 1707 to 1728 (Stall IV).
He became Master of Harbledown Hospital in Kent, in 1711. He was chaplain to George I of England, from 1716 to 1728. He then became Dean of Canterbury in 1728, Bishop of St David's in 1731 (consecrated bishop 11 April 1731), and was translated Bishop of Gloucester on 2 November 1731. He died 24 December 1733.
- "Elias Sydall (SDL688E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Joseph Meadows Cowper (1900), The Lives of the Deans of Canterbury, 1541 to 1900, p. 159.
- British History Online: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=34591
- British History Online: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=38234
|Church of England titles|
| Dean of Canterbury
| Bishop of Gloucester
| Bishop of St David's