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[Wells Cathedral.] HOMAS KEN,* afterwards Bishop

of Bath and Wells, was the son of Thomas Ken, attorney-at-law, of Furnival's Inn, of the family of the Kens, of Ken-court, in Somersetshire.f He was born at Berkhamp

stead, in Hertfordshire, in July 1637. Of his brothers and sisters we need only mention Anne, who was married to Isaac Walton; one whose name, scarcely less than that of Bishop Ken himself, gives an interest to all with which it is associated.

He was admitted of Winchester College, Jan. 30, 1650-1, while Harris, a presbyterian, who had taken the covenant, was warden; and when he was admitted probationer fellow of New College, in 1657, he again fell under a presbyterian warden, George Marshall having been obtruded upon the college by the parliamentary visitors: at the same time Dr. Owen was vice-chancellor of Oxford, and Cộomwell himself was chancellor. Ken, educated under the personal influence of violent sectaries, yet growing up, in the discipline of a public school and of an university, in confirmed and consistent Church-principles, presents a

• The sources from which most of the materials of the following life are gathered, are Hawkins' life of Ken, as reprinted in Round's edition of Ken's works, with his letters ; Bowles' life of Ken; and Dr. D’Oyley's life of Sancroft. The materials for such a life of Ken as is still wanted are ample, but more scattered.

+ The armorial bearings of the Kens of Ken-court were - Ermine three crescents gules. Crest - three crescents interlaced argent.

b

remarkable illustration of the high moral influence of such foundations.

It appears that he was unwilling to proceed to his degree while the university was under the guidance of these dissenters, for he did not become B... till after the restoration, in 1661. To the degree of M.A. he proceeded in 1664, to that of B.D. in 1678, and to that of D.D. in 1679.

In 1666, Ken renewed his acquaintance with Winchester College, being elected a fellow upon that foundation. There he found Izaak Walton, his friend and brother-in-law, an inmate in the episcopal palace; for Bishop Morley, who was lately translated to Winchester from Worcester, had found a refuge in the troubles of the rebellion under Walton's roof, and now repaid his hospitality with a munificent care both of him and of his kinsfolk. To these circumstances Ken owed the patronage of Bishop Morley, who made him his domestic chaplain, presented him to the rectory of Brixton or Brighstone, in the Isle of Wight (which he held from 1666 to 1670); and besides this, preferred him in 1669 to a prebendal stall in Winchester Cathedral. He was also presented by the same indulgent patron to the rectory of Woodhay, which his conscience soon urged him to resign, though it was tenable in law with Brighstone. Amid the studies and duties of his station at Winchester, he voluntarily undertook a pastoral charge, and “kept a constant course of preaching at St. John's church in the Soak, near Winchester (where there was no preaching minister, and which he therefore called his cure), and brought many anabaptists to the Church of England, and baptised them himself.”

In the year 1675, Ken, with his nephew Isaac Walton, travelled through Italy and to Rome. It was the year of jubilee; and every interest therefore of such a tour was redoubled to Ken, the divine and the poet. To some persons this journey seemed hazardous to the principles of both tourists; but Isaac Walton returned to fill a canon's stall at Salisbury; and Ken “was after neard to say, that he had great reason to give God thanks for his travels, since (if it were possible) he returned rather more confirmed of the purity of the Protestant religion than he was before."

Twice afterwards Ken was a traveller. Having been already appointed chaplain in ordinary to the king, he was sent, in 1679, to the court of the Hague, as chaplain to Mary, princess of Orange. Here his honourable interposition in an affair of much delicacy brought upon him the anger of the prince. Count Zulenstein, uncle of the prince of Orange, accompanied his nephew into England, when he came to solicit the hand of the princess Mary, and won and abused the affections of Jane, daughter of Sir Henry Wroth, one of the companions of Mary. The count was persuaded, by the remonstrance of Ken, to make the injured lady his wife; which was so deeply resented by his royal kinsman, that Ken judged it better to leave the court; to which, however, he was afterwards recalled. Hé left the Hague the following year, bearing with him the personal malice of the prince, and the entire confidence and esteem of the princess. These consequences of his residence in Holland cast more than once a varied colour on his future career.

Afterwards, in 1683, Ken accompanied Lord Dartmouth, as his chaplain, to the demolishing of Tangier.

On his return, Ken resumed his station at Winchester, occupying his prebendal residence. Charles II. was laying the foundation of a royal residence in Winchester. On one occasion, the licentious monarch demanded of Ken the use of his house for his favourite Nell Gwynn.” The prebendary's answer was worthy of the future bishop : “ Not for his kingdom.”

In 1684 died the munificent Bishop Morley, Ken’s ancient friend and patron. Mew, of Bath and Wells, was translated to Winchester, and made way for Ken, who was nominated as his successor, but was not yet in possession of the temporalities of his see, when he was called to the death-bed of the monarch, to whom he owed his elevation; whose immorality he had so lately reproved by the contrast of his own purity, and to whom he was now called to preach repentance. “He gave a close attendance by the royal bed, without any intermission, at least for three whole days and nights, watching for proper intervals to suggest pious and proper thoughts and ejaculations on so serious an occasion; in which time, the Duchess of Portsmouth coming into the room, the bishop prevailed with his majesty to have her removed, and took that occasion of representing the injury and injustice done to his Queen, so effectually, that his Majesty was induced to send for the Queen, and asking pardon, had the satisfaction of her forgiveness before he died. The bishop, having urged the necessity of a full, and prevailed, as is hoped, for a sincere repentance, several times proposed the administration of the holy sacrament.” This, however, was so delayed, as at last to be avoided. Bishop Burnet, who manifested himself, in more instances than one, singularly incapable of appreciating Ken’s calm, unaffected, and mortified piety, yet in this instance declares that he “spoke with a great elevation both of thought and expression, like a man inspired.”

The accession of James opens to us very different and most important scenes ; and Bishop Ken, already the good prelate distinguished by personal worth, becomes, with a few noble associates, a mark of more peculiar observation.

The bishops who were in London at James's accession immediately presented to his majesty an address, in acknowledgment of his expressions of good-will to the Church of England, and as a loyal declaration of their own duty and allegiance. Had the king redeemed his pledge as sincerely as the bishops did theirs nobly, the remainder of James's life, as well as of Ken’s, had been very

different. The principles of the clergy were soon severely tested. On the 4th of May, 1688, an order was made by the king in council, directing the archbishops and bishops to distribute through their several dioceses the declaration for liberty of conscience, which was appointed to be published by the clergy in their churches on the 20th and 27th days of the same month. In this declaration the king illegally claimed the power of dispensing with the penal laws against the dissenters ;

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