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alwayes refuf'd it, and never take any but for to diftribute,
and in y e country I have nothing now for y* good ufe putt
into my hands. As for y e Schifm, I believe I can propofe a
way to end it, but it is not practicable till y e Convocation
meets, and then if y e face of affaires alter not, I make no
queftion but Eraftianifme will be condemn'd, w cb by fome of
us has been propof'd as a meanes of reunion. My refpedls
to your fire-fide. God keep us in His holy feare.

" Your's very affei&onately.*

44 To-morrow I return, God willing, to Hampihire, for a
fhort time."

The firft bifhoprick that fell vacant, after the accef-
fion of Anne, was that of Carlifle. Lord Weymouth,
who was of the Queen's Privy Council,f at once made
intereft for reftoring his friend Ken to Bath and Wells,
by the tranflation of Kidder to Carlifle. Kidder con-
fented to this through the Archbifhop of York : but



* Dr. Williams's Collection of Original Letters, endorfed B. & W.,
7 Ap 1 . Thefe three laft letters are in Dr. Williams's Collection, and
alfo in the Profe Works of Ken, by Round, pp. 55, 56, 57.

f In a fubfequent letter to Lloyd, Ken fays, " I lhall fpend this
fummer (1703), God willing, moft at Longleat, though I am now very
uneafy there ; not but that my Lord is very kind to me, but becaufe I
cannot go to the prayers there, by reafon of the late alterations, which
is no fmall affliction to me." So long as William and James II. were
alive, Weymouth did not have prayers for the former in the Chapel at
Longleat ; but he took office on the acceflion of Anne, and of courfe
prayed for her: but Ken held an unfhaken allegiance to the young
Prince.



1703] Bijhop of Bath and Wells. 701

when it was propofed to Ken, he declined. The
ftatement is that he objected to the Oath of Abjura-
tion.* But independently of this, he had refolved
not to return to public life.

There are three interefting letters from Ken to
Lloyd, in the fummer of 1703, which fhow a
return of friendly confidence, and a fimilarity of
opinions on the fad effects of the Schifm. Ken
exprefles his great fatisfaction, that without confulting
one another they were both of the fame mind ; he
concurred with a good Mr. Kettlewell's book," and
" our brother of Ely, now with God, was of the fame
mind," " I was never for extremities, which I foon
thought would prove of fatal confequences, but I find
that others, who always were, and ftill are for them,
think hardly of me, and -probably they may think as
hardly of your Lord/flip" If Lloyd could have
exercifed his own unbiafled judgment, he would pro-
bably have accepted Ken's propofal of healing the
breach, by a voluntary ceflion of their canonical
rights : but he had fo committed himfelf by the
clandeftine confecrations, that he could not feparate
himfelf from Hickes and Wagftaffe. Therefore
nothing effectual came of this renewed correfpondence.

The next vacancy was St. Afaph. Anne evinced
at once her judgment, and her love of the Church, by
felecting Ken's old friend, Dr. Hooper, already Dean
of Canterbury. He had not been one of thofe who
followed upon the nimble heels of Burnet, when he



* Lanfdown MSS., vol. v. p. 987. Dr. William Nicolfon was con-
fecrated to Carlifle, the 14-th June, 1702.



702 Ltf e 0^ Thomas Ken, [1703

hurried from the death-bed of his friend and patron,
King William, to congratulate his fucceflbr. This
bluff and bufy prelate fays of Hooper, that " he was
referved, crafty and ambitious : his Deanery had not
foftened him, for he thought he deferved to be raifed
higher." This is one of the many flippant and preju-
diced characters to be found every where in Burnet's
Hiftory : change the word " referved" into overbear-
ing, and he has rather drawn his own true likenefs
than Hooper's. Referved Burnet certainly was not ;
for he had no referves with any one perfon, or thing
that flood in the way of his purfuit. His Hiftory of
his own Time abounds in fkilful touches of events
and characters, grouped together with a fort of natural
and ready force that defies the trammels of careful
arrangement, or laborious invefligation. But his
work is fometimes defaced by a want of confcientious
truthfulnefs, the higheft and rareft quality in a con-
temporary hiftorian ; yet no one can deny the fupe-
rior powers of his mind. However much the fpirit
of a partizan has tainted his writings, and fullied his
character as a legiflator, we muft not forget his ad-
mirable difcharge of the epifcopal functions.

A more affable and unfelfifh man never lived than
Bifhop Hooper. If he was ambitious, he had through
life taken a ftrange and unlikely path to bring himfelf
to dignity. He never paid court to William to
foften his prejudices againft him : on the contrary,
when the King

" Gave orders to the Chaplains who preached before
her Royal Highnefs, the Princefs Anne, not to make their
accuftomed bows to her at their going into the pulpit, or



1703] Bijhop of Bath and ff^ells. 703

rather before they began their fermon, which that Princefs
(who was remarkably civil, and yet never {looping too much
from her high dignity) always ufed to return to the preacher,
neither were they allowed to fend her the text. Dr. Hooper
did not think any commands whatever fufficient to excufe
him from paying her the honour due to her, and conftantly
did both, whenever his turn came."*

" Juft after the death of Archbifhop Tillotfon, a lady who
came into Queen Mary's apartment, told her Majefty that
fhe believed there was all the dignified clergy in town come
to Court that day to fhow themfelves. The Queen imme-
diately reply'd, that fhe was fure fhe knew one that was not
there, and that was the Dean of Canterbury [Dr. Hooper].
Some of the company not feeming to think any was miffing
on that occafion, a lady who knew the Dean was fent out to
fee, and upon her return faying he was not there, c No,' fays
the Queen, ' I was fure he was not there, I can anfwer for
him,' or words to that effect. This the Dean was told by a
great lady who was there attending the Queen." f

Ken rejoiced at Hooper's elevation.^ He thus
exprefles himfelf to Lloyd,

" ALL GLORY BE TO GOD.'*

" Oft. 30, 1703.
" My very good Lord,

" Your Lordmip's of the 26 th , found me at Longleat on
the 28 th , which I left the next day, my Lord Weymouth
removing to the town, and am now at Poulfhot. I am ex-
tremely glad that you and the Bifhop elecl: of S*. Afaph con-
verfed together. He is one of the beft underftandings I ever
knew, and if he will exert himfelf will do excellent fervice to
this finking Church. I mould think it one of the beft excur-
fions I could make to give you both a vifit, but befides my

* MS. Life of Hooper, by Mrs. Prowfe. f Ibid.

J Hooper was conl'ecrated to St. Afaph, Oct. 31, 1703.



704 Life of Thomas Ken, [1703

averfion to the town, I am afflicted with fuch pains, that I
am by no means fit for travelling they are rheumatic, and
lie within my joints, and never come to the extreme parts,
and at this prefent, my left arm is in a great meafure difabled.
I have a great defire to fpend Chriftmas, God willing, with the
Kemeyfes, but fear I mail not be in a condition to do it. I
am much concerned, that the friend is not yet confecrated,
and cannot imagine the reafbn of the delay. What you
write of the Scotch I eafily believe, and had thought that
their quarrel about Epifcopacy had been over. Since that, to
my great furprife, patted the Confirmation of Prefbytery. It
will be a great fatisfa&ion to me, to hear now and then from
you. God keep us, in His holy feare.

" My good dear Lord,
" Your Lords 1 * moft affectionate B r ,

T. B. & W.*
" I fhall be glad to fee the work you mention."

And again,

" ALL GLORY BE TO GOD.

" Nov. 13, 1703.
" My dear Brother,

" Though I received both your Lordfliip's, yet having wrote
the fame poft your laft came, I forbore to give you a fecond
trouble, having but little matter for a letter in this place where
I am. You have a very true apprehenfion of your brother
of S*. Afaph. He is of an excellent temper as well as under-
ftanding, & a man of fincerity though he may be of a dif-
ferent judgment ; & I much defire that you may often meet,
& confult how to moderate things, as much as may be,
falva veritate^ for I fear that many of our friends run too
high, and that the Church of Rome will reap advantages of
excefles in that kind. Your letters are a great confolation
to me in this folitude, & therefore I intreat the continuance

* Profe Works of Ken, by Round, p. 61.



1703] Bijhop of Bath and Wells. 705

of them. M r . Dodwell's Book has been fent me, I prefume,
by himfelf. He feems to build high on feeble foundations.* I
prefume he will not have many entire profelytes to all his hypo-
thejies. My refpe&s to the good company with you ; God
keep us in His holy fear. My good Lord,

" Your Lordfhipp's moft affeft. Friend & Brother,

THO. B. & W."f

Before a month had elapfed from Hooper's confe-
cration to St. Afaph, an awful cataftrophe happened
to Bifhop Kidder, which changed the whole current
of Ken's thoughts, and interrupted the even tenour
of his retired life. He was now to make a moft
important ftep towards the healing of the breach,
which had fo long afflicted his thoughts, and although
his path lay through much perfonal obloquy, detrac-
tion, and even violence of abufe, it led him to the
pureft fatisfaction imaginable ; for it enabled him
to decline his own re-appointment, and to yield up

* This refers to Henry Dodwell's Book " On the Immortality of the
Soul, 4.. 1703." The few words of Ken are full of meaning : he could
not approve of the theory it laid down, which gave rile to great con-
troverfy, and did not add to Dodwell's reputation. He afforded another
example, which all ages fo frequently prefent to us, of the futility of
man's reafoning powers, when he perplexes himfelf with attempts to
anatomize thofe recondite and ineffable myfteries, which are beyond the
range of words to convey to the minds of other men, even if we can
make them intelligible to ourfelves. In order to eftablifh the high preten-
fions of the priefthood, of which he was the moft learned champion of his
day, he published " An Epiftolary Dilcourle, proving from the Scrip-
tures, and the Firft Fathers, that the Soul is a Principle naturally mortal ;
but immortalized aftually, by the Pleafure of God, to Punifhment, or to
Reward, by it's Union with the Divine Baptifmal Spirit. Wherein is
proved that none have the Power of giving this Divine Immortalizing
Spirit, fince the Apoftles, but only the Bifhops:" this work created
almoft as much controverfy as Dr. William Sherlock's heretical " Vin-
dication of the Doftrine of the Holy Trinity," Ibme years previous.

f Profe Works of Ken, by Round, p. 6z.

Z Z



706 Life of Thomas Ken, [1703

his canonical rights to a fuccefTor, whom of all others
he could moft entirely truft with the guardianfhip of
his See.

On the night of the 26th of Nov. 1703, the greater
part of England was vifited by one of the moft violent
and deftructive tempefts on record. Daniel De Foe
publifhed an account of this " STORM," in which it is
eftimated that the damage amounted to four millions
fterling : he fays " the lofs is univerfal, and its extent
general : not a houfe, not a family that had anything
to lofe, but have loft fomething ; the fea, the land,
the houfes, the churches, the corn, the trees, the rivers,
all have felt the fury of the winds. In the New
Foreft in Hampfhire above 4000 trees, fome of pro-
digious thicknefs, were blown down : and above 450
parks and groves loft from 200 to 1000 trees each.
Twelve mips of the navy were totally wrecked : the
Eddyftone light-houfe was deftroyed, and the people
within perifhed. It is impoflible to defcribe the general
calamity. About 8000 perfons were fuppofed to
have perifhed."*

In the midft of this fcene of defolation many perfons
had providential efcapes : amongft others Bifhop Ken.
He was ftaying with his nephew, Ifaac Walton, Junior,
at Poulfhot. Writing to Bifhop Lloyd of Norwich,
lie thus defcribes his danger ;

" ALL GLORY BE TO GOD.

" Nov. 27th [1703].
" My good Lord and dear Brother,

" I return you my thanks for both yours. I have no
* The STORM, by Daniel De Foe j London, 1 704, 8vo, pp. 1 55, 1 56,

222, 223.



1703] Bijljop of Bath and ff^ells. 707

news to return, but that laft night there was here the moft
violent wind that ever I knew j the houfe {naked all the
night ; we all rofe, and called the family to prayers, and by
the goodnefs of God we were fafe amidft the Storm. It has
done a great deal of hurt in the neighbourhood, and all about,
which we cannot yet hear of; but I fear it has been very
terrible at fea, and that we fhall hear of many wrecks there.
Bleffed be God who preferved us. I hope that your Lord-
fhip and your family have fuffered no harm, and fhould be
glad to hear you are well. I befeech God to keep us in His
holy fear.

" Your Lordfhip's
" Moft affectionate Friend and Brother,

" THO. B. & W." *
In another letter he fays,

" I think I omitted to tell you y e full of my deliverance in
y* late ftorm, for the houfe being fearch'd y e day following,
y' workmen found y' y' beame w^ fupported f roof over my
head was Jhaken out to y' degree^ y' it had but halfe an Inch
holdy fo y' it was a wonder it could hold together ; for w ch
fignal and particular prefervation God's holy name be ever
praifed ! I am fure I ought alwayes thankfully to remember
it. God keep us in His holy fear.
" Your Lordfhipp's

Moft affe"- Friend and B r -

"T. B. & W."f

This merciful prefervation was the more remarkable,
when contrafted with the fatal end of Biihop Kidder,
who had fucceeded him in his diocefe. Ken writes,
two days after, to Bimop Lloyd,

" ALL GLORY BE TO GOD.

" Nov. 29, 1703.
" My good Lord & Brother,

" I think I told you in my laft, that I intended, God wil-

* Profe Works of Ken, by Round, p. 63. -f- Ibid. p. 67.

Z Z 2



708 Life 0/~ Thomas Ken, [1703

ling, to fpend the Chriftmas with the good virgins at Nafh ;
fo that after Saturday next, your Lordfhip muft direct nothing
hither. The ftorm on Friday night, which was the moft
violent, I mentioned in my laft, but I then did not know
what happened at Wells, which was much mattered, and
that part of the palace where Bifhop Kidder and his wife lay,
was blown down in the night, and they were both killed and
buried in the ruins, and dug out towards morning. It hap-
pened on the very day of the Cloth fair, when all the country
were fpedtators of the deplorable calamity, and foon fpread
the fad ftory. God of His infinite mercy deliver us from fuch
dreadful furprifes ! I am aflured that no one either in the
palace, or in the whole town, befide them, had any hurt.
God keep us in His holy fear, and our dwellings in fafety.

" My good Lord,
" Your Lordfhip's moft affect: Friend & B r ,

"Tno. B. & W."*

This awful cataftrophe awakened his devout thank-
fulnefs for his own fafety ; <c bleffed be God, who pre-
ferved us in the late great ftorm ; it is a deliverance
not to be forgotten." f He could not but feel for the
" deplorable calamity, and dreadful furprife," which
plunged Kidder's family in the deepeft diftrefs,



* Profe Works of Ken, by Round, p. 64.

f- " A public Faft was appointed upon this account, and obferved
religioufly." Calamy's Own Life, vol. ii. p. 30. Whifton, in his Me-
moirs, obferves, " What makes me mention it [the ftorm] here is this,
that the public had then fo extraordinary a Colleft of Praife and
Thankfgiving fent about, when Dr. Tenifon was Archbiftiop, to be
ufed for fome time afterwards, with the moft moving expreflions of the
deepeft fenfe of the Divine attributes, proper for fuch an occafion, that
I ever remember in any modern, I had almoft faid, or even antient
compofition whatfoever. * * * It is a very valuable monument of
the piety of our Church-Governors at that time, and a pattern for our
Governors hereafter." Whifton's Memoirs, p. 132. He has preferved
the Form of Prayer, at p. 409.



1703] Bijhop of Bath and Wells. 709

although his expreflions of forrow are lefs warm than
we might have expected from his ufual tendernefs. No
doubt he had too much reafon to lament the Latitudi-
narian government of the diocefe under his fucceffor ;
yet, we might have been better pleafed had he evinced
a more magnanimous and deep fympathy on this
overwhelming misfortune. But then, we are to re-
member that his whole affections were rivetted on the
Church, and as he could entertain no refpect for Kidder
on public grounds, he regarded the vifitation with more
of awe, than of companion. One of De Foe's correfpon-
dents fays, cc the difmal accident of our late Bifhop
and Lady was moft remarkable, who was killed by
the fall of two chimney-flacks, which fell on the roof,
and drove it in upon my Lord's bed, forced it quite
through the next floor, down into the hall, and buried
them both in the rubbifh : and 'tis fuppofed my Lord
was getting up, for he was found fome diftance from
my Lady, who was found in her bed : but my Lord
had his morning gown on, fo that 'tis fuppofed he was
coming from the bed juft as it fell." *

No fooner was the death of Kidder known at Court,
than feveral perfons folicited the appointment to the
See of Bath and Wells : but

"The Queen fent for Dr. Hooper, the new Bifhop of
St. Afaph, told him the fad accident, and that fhe meant the
Bifhopric for him. He exprefled his thanks to her Majefty,
but begged to be excufed, as he could by no means eat the
bread of fo old a friend as Bifhop Ken had been to him, and
entreated her Majefty's leave to propofe to her the reftoring
him to his Bifhopric again. This the )ueen highly approved

* The Storm, by Daniel Defoe, p. 94.

z z 3



yio Life of Thomas Ken, [1703

of, and thanked the Bijhop for putting her in mind of it, and
ordered him to propofe it to Bijhop Ken."*

This is another refutation of Burnet's unjuft cha-
racter of Hooper, f as " ambitious, whofe Deanery
had not foftened him." It may be added here, that at
a later period, when Compton died, he was offered the
Bifhopric of London, and afterwards the Primacy of
York, on the deceafe of Archbifhop Sharp ; but he
declined them both. J He was, indeed, a man, com-
bining in no ordinary degree many admirable qualities,
which fecured the love and refpect of mankind, and
made him truly deferving of the friendship of Ken :
and it is, if not a reproach, at leaft ftrange, that the

* MS. Life of Hooper, by Mrs. Prowfe.

f The fecret of Burnet's great diflike of Hooper will be found in
Lathbury's Hiftory of Convocation, Hooper was Prolocutor of the
Lower Houfe, which, in 1701, pafled a ftrong cenfure againft Burnet's
" Expojition of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England,'"' in
which cenfure Hooper fully concurred, and it was his duty to prefent
it to the Upper Houfe. This " Reprefentation " made three fpecific
complaints againft the work :

" i. That the faid book tends to introduce fuch a latitude and
diverfity of opinions, as the Articles were framed to avoid.

" 2. That there are many paflages in the Expofition of the feveral
Articles, which appear to us to be contrary to the true meaning of them,
and to other received doftrines of our Church.

" 3. That there are fome things in the faid book, which feem to us
to be of dangerous confequence to the Church of England, as by law
eftablifhed, and to derogate from the honour of its Reformation.

" All which particulars we humbly lay before your Lordfhips, pray-
ing your opinion herein."

Lathbury's Hiftory of the Convocation of the Church of England,
and edit. p. 355. Thus Burnet's religious do&rines were cenfured by
the main body of the Clergy of England, as his political creed had been
previoufly condemned by the Parliament of his friend William, which
had ordered his fermon to be burnt by the common hangman, for
aflerting, that William's title to the Crown was founded on the right of
conqueft.

\ MS. Life of Hooper, by Mrs. Prowfe.



1703] Bijhop of Bath and Wells. 711

Church, which he fo adorned in his lifetime, has not
embalmed his memory in a biography worthy of his
virtues. He, who with Beveridge, afferted the caufe
of the Scottifh Epifcopate with intrepid, though
unfuccefsful, zeal, at the Union of the two King-
doms, has been too much difregarded by pofterity.
Neverthelefs, while living, he was admired and re-
vered within his own fold : and even the erratic, and
Bimop-hating Whifton, whom he had felt it his duty
to repel from the Holy Communion, praifes his
learning and moderation. *

And now there arofe an amicable conteft between
the two tried friends, each defiring the other to take
the See of Bath and Wells. Hooper knew what a
healing of the Schifm it would be, if the Bifhopric
were reftored to its rightful poffeffor : but Ken could
never be induced to take the Oaths : befides, the
fenfe of his infirmities having long fince determined
him to remain in privacy, he " defired only to fee the
flock in good hands, and he knew none better, to
whom he might entruft it than Hooper's." f He
received the Queen's offer " with great acknowledge-
ments," and defired Bifhop Hooper to <f return his
moft grateful thanks for her gracious remembrance
of him ; but that he could not return into the bufinefs
of the world again, but would ever befeech God to
accumulate the bleflings of both upon her." In the
fame letter he expreffed his great fatisfaction at the
offer Bimop Hooper had, and " how freely he would

* Whifton's Memoirs, pp.229, 334-5-
f Profe Works of Ken, by Round, p. 65.
J MS. Life of Hooper, by Mrs. Prowi'e.

Z Z 4



Life tf/* Thomas Ken, [1703

refign all title to the Bimopric to him, and how much
he rejoiced, that his ftrayed fheep would be reduced
[brought back] under his government." 4

Hooper being averfe to fo fudden a removal from
St. Afaph, to which he was only juft appointed,
" Bifhop Ken fent him a letter, full of thofe primitive
ftrains, which were in all his writings, in which he
charged him, as he would anfwer it at the great day,
to take the charge of his flock, with more to the fame
purpofe ; and the Queen at the fame time infifting on
his taking it, he was forced to comply. "f The fol-
lowing letters are very interefting, as they prefent to us
an exact picture of Ken's mind at this eventful epoch ;

" ALL GLORY BE TO GOD.
" My very good Lord, " Dec. 6, [1703.]

" I am informed y* you have an offer of Bath and Wells,
and that you refufed it, w ch I take very kindly, becaufe I
know you did it on my account ; but fince I am well allured
y* y e Diocefe cannot be happy to y* degree in any other hands
than in your owne, I DESIRE YOU TO ACCEPT OF IT, and
I know y* you have a prevailing intereft to procure it. I
told you long agoe at Bath how willing I was to furrender
my canonicall claime to a worthy perfon, but to none more
willingly than to yourfelfe. My diftemper difables me from
y 6 paftoral duty, and had I been reftored, I declared allways
y* I would make off y e burthen, and retire. I am about to
leave this place, but if need be, the Archdeacon can tell you
how to direct to me. My beft refpects to your good family.

" God keepe us in His holy feare.

" My good Lord, your Lordfhippe's moft affectionately,

T. B. AND W."J

* MS. Life of Hooper, by Mrs. Prowfe.

f Ibid, j and Bowles's Life of Ken, vol. ii. p. z 56.

{ Prole Works of Ken, by Round, p. 65.



1 703] Bifbop of Bath and Wells. 713

By the fame poft Ken wrote to Lloyd,

" ALL GLORY BE TO GOD.

"Dec. 6, 1703.
" My very good Lord and Brother,

" BlefTed be God who preferved us both in the late great
ftorm ; it is a deliverance not to be forgotten. I hear of
feveral perfons who folicit for my Diocefe, and whom I know
not, and I am informed that it is offered to my old friend, the
Bifhop of St. Afaph, and that it is declined by him. For my
own part, if times fhould have changed, I never intended to
return to my burden, but I much defire to fee the flock in
good hands, and I know none better to whom I may entruft
it than his : for which reafon I write to him this poft, to let
him know my defire that he mould fucceed, with which I
thought good to acquaint your Lordfhip. I leave this place,
God willing, on \Vednefday, hoping to reach Bath, which is
but twelve miles, and to ftay a night or two with Colonel
Philips. My beft refpecls to all the good family with you ;
God keep us in His holy feare.

" Your Lordftiip's moft affea. B r ,



Online LibraryJohn Lavicount AnderdonThe life of Thomas Ken; Bishop of Bath and Wells (Volume 2) → online text (page 21 of 32)