William Tooke.

A new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) online

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Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 12 of 48)
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year by Dr. Gardiner, bilhop of Lincoln. He now grew
into great efteem by thofeof his party in the church, and par-
ticularly with Tenifon the archbiihop of Canterbury. He
preached a fcrmon at Aldgate, January 30, 1703, which ex-
poled him to great clamour, and occaii'oned many pamphlets
to be written againft it : and, in 1705, when Dr. Wake was
advanced, to the fee of Lincoln, was appointed to preach his
confecration fermon ; which was fo much admired by lord
chiefrjuftice Flolt, that he declared, " it had more in it to the
purpofe of the legal and chriitian conftitution of this church
than any volume of difcoudes." About the fame time, fome


K E N N E. T. 99


hookfellers, hiving undertaken to print a collection of the Lc-:
\vriters of rhe Englilh hiftory, as far as to the reign of Charles I.
in two folio volumes, prevailed with Dr. Kennet to prepare a
third volume, which ihouJd carry the hiftory down to the
then prefent reign of queen Anne. This, being finished with
a particular preface, was published with the other two, under
the title of " A complete Hiftory of England, &c." in 1706.
The two volumes weie collected by Mr. Hughes, who 'wrote
alfo the general preface, without any participation of Dr.
Kennet: and, in 1719, there was alfo publifhed the fecond
edition with notes, faid to be inferred by Mr. Strype, and
feveral alterations and additions. Not long after this, he was
appointed chaplain to her Majefty ; and, by the management
of bifhop Burner, preached the funeral fermon on the death of
the frrft duke of Devonshire, Sept. 5, 1707. This fermon,
gave great offence, and made fome fay, that " the preacher
had built a bridge to heaven for men of wit and parts, but ex-
cluded the duller part of mankind from any chance of paffing
it.' ; This charge was grounded on the following paffage ;
where, fpeaking of a late repentance, he lays, that u this
rarely happens but in men of diftinguimed fenfe and judge-
ment. Ordinary abilities may be altogether funk by a Ions;
vicious courfe of life : the duller flame is eafily extinguifhed.
THje meaner finful wretches are commonly given up to a repro-
bate mind, and die as flupidly as they lived ; while the nobler
and brighter parts have an advantage of understanding the
worth of their fouls before they refign them. If they are
allowed the benefit of ficknefs, they commonly awake out of
their dream of fin, and reflect, and look upward. They ac-
knowledge an infinite being ; they feel their own immortal
part; thev recollect and relilh the holy Scriptures; they call
for the elders of the church ; they think what to anfwer at a
judgernent-feat. Not that God is a refpecter of perfons, but
the difference is in men; and, the more intelligent nature is,
the more fufceptible of the divine grace."

But, whatever offence this fermon might give to others, it
did not offend the fucceeding duke of Devonihire, to whom it
was dedicated : on the contrary, it pleafed him fo much, that
he recommended the doctor to the queen for the deanery of
Peterborough, which he obtained in 1707. In 1709, he
publiihed " A Vindication of the Church and Clergy of Eng-
land from fome late Reproaches rudely and unjuftly caft upon
them ;" and, " A true Anfwer to Dr. Sacheverell's Sermon
before the Lord-Mayor, November 5, of that year." la
1 710, he was greatly reproached, for not joining in the Lon-
don clergy's addrefs to the queen. When the great point in
Sacheverell's trial, the change of the miniftry, was gained, and

H 2, very

ioo K E N N E T.

very Grange addreffes made upon it, there was to be a like
artful addrefs from the biihop and clergy of London ; and
they, who would not fubfcribe it, were to be reprefented as
enemies to the queen and her minifiry. Dr. Kennet fell under
this imputation ; and advice was fent of it through the king-
dom, by Mr. Dyer, in his " Letter" of Aug. 4, 1710.
This zealous conauct in Kennet, in favour of his own party,
raifed fo great an odium againil him, and made him fo very
obnoxious to the other, that very uncommon methods were
taken to expofe him ; and one, in particular, by Dr. Welton,
rector of Whitechapel. In an altar-piece of that church,
which was intended to reprefent Chrift and his twelve apoftles
eating the pavibver and the laft fupper, Judas, the traitor, was
drawn fitting in an elbow, chair, drefied in a black garment,
between a gown and a cloak, with a black fcarf and a white
band, a fhort wig. and a mark in his forehead, between a
lock and a patch, and with fo much of the countenance of
Dr. Kennet, that under it, in eftecl, was writtten " the dean
the traitor." It was generally laid, that the original Iketch
was deiigned for a biihop under Dr. Welton's difpleafure.,
which occaiioned the elbow-chair, and that this bifhop was
Buniet : but the painter being apprehenrlve of an action of
Scandalum Magnatum, leave was given him to drop the bifhop,
and make the Dean. Multitudes of people came daily to the
church to admire the fight; but it was cfteemed fo inioknt a
contempt of all that is facred, that, upon the complaint of
others, (for, the dean never faw or feemed to regard it,) the
biihop of London obliged thofe who let the pidture up to
take it down again.

But thefe arts and contrivances to expofe him, inilead of
dilcouraging ferved only to animate him ; and he continued
to write and aft as ufual in the defence of that caufe which
he had efpouied and pufhed fo vigorouily hitherto. In the
mean time, he employed his leifu re-hours in things of a |dif-
ferent nature ; but which, he thought, would be no lefs ier-
viceable to the public good. In 1/13, he made a large col-
lection of books, charts, maps, and papers, at his own
expence, with a defign of writing " A full Hiilory of the
Propagation of Chrlftianity in the Engliih American Colo-
nies ;" and published a catalogue of all the diftinft treatifes
and papers, in the order of time as they were firft printed or
written, under this title, "Bibliothecse Americana? primordia."
About the fame time he founded " an antiquarian and hiflori-
cai library' 5 at Peterborough ; for which purpofe he had long
been gathering up pieces, from the very beginning of printing
in England to the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign. In
the rebellion of 1715, he publiliaeti a. Sermon upon " the


K E N N E T.


Witchcraft of the prefent Rebellion ;" and, the two following
years, was very zealous for repealing the acts againfl occa-
iional conformity and the growth of fchifm. He alfo warmly
oppofed the proceedings in the convocation againit Hoadly,
then bilhop of Bangor ; which was thought to hurt him ib
as to prove an effectual bar to his farther advancement in the
church : neverthelefs, he was afterwards promoted to the fee
of Peterborough, November 1718. He continued to print
fevetal things after his lail promotion, which he lived to en-
joy fomething above ten years ; and then died in his houfe in
James-ftreet, December 19, 1728. His numerous and valua-
ble MS. collections, which were once in the collection of
Mr. Weft, were purchafed by the earl of Shelburne; among
thefe are two volumes in a large Atlas folio, which were in-
tended for publication under the following comprehenfive
title :



SACR^E; in quibus
, facili online
EPISCOPI, eorumque




c^lefiarum inf.iper Cathedraltutn







& melioris notx C:\nonici,

continua fene dedufti

a GULIELMI I. Conqueftu,

ad aufpicata GUL. III. tempora."

There is alfo in his lordfhip's library a curious Diary by
bifhop Ken net, in MS, whence the following curious extracts
have been tranfcribed :

" Dr. Swift came into the coffee-houfe, and had a bow
from every body but me, who, I confefs, could not but
defpife him. When I came to the antichamber to wait be-
fore prayers, Dr. Swift was the principal man of talk and
buiineis, and acted as a mailer of requefts. He was foliciting
the earl of Arran to fpeak to his brother the duke of Ormond,
to get a chaplain's place eftablifhed in the garriion of Hull for
Mr. Fiddes, a clergyman in that neighbourhood, who had
lately been in gaol, and publifhed fermons to pay fees. He
was promifmg Mr. Thorold to undertake with my lord
trealurer, that, according to his petition, he mould obtain a
falary of 200 1. per annum, as miniiler of the Engliih church
at Rotterdam. Then he ftopt F. Gwynne, Eiq. going in
with his red bag to the queen, and told him aloud he had
fomewhat to fay to him from my lord trealurer. He talked
with the fon of Dr. Davenant to be fent abroad, and took out
Ins pocket-book and wrote down feveral things, as memoranda^
to do for him. He turned to the fire, and took out his gold

H 3 watch,

102 K E N N E T.

watch, and, telling the time of the day, complained it was
very late. A gentleman laid, ' he was too fait.' ' How can I
help it/ fays the doctor, * if the courtiers give me a w :ch
that won't go right ?' Then he inftrucled a young nobleman,
that the bell poet in England was Mr. Pope (a papift), who
had begun a tranilation of Homer into Englifh verfe ; for
which ' he mull have 'cm all fubfcribe;' for, fays lie, the
author jW/ not begin to print till Ihavc a thoufand guineas for
him. Lord treafurer, after leaving the queen, came through
the room beckoning Dr. Swift to follow him : both went off
jurl before prayers.

" Nov. 3. I fee and hear a great deal to confirm a doubt,
that the pretender's intereir. is much at the bottom of fome

heart? : a whifper, that .V2r. N n (Nelfon) had a prime

hand in the late book for hereditary right ; and that one of them
was prefented to majefty itielf, whom God preferve from the
effect of fuch principles and fuch intrigues ! >!

KEN NET (BASIL), younger brother of the preceding,
was born Oc~t. 21, 1674, at Poflling in Kent, the vicarage of
his father, who bred this fon alfo to the church. He was
fent to Corpus-Chrifti-colIege, Oxford, in 1690, where he
ibon cliiYmguiihed himftlf by his uncommon" abilities, and
extraordinary advances in clafficat literature. He took the
degree of M. A. in 16^6, and commenced author the fame
year, by the publication of his " Romae Antique Notitia, or
The Antiquities of Rome ;" in two parts : I. " A fliort Hiftory
of the Rife, Progrefs, and Decay of the Commonwealth."
2. " A Defcription of the City : an Account of the Religion,
Civil Government, and Art of War ; with the remarkable
Cuftoms and Ceremonies, public and private: with Copper
Cuts of the principal Buildings, &c. To which are prefixed,
Two EiTays, concerning the Roman Learning, and the Roman
Education/' in 8vo. The dedication is addreffed to his royal
highnefs William duke of Gloucefter ; and muft have been
written for his ufe particularly, if any credit may be given to
a report, then at Oxford, that there was a purpofe of making
Mr. Kennet fub-preceptor to that darling of the nation.
T his book being very well received by the public, he was
encourged to go on with his defign of facilitating the fludy
of claflical learning ; and with this view publifhed, in 1697,
*' The Lives and Characters of the ancient Grecian Poets,"
in 8vo ; which he alfo dedicated to the duke of Gloucefter.
The fame year he was admitted fellow of his college, and be-
came a tutor there. About this time, he entered into orders ;
and, fome years after, gave proofs of the progrefs he had
made in the ftudy of divinity. In 1705, he publifhed cc An
Expofition of the Apoftles Creed, according to bilhop Pearfon,


K E N N E T. 103

in a new Method, by way of Paraphrafe and Annotations,"
in 8vo. This was followed by " An KfTay towards a Para-
phrafe on the Pfalms, in Verie ; with a Paraphrafe on the
third Chapter of the Revelations, 1706," in 8vo-

The fame year he was, by the intereft of his brother, ap-
pointed chaplain to the Englilh factory at Leghorn ; where he
no . nier arrived thap he met with great opposition from the
panf-s, and was in grea: danger of the inquifition. This efta-
bliihi lent o: a church-of-En gland chaplain was a new thing;
ai d the i'amns were fp jealous of the Northern herefy, that,
to as iittie offence as poffible, he performed the duties of
his office wi-h the utmo privacy and caution. But, not-
withftanding this, great offence was taken at it ; and corn-
plan :s were immediately fent to Florence and Rome. Upon
this, the Pope, and the court of inquifition at Rome, declared
their .ei lution to expel heiefy, and the public teacher of it,
from the confines of the holy lee ; and therefore fecret orders
were given to apprehend him, iVir, Rennet, at Leghorn, and
to hurry him away to Pifa, and thence to fome other religi-
ous prifon, to bury him alive, or otherwife difpoie of him in
the fevereft manner. L T pon notice of this defign, Dr. New-
ton, the Englifh envoy at Florence, interpofed his offices at
tint court ; where he could obtain no other anfwer, but that

he might fend for the Engliih preacher, and keep him in
his own iamily as his domeftic chaplain ; otherwife, if he
prefumed to continue atLeghorn, he mutt take the confequences
of it : for, in thofe matters of religion, the court of inquifi-
tion was fuperior to all civil powers." The envoy commu-
nicated this anfwer of the great duke to the earl of Sunder-
land, then fecretary of ftate, who lent a menacing letter by
her majeily's order ; and then the chaplain continued to
officiate in fafety, though he was with much difficulty pre-
ferved from their intended fury till that letter arrived.

He continued at Leghorn, and pcrfevered with great fteadi-
nefs in his duty, till his invalid Hate obliged him to think of
returning to his native air. He arrived at Oxford in 1714:
he was aifo admitted D, D. the year. But he lived to en-
joy thefe new honours a very Ihort time: for, having brought
an illhabit of body with him from Italy, he continued from
that time to~decline gradually ; and was carried off, before the
expiration of this year, by a flow fever. A little before his
death, he fmifhed the preface to a volume, which came out
under the title of " Sermons on feveral Occafions, preached
before the Society of Britifh Merchants in foreign Parts.
Lond. 1715," Bvo.

Befides this collection, and the pieces already mentioned,
of his own compofing, he gave Englilh tranflations of emi-

H 4 nent

io| K E N N I C O T T.

nent authors, the chief of which are as follow: I; " Puf-
fendorfof the Law of Nature and Nations." 2. " Piacettc's
Chriftian CafuiiV 3. " Godeau's Pafloral Inftruaions."
4. " Pafcal's Thoughts on Religion." To which he pre-
fixed an account of the manner in which thole thoughts
were delivered by the author. 5. " Balfac's Ariftippus:
with an Account of his Life and Writings. 6. " The Mar-
riage of Thames and Ifis;' 5 from a Latin poem of Mr.

Dr. Bafil Kennet is faid to have been a very amiable man;
of exemplary integrity, generofity, and modeily.

.KENNICOTT (BENJAMI.V, D. D.) "was canon of
Ch rift -Church, and well known in the literary world for
his elaborate edition of the Hebrew Bible, and other publica-
tions. He was born at Totneis in Devonshire, in 1718.
His early difpby of talents recommended him to fo fine gentle-
men, who fent him to Oxford, and there fupported him.
At Oxford he foon became eminent, and, on account of
two diflertatioris, one on the Tree of .Life, the other on the
Oblations of Cain and Abel, had the degree of A. B. con-
ferred upon him gratis a year before the ftatutable time. He
foon after . dii'linguifhed liimfelf by the publication of feveial

occasional fermons, which were well received. In the year

- - j

1753, ^ e ^ a * c * ^ ie foundation of Ins great work, and jpent a
long time in fearching cut and examining Hebrew mann-
fcripts. He appealed to the Jews themfelves on the fubjedfc
of the Hebrew text, and gave a compendious hiftory of it
from the cJofe of the Hebrew cr.non to the invention of
printing, with an account of 103 Hebiew MSS. In 1760,
lie published his propofals for collecting all the Hebrew MSS.
prior to the invention of printing, that could be found in
Great Britain ; and, at the fame time, for procuring as many
collections of foreign MSS. as his time and money would
permit. During the progrefs of his work he was rewarded
with the canonry of Chrift-Church. His fir ft volume was
publiihed in 1776, and the whole was completed in 1780.
When we contemplate his diligence and learning, it mu ft be
confefled, that Hebrew literature and facred criticifm is in-
' debted to him more than to any fcholar of his age. He was a
good and confcientious man, and, in decline of life, refigned
a valuable living becaufe he was unable to vifit his parilh. He
died at Oxford in 1783, leaving a wife, but no children. At
the time of his d-ath he was employed in printing remarks
on paiTages on the Old Teftament. This was afterwards
publiihed from his papers. Dr. Kennicott was alfo keeper of
the Radcliffe library; and correfpondcd with lome of the
oil eminent characters in Europe.


KENT. 105

(WIT.LIAM), fenofac : of London, n
brought up to fome mechaiiical -. nt. He foon

abandoned his employment, \vhatevcr it J purfued

with cagernefs the cultivation of literature, by \\hich he
obtained a fupport for the remainder of his li. . He went to
Leyden for the benefit of hi lies ; ant', to

England in 17^9, he publiflied * s Epiftles % Ph 'cal and

Moral" in verfe. His publications weie indeed very nu-
merous, among which none was more rermrkable , a
comedy lie produced iii 1763, called " EaliUuT's WY "

This was intended at rirft to be impofed on the public as an
original plav of Shakefpeare ; and certain it is, that no more
happy imitation has ever appeared. Dr. Kenrick was alfo a
writer in the Monthly Review ; but, in confequence of !bme
difpute with his principal, he eilabliflied a new literary-
journal of his own. He was a lib ihe original editor of the
Morning Chronicle ; but here again, in confequence of fome
difpute, he introduced a new paper in oppolition. He t in-
flated, and with great ability, RoulTeau's Emilias and Eloi ,
and iMilot's " Elements of the Hiilory of England." He
produced a great number of dramatic performances, as well as
tranflations from various languages, and wa.s undoubtedly
pofieifed of considerable abi ! it: e s . H s died in 1777.

KENT ( WILLIAM), was born in Yori. .-, and put
apprentice to a coach-painter, but, feeling the fuperiority of
genius, he left his mafter, and came up to London, where he
foon gave indications of great abilities. , n 1710, he \\
fent, by the munificence of fome gentlemen of his own country,
to Rome, whither he accompanied Mr; Tallman. There he
ihidied under Cavalier Luti, and in the academy gained the
fecond prize of the fecond clsfs. He alib became acquainted
with lord Burlington, whofe fagacity difcovered the rich vein
of genius that had been hid even from himfelf; and, on their
return to England in 1719, lodged him in his own houfe, and
fhewed for -him all the marks of the moil difmterefted friend-
Aip. By hisintereft he was employed in various works, both
as a painter in hiftory and portrait ; and yet there appear but
very faint traces of that creative talent he difplayed in a lifter
art. His portraits did not refemble the perfons that fat for
them. His colouring was worfe than that of the moft errant
journeyman to the profeffion; and hrs drawing was defective,
witnefs the hall at Wanvtead, and his pidlure at St. Clement's.
He deiigned fome of the drawings of Gay's Fables, the prints
for Spencer's Fairy Queen, and the vignettes to the large
edition of Pope's works. In architecture he was defervediy
admired; he executed the Temple of Venus at Stowe; the
earl of Lticefter's houfe at Holkham in Norfolk ,- the great hall



at Mr. Pelham's, Arlington-nreet; and the flair-cafe at lady
Ifabclla Finch's in Berkeley-fquare. Mr. Walpole confiders
him as tire inventor of modern gardening. By the patronage
of the dukes of Grafton and Nevvcaftle, Mr. Pelham, and the
carl of Burlington, he was made mailer-carpenter, architect,
keeper of the picture?, and, after the death of Jervas, princi-
pal painter to the crown; the vvhole, including a peniion of
lool a year, which was given him for his works at Kenimg-
ton, produced 6ool. a year. In 1743, ne vvas difordered in
his eyes, but recovered, and in -/larch 1748 had an inflam-
mation in his bowels, which put an end to his life at Bur-
lingron-houfe, April 12, 17^8, aged, 63 years,

KEPLER (]OHN) ? the jreateft aftronomer perhaps that
any age has pro d, was born ar Wiel in 'he dutchv of
Wirtern 2yth Dec. 1571. His father, Henry

tr, was deicended from a family which had ra:fed them-
feivts under the emperors by their mili'arv ier vices, and was
Iiimfeif an officer of ran.k in the arm v; but afterwards, ex-
periencing ill fortune, was obliged to fell all he had, and
iiipport himfelf and hisfamil) by keeping a pubiic-houfe. He
died in 1590, and left his fon John to take what care of
himfelf he could. His education had been hitherto neglected,
as may eafily be imagined; but, having a very great genius,
and as great a deiireto cultivate it, he entered upon his iludies
in philofophy at Tubingen, immediately upon his father's
death, and, two years after, purfued the mathematics in the
fame univerfity, under the famous Michael Moaftlin, He
made fo grear progrefs, and became fo famous, that in 1593
he was invited to Gratz in Styria, to teach the mathematics
there. He then applied himfelf entirely to aftronomy, and
publifhed from time to time feveral works, the principal of
which {hall be mentioned. In 159?, he entered into the
married fUte, which at firft created him great uneafinefs, from
a difpute which arofe about his wife's fortune ; and, the year
after, he was banifliei from Grarz on account of his religion,
but afterwards recsllal, and reftored to his former dignity.
However, the growing troubles and confuiions of that place
inclined him to think of a reiidence elfewhere ; and, as Tycho
Brahe, having fettled in Bohemia, and obtained from the
emperor all forts of conveniences for the perfecting of
aftronomy, was parTionately defirous of having Kepler
with him, and had often folicited him by letters, he left
the univerfity of Gratz, and removed into Bohemia with
his family in 1600. in his journey he vvas feized with a
quartan ague, which continued fcven or eight months; fo
that all that time he could do Tycho but very little fervice.
Tycho and Kepler did not agree very well with each other, as



little a time as they continued together. Kepler was offended
at Tvcho, for refuting fome fervices to his family, which he
had occafion for: he was aUbdiflfatisfied with his refervednefs ;
for, Tycho did not communicate to him all that he knew ;
and, as he died in 1601, he did not give Kepler time to be
very ufeful to him, or to receive anv confidernble advantages
from him. Before his death, however, he introduced him to
the emperor Rodolphus at Prague, (for, it was upon this con-
dition that Kepler had confented to leave Gratz), who re-
ceived him very kindly, and made him his mathematician,
upon condition that he fhould ferve Tycho as an arithmeti-
cian. From that time Kepler enjoyed the title of mathemati-
cian to the emperor all his Mfe, and gained more and more
reputation every year by his works. Rodolphus ordered him
to finim the table; begun by Tycho, which were to be called
the ' Rodolphine Tables ;" and he applied himfelf very
vigoroufly to this work ; but fuch difficulties arofe in a fhort
time, partly from the nature of it, and partly from the delay of
the treafurers, that the tables were not finished and pubiifhed
till 1627. ^ e complained, that, from 1602 and 1603, he
was looked upon by the treafurers with a very invidious eye;
and when, in 1609, he had publifhed a noble fpecimen of the
work, and the emperor had given orders that, befides the ex-
pence of the edition, he fhould immediately be paid the ar-
rears of his penfipn, which, he laid,, amounted to 2OOO
crowns, and likewife 2000 more ; yet, that it was not till
two years after, that the generous orders of Rodolphus, in
his favour, were put in execution. He met with no lefs dif-
couragement from the financiers under the emperor Matthias,
than under Rodolphus ; and therefore, after nruggling with,
poverty for ten years at Prague, began to think of quitting his

Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 12 of 48)