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Denne, Samuel (DNB00)


DENNE, SAMUEL (1730–1799), antiquary, the second of the two sons of Archdeacon John Denne, the antiquary [q. v.], was born at the deanery, Westminster, on 13 Jan. 1730. He was educated at Streatham and at the King's School, Canterbury, and was admitted of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 1748, graduating B.A. 1753, M.A. 1756. In 1754 he was presented to the vicarage of Lamberhurst in Kent, but he resigned it in 1767 on becoming vicar of Wilmington and also of Darenth, both near Dartford, Kent. He died at Wilmington, where he had long lived quietly, on 3 Aug. 1799, of a bilious complaint from which he had suffered for forty years. He was buried near his father in Rochester Cathedral. ‘An affectionate son he was, and true lover of the spot appointed for his resting-place.’ ‘For his character the poor and needy of his parishes … will afford the best testimonial’ (Gent. Mag.). Denne became a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1783. His voluminous correspondence with Richard Gough, published in vol. vi. (p. 609 ff.) of Nichols's ‘Literary Illustrations,’ evidences the keen interest which he took in all classes of English antiquities. He published: 1. ‘A Letter to Sir R. Ladbroke’ (showing the good effects which would result ‘from the confinement of criminals in separate apartments’), 1771, 8vo. 2. ‘Historical Particulars of Lambeth Parish and Lambeth Palace,’ 1795, 4to. 3. ‘The History and Antiquities of Rochester and its Environs’ [in conjunction with W. Shrubsole], 1772, 8vo, also 1817, 8vo, and 1833, 12mo. Denne contributed to Thorpe's ‘Custumale Roffense;’ to Gough's ‘Sepulchral Monuments;’ to the ‘Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica;’ to the ‘Illustrations of the Manners and Expences of Antient Times in England,’ 1797; and to an edition of Atterbury's ‘Correspondence.’ He also assisted Ellis in his history of Shoreditch, and contributed articles to the ‘Archæologia’ in vols. vi.–xiii. He frequently wrote for the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ from the publication of vol. xli. till his death: his articles were signed ‘W. & D.’ (i.e. Wilmington and Darenth, his vicarages). Denne was unmarried.

[Gent. Mag. vol. lxix. pt. 2 (1799), pp. 722, 723; Nichols's Lit. Illust. numerous references (especially to vol. vi.) in index in vol. viii.; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 522, 525, 526, 528–31, 675, vi. 393, viii. 15, ix. 72, 159, 196, 217, 549; Chalmers's Biog. Dict.; Sidebotham's Memorials of the King's School, Canterbury, p. 69; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

W. W.