Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/King, Henry

KING, HENRY (1592–1669), bishop of Chichester, eldest son of John King [q. v.], bishop of London, by his wife, Joan Freeman, was baptised at Worminghall, Buckinghamshire, 16 Jan. 1591-2. Robert King, first bishop of Oxford [q. v.], was his great-granduncle. He was educated at Westminster, whence, in 1608, he was elected, with his brother John [see under King, John, D.D,, 1559?-1621], student of Christ Church, Oxford. The brothers were matriculated 20 Jan. 1608-9, and were admitted on the same days (19 June 1611 and 7 July 1614) to the degrees of bachelor and master of arts. On 24 Jan. 1615-16 Henry was collated to the prebend of St. Pancras in the cathedral of St. Paul's, receiving at the same time the office of penitentiary or confessor in that cathedral, together with the rectory and patronage of Chigwell, Essex. He was made archdeacon of Colchester on 10 April 1617, and soon afterwards received the sinecure rectory of Fulham, in addition to being appointed one of the royal chaplains. All these various preferments he held until he was advanced to the episcopal bench. Chamberlain, in a letter to Carleton, dated 8 Nov. 1617, mentions that 'young King, the Bishop of London's eldest son,' had preached a sermon at Paul's Cross. 'It was thought,' he writes, 'a bold part of them, both that so young a man should play his first prizes in such a place and such a time, it being, as he professed, the primitiæ of his vocation, and the first sermon that ever he made. He did reasonably well, but nothing extraordinary, being rather slow of utterance and orator parum vehemens.' About this time King married Anne, eldest daughter of Robert Berkeley, esq., and granddaughter of Sir Maurice Berkeley. There were four or five children of the marriage, but only two survived. His wife died about 1624, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. From his elegy on her we learn that she had barely reached her twenty-fourth year.

After his father's death, on Good Friday 1621, and the circulation of the false rumour that he had died in communion with the church of Rome. King preached a sermon (on John xv. 20) at St. Paul's Cross, on 25 Nov. 1621, 'Upon Occasion of that false and scandalous Report touching the supposed Apostasie of … J. King, late Bishop of London,' 4to. He was made canon of Christ Church 3 March 1623-4, and John was made canon in the following August. On 19 May 1625 they were admitted to the degrees of B.D. and D.D. as accumulators and compounders, and on 10 July they (Act Sunday) they both preached at St. Mary's, the elder in the morning and the younger in the afternoon, the two sermons being published together, with the appropriate motto, 'Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unitie.'

King's amiability endeared him to his friends. Among these were Ben Jonson, George Sandys, Sir Henry Blount, and James Howell. His friendship with Izaak Walton began about 1634, and continued till death. He was on terms of closest intimacy with John Donne (1573-1631) [q. v.], who appointed him one of his executors, and bequeathed to him the gold medal struck in commemoration of the synod of Dort. An elegy by King is prefixed to the 1633 edition of Donne's poems.

From time to time he published sermons, In 1626 appeared 'A Sermon of Deliverance,' 4to, preached on Easter Sunday at the Spittle by request of the lord mayor and aldermen; in 1627 'Two Sermons, preached at Whitehall in Lent, March 3, 1625. and Februarie 30. 1626,' 4to; and in 1628 'An Exposition upon the Lord's Prayer. Deliuered in certaine Sermons in the Cathedrall Church of St. Pavl,' 4to; 3nd edit. 1634. On 6 Feb. 1638-1639, shortly after the death of his brother John, he was made dean of Rochester, and on 6 Feb. 1641-2, the day after the lords had consented to pass the bill for depriving the bishops of their votes, he was elevated to the see of Chichester, being also presented to the rich rectory of Petworth in Sussex. He was residing at his episcopal palace when Chichester surrendered to the parliament in 1643. In his will be complains that his library was seized 'contrary to the condicõn and contracte of the Generall and Counsell of warre at the taking of that Citie,' Walker (Sufferings of the Clergy, ii. 63) declares that he was 'most Barbarously Treated,' He was deprived of the rectory of Petworth, which was given by parliament to Francis Cheynell, and by a resolution of the House of Commons, 27 June 1643, his estates were ordered to be forthwith sequestrated, a petition for delay being rejected on 3 Oct. From 1643 to 1651 he lived in the house of his brother-in-law, Sir Richard Hobart of Langley, Buckinghamshire. In 1649 he published on elegy on Charles I, dated 'from my sad Retirement, March 11, 1648-9;' another elegy,' A Deepe Groane . . . by D. H. K.,' has been doubtfully assigned to him. 'The Psalmes of David. . . , To be sung after the Old Tunes vsed in ye Churches,' appeared in 1651; 2nd edit. 1671.

Shortly afterwards King retired to Ritchings, near Langley, the residence of Lady Salter (supposed to be the sister of Bishop Duppa), where other members of the King family and John Hales of Eton found refuge. In 1657 his scattered 'Poems,' 8vo, were collected. The unsold copies were reissued in 1664 with a new title-page and some additional elegies. In the edition of 1700 the additional elegies were cancelled, and the volume was entitled 'Ben Jonson's Poems, Paradoxes, and Sonnets.' Some of the poems had been published before 1657. The elegy on Gustavus Adolphus appeared in the 'Swedish Intelligencer,' pt. iii. 1633; another on Donne was prefixed to Donne's 'Poems,' 1633; another on Ben Jonson was contributed to 'Jonsonus Virbius,' 1638; and the epistle to George Sandys was printed in 1638. King did not prepare the volume for publication, and some of the poems appear not to belong to him. The verses on Lord Dorset's death are found in Bishop Corbet's poems. 'My Midnight Meditation' is ascribed on early manuscript authority to his brother Dr. John King, and two pieces are found among the poems attributed (often wrongly) to the Earl of Pembroke and Sir Benjamin Rudyard. A poem beginning 'Like to the falling of a star' is found among Francis Beaumont's poems; but probably it belongs neither to Beaumont nor King. The additional poems in the edition of 1664 include elegies on the Earl of Essex, Sir Charles Lucas, Sir George Lisle, and Lady Stanhope, King's best poem is his elegy on his wife.

In 1659 King was engaged in negotiations for supplying the vacant bishoprics, and in the next year returned to Chichester. Wood says that at the Restoration he 'became discontented, as I have heard, and a favourer thereupon of the presbyterians in his diocese.' On 20 May 1661, 'being the happy day of his majesties inauguration and birth,' he preached a sermon (published in 1661, 4to) at Whitehall, and on 24 April 1662 he delivered an impressive funeral sermon (published in 1662, 4to) on Bishop Duppa at Westminster Abbey. In 1662 he published 'Articles of Visitation and Enqiury,' 4to; in 1663 'A Sermon preached at Lewis in the Diocese of Chichester, Oct. 8, 1663;' and in 1664-6 'A Sermon preached the 30th of January at Whitehall, 1664.' His letter to Izaak Walton was printed before Walton's 'Life of Hooker,' 1665.

King died at Chichester 30 Sept. 1669, and was buried in the cathedral, where the widow of his son John erected a monument to his memory and that of her husband. His second son, Henry, died 21 Feb. 1668-9; his eldest son, John, died 10 March 1670-1. Izaak Walton (Life of Donne) describes King as 'a man generally known by the clergy of this nation, and as generally noted for his obliging nature,' and Wood (Athenae, ed. Bliss, iii. 842) declares that he was 'the epitome of all honours, virtues, and generous nobleness, and a person never to be forgotten by his tenants and by the poor.' Vicars maliciously styles him 'a proud prelate' and 'a most pragmatical malignant.'

King was among the contributors to 'Justa Oxoniensiae,' 1613, on the death of Henry, prince of Wales; 'Epithalamia,' 1613, on the marriage of Princess Elizabeth; 'Justa Funebria Ptolemaei Oxonienis, Thomas Bodleii Equitis Aurati,' 1613-14; 'Jacobi Ara,' 1617; 'Annae Funebria Sacra,' 1619; and 'Parentalia Jacobo,' 1625. In 1843 the late Archdeacon Hannah edited King's 'Poems and Psalms,' with an elaborate biographical notice. King's portrait hangs in Christ Church hall.

[Biographical notice by J. Hannah before King's Poems and Psalms,1843; Welch's Alumni Westmonasterienses.]

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