Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/King, John (1652-1732)

KING, JOHN (1652–1732), miscellaneous writer, born at St. Columb, Cornwall, 1 May 1652, matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, as a poor scholar on 7 July 1674, being described as aged twenty, and as the son of John King of Manaccan in Cornwall. He graduated B.A. 1678 and M.A. 1680, and in 1698, when his friend Sir William Dawes [q. v.], afterwards archbishop of York, was its master, took the degree of D.D. at Catharine Hall, Cambridge. When first in clerical orders he was curate of Bray, Berkshire, where he married Anne, youngest daughter of William Durham, whose wife was Lætitia, granddaughter of Sir Francis Knollys, treasurer of the household of Queen Elizabeth. He had no children by his first wife. On 3 June 1690 King married, as his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Aris of Adstone, Northamptonshire, and widow of the Rev. John Eston, through whom he acquired the living of Pertenhall, Bedfordshire, to which he was at once instituted (7 June 1690). This benefice he vacated for institution to Chelsea on 22 Nov. 1694, the two preferments being then of equal value, but the income of his new living was greatly increased by the letting of the glebe for building. His other preferment was the prebendal stall of Weighton in York Cathedral, to which he was collated by Archbishop Dawes on 1 May 1718. King died at Chelsea 30 May 1732, and was buried in Pertenhall chancel on 13 June, a large mural monument being erected to his memory. His wife died at Chelsea on 22 June 1727, aged 61, and was also buried at Pertenhall. Their youngest daughter, Eulalia, married, on 20 Aug. 1732, John Martyn, professor of botany at Cambridge, and died on 13 Feb. 1748–9, aged 45 (Lipscomb, Buckinghamshire, i. 529). The eldest son, John [q. v.] (1696–1728), is separately noticed. Another son, Joseph, was buried at Ashby Canons (Baker, Northamptonshire, ii. 16).

King wrote, in addition to two sermons: 1. ‘Animadversions on a Pamphlet [by Increase Mather] intituled a Letter of Advice to the Nonconformists,’ 1701, as ‘by a Divine of the Church of England;’ 2nd edit., with his name, 1702. 2. ‘Case of John Atherton, Bishop of Waterford, fairly represented’ (anon.), 1710. 3. ‘Tolando-pseudologo-mastix, an Answer to Toland's “Hypatia”’ (anon.), 1721. Among the Sloane MSS. at the British Museum is one by King (No. 4455), containing a supplement of remarks in 1717 on the life of Sir Thomas More, a letter on More's house at Chelsea, which is printed by Faulkner (pp. 289–99), epitaphs and verses. From a manuscript account of Chelsea by King in the possession of its rector long extracts are made by Lysons, Faulkner, and Beaver. King's diary and memoranda are in the Plymouth Proprietary Library. He was one of the earliest subscribers to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

[Nichols's Lit. Anecdotes, iii. 156, 638; Lysons's Environs, iii. 115; Halkett and Laing's Anon. Literature, i. 95; Gorham's Martyn Family, pp. 48, &c.; Faulkner's Chelsea, pp. 53–7; Beaver's Chelsea, passim; McClure's Chapter in Church History, pp. 4–14.]

W. P. C.