Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/King, Robert (1600-1676)

KING, ROBERT, LL.D. (1600–1676), master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, born in 1600, was a native of Kent. He matriculated as a pensioner of Christ's College, Cambridge, 5 July 1617, graduated B.A. in 1620-1, and proceeded M.A. in 1624. In 1625 he was elected to a fellowship at Trinity Hall, which he held till 1636 (Harl. MS. 7073, ff. 142-3). On 16 June 1628 he was sworn and admitted a proctor in the Bishop of Ely's consistorial court by Dr. Thomas Eden (Addit. MS. 5808, f. 214). In 1636 he took the degree of LL.D. (Notitia Academiae Cantabrigiensis, Lambeth MS. 770, p. 252), and on 10 Oct. 1641 was admitted an advocate of the court of arches at Doctors' Commons, London (MS. Admissions to College of Doctors of Law in Lambeth Library, ff. 50, 110). From 1641 to 1662 he was official to the Archdeacon of Suffolk, and from 1642-6 commissary of the Suffolk archdeaconry. He was commissary of Sudbury archdeaconry for 1645 only, and official to the archdeacon of Sudbury, 1645-1674.

On the death of Thomas Eden [q. v.] (18 July 1645), the parliament (30 Aug.) ordered the fellows of Trinity Hall to suspend the election of any master until the university regulations had been carried out; but the fellows on 28 Sept. petitioned for leave to elect in consequence of various inconveniences (Lords' Journals, vii. 600). Their prayer being granted, they elected John Selden (23 July), and upon his refusal to act King was chosen on 28 Oct., and his election approved by the lords on 6 Nov.; but the commons objecting, he was constrained to resign, and the fellows proceeded on 7 March 1646 to elect John Bond [q. v.], which election received the approval of both houses on 26 March (for particulars concerning these elections, see Baker MSS. xxv. 18, ff. 381-87 in Cambr. Univ. Libr.)

At the Restoration King was re-elected and admitted to the mastership, 20 Aug. 1660. He is addressed as chancellor of Ely by Bishop Wren in 1660 and 1661 (Harl. MS. 7043 ff. 21, 25). In 1661 he was made vicar-general and principal official to Bishop Wren, who confirmed him in these offices by patent, dated 10 Dec. 1662 (Addit. MS. 5808, f. 214), and on 30 June 1662 the bishop placed him at the head of a commission to visit the diocese (Harl. MS. 7043, f. 30). On 2 Feb. 1661-2 he appeared before the house of convocation, and with other lawyers gave his written opinion that the bishops 'were in no danger of irregularity' by sitting with the lords in cases of high treason (Gibson, Cardw. i. 145).

He retained his chancellorship of Ely under Bishop Laney, and was one of the commissioners for visiting the diocese in 1674 ('Registr. Laney,' quoted in Stevenson's Suppl. to Bentham's Ely, p.11). A collection of forms of licenses, citations, sequestrations, &c., issued in his name, is preserved in the Cambridge University Library. King died on 6 Nov. 1676, aged 76, and was buried in the chapel of Trinity Hall. A black marble slab to his memory, with a Latin inscription and coat of arms, is placed near the altar. His arms also appear on a window in the master's lodge. King married Frances, daughter of Jasper Wareyn of Great Thurlow, Suffolk. By her he had a son and daughter, who both predeceased him. Land which he had purchased at Great Thurlow he left by will to three grandsons, Robert, Henry, and Thomas King. His widow was buried at Great Thurlow on 18 April 1684.

[Cambridge Univ. Registers, communicated by the late H. R. Luard, D.D.; Stevenson's Suppl. to Bentham's Ely; Le Neve's Fasti, ed. Hardy, iii. 679; Blomfield's Norfolk, iii. 657-8. 661; Lords' Journals, vii. 524, 630, 676, viii. 237; Commons' Journals, iv. 228, 308. 489; Wilkins's Life of Selden prefixed to Works, pp. xxxvii, xxxviii; Carter's Cambridge, p. 106; Cooper's Annals of Cambr. iii. 376-7; Kennett's Register, pp. 222, 628, 852. 865; Gibson's Synodus Anglicana (Cardwell), p. 223; Le Neve's Monmnenta Anglicana. iii. 172; Addit. MS. 5807, ff. 65, 93. 116; Blomefield's Collectanea Cantabrigiensis, pp. 108, 209, 211, 215; Prin. Prob. Reg. (Beuee. 141); Addit. MS. 19138, f. 211 ( Davy's Suffolk Collections); Cat. of MSS. in Cambr. Univ. Libr.; Todd's Cat. of MSS. at Lambeth Palace.]

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