Kitchin, Anthony (DNB00)


KITCHIN, alias Dunstan, ANTHONY (1477–1563), bishop of Llandaff, born in 1477, was a Benedictine monk of Westminster, who studied at Gloucester Hall (now Worcester College), built originally for Benedictine novices. He graduated at Oxford B.D. in 1525 and D.D. in 1538. In 1526 he was made prior of Gloucester College (see Foxe, Acts and Mon. v. 425). In 1530 he was appointed abbot of Eynsham, Oxford, and as abbot was a signatory to the king's supremacy (1534) and to the articles of 1536. On the dissolution of the lesser monasteries he, together with eight monks, surrendered his abbacy, 4 Dec. 1539, receiving a pension of 133l. 6s. 8d., with the promise of a benefice and cure. He was also appointed king's chaplain, and in 1545 bishop of Llandaff. The oath he took on his confirmation contains the fullest possible renunciation of the papal supremacy (Strype, Cranmer, p. 187). He clung to his bishopric through all changes, and wastefully reduced it from one of the wealthiest to one of the poorest sees. He did homage to Mary at her coronation, displayed zeal enough to burn a martyr (Foxe, vi. 646), and was one of the commissioners who sat on Hooper. At the accession of Elizabeth he again complied, being the only papist bishop who took the oath of supremacy, although he had dissented in the House of Lords from all the acts of restitution and reformation. He was included by Elizabeth in the two commissions which she drew for the consecration of Parker, but owing perhaps to pressure from Bonner he certainly did not act. No Marian bishop consequently took part in the ceremony, a fact which gave rise to the great controversy as to the validity of English ordinations. It was in connection with this controversy that the Nag's Head story was invented. According to the later form of this fable, Kitchin was present at the dinner at the Nag's Head tavern on the day of the confirmation of Parker, 9 Dec. 1559, and was in vain importuned by Scory and the rest to consecrate him and other bishops-elect. Kitchin died 31 Oct. 1563, and was buried in the parish church of Matherne, Monmouthshire.

His name appears as Dunstan up to the time of his election as bishop; after that event as Kitchin.

[Strype's Cranmer, Annals, Memorials, and Parker; Foxe's Acts and Mon. loc. cit.; Oxford Registers; Dugdale's Mon. Anglic. vol. iii.; State Papers, Dom. 1559, p. 143, ibid. Hen. VIII, iv. 1762; Godwin, De Præsulibus Angliæ (makes Kitchin Cantabr. Acad. Alumnus); Wood's Ath. Oxon.; Le Neve; Burnet; Fuller; Lansdowne MS. 981, fol. 15; Cotton. MSS. Vit. cx. 92–100.]

W. A. S.