Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Knell, Paul

KNELL, PAUL (1615?–1664), divine, graduated B.A. from Clare Hall, Cambridge, in 1635, and was incorporated D.D. at Oxford on 31 Jan. 1643. He was for some time ‘chaplain to a regiment of curiassiers in his majesty's army,’ a fact which he is careful to mention on the title of each of his sermons. He appears subsequently to have lived at Woodford in Essex, where in 1650 he joined other clergymen and gentry in a petition, ‘addressed to the charity of all good Christians,’ in behalf of ‘the King's servants to the number of forty, being in present distress by reason that their sole dependence was upon the late King's Majesty’ (Lysons, iv. 285). He became vicar of Newchurch, Romsey Marsh, in 1660, rector there in 1662, and vicar of St. Dunstan's, near Canterbury, in 1664. He died at St. Dunstan's, and was buried in the church 24 Aug. 1664 (Hasted, Kent, iii. 468, 594).

Knell published: 1. ‘Israel and England Paralelled (sic) in a Sermon preached before the Honourable Society of Grayes Inn, 16 April 1648. Addressed to all those who are friends to Peace and King Charles.’ 2. ‘The Life Guard of a Loyal Christian. Preached at St. Peter's, Cornhill, 7 May 1648,’ and preceded by a prayer for the king. 3. ‘A Looking-glasse for Levellers, held out in a Sermon preached at St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf, 24 Sept. 1648.’ A savage attack upon the army and the independents, anathematising in particular the conduct of Fairfax and his ‘bloodhounds’ at Colchester; this passed through several editions. These three sermons with two others were published collectively in 1660, and again in 1661, under the title ‘Five Seasonable Sermons, preached before the King's Majesty beyond the Seas, and other eminent Auditories in England, formerly prohibited, but now published and dedicated to his Majesty.’

[Wood's Fasti, ed. Bliss, ii. 58; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

T. S.