Kynnesman, Arthur (DNB00)


KYNNESMAN, ARTHUR (1682–1770), schoolmaster, son of Harold Kynnesman, was born in London on Christmas day 1682. He was educated at Christ's Hospital, and admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, 30 June 1702, whence he graduated B.A. 1705, and M.A. 1709. For some time he was an usher at Westminster School, but in 1715 resigned this appointment on becoming master of the grammar school at Bury St. Edmunds. Here he worked for thirty years, and secured for the school a high reputation. Richard Cumberland (1732–1811) [q. v.] was a pupil, and has left some account of Kynnesman. On one occasion, speaking to Bentley (Cumberland's grandfather), he said that he would make Cumberland as good a scholar as his grandfather, to which Bentley replied, ‘Pshaw! Arthur, how can that be, when I have forgot more than thou ever knewst?’ Kynnesman became rector of Barnham, in 1751 he was reader of St. James's, Bury, for a few months, and in 1766 he obtained the living of Eriswell; all three places are in Suffolk. He resigned the mastership of the grammar school in 1765, and died 10 July 1770 at Bury. He married a Miss Maddocks of Troston, Suffolk; she died in 1766, and both were buried at Barnham.

A portrait of Kynnesman and his wife was at Troston Hall in the possession of Capell Lofft the elder [q. v.] A portrait of Kynnesman by Webster is at the Bury grammar school. It was engraved in mezzotint, at the cost of fourteen old pupils, by James Watson. Kynnesman wrote ‘A Short Introduction to Grammar,’ Ipswich, 1768; 2nd edition 1775.

[Davy's Suffolk Collections, xc. (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 19166); Cumberland's Memoirs, ed. Flanders, pp. 25, 26, 31, 33, 38, 43; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. viii. 433, ix. 534; Nichols's Lit. Illustr. iii. 290, 291, 848, iv. 319, 376.]

W. A. J. A.