King was a voluminous letter-writer, and his letters throw a flood of light on the state of Ireland in his day. A number of these in the possession of Trinity College, Dublin, were printed by Mant in the second volume of his ‘History of the Church of Ireland.’ Others addressed to Sir Robert Southwell, forming two folio volumes, are in the Phillipps library of Cheltenham, Cat. No. 8556 (Thorpe, Cat. 1834, pt. iv. p. 265). Another very valuable collection, including King's draft of a reply to Leslie's ‘Answer,’ and papers relating to his suit with the London Society, is that of Robert D. Lyons, esq., M.D., of Dublin. According to Mr. J. T. Gilbert (Hist. MSS. Comm. 2nd Rep. p. 235), who adds that there are other collections of King's extant in Ireland, these papers originally belonged to King's relative, the Rev. Robert Spence, rector of Donaghmore, co. Donegal. King's ‘Diary,’ written during the time of his imprisonment, with some other autograph manuscripts, are mentioned (ib. 3rd Rep. p. 416) as being in the possession of Colonel Ross-King of Kinellar, Aberdeenshire. A few letters and other papers will be found among the Egerton and Additional MSS. in the British Museum, but these have been utilised by Mant.
To the printed works mentioned above may be added:
- ‘A Sermon preached 7 Sept. 1704, being the Thanksgiving Day for the Victory … at Blenheim,’ London, 1704, 4to.
- ‘Christian Humility: a Sermon preached before the Queen,’ London, 1705, 4to.
- ‘The Advantages of Education, Religious and Political: a Sermon,’ London, 1706, 4to.
- ‘The Mischief of Delaying Sentence against an Evil Work: a Sermon,’ London, 1707, 4to.
- ‘The Right of Monarchy Asserted: a Sermon,’ London, 1713, 8vo.
- ‘A Key to Divinity, or a Philosophical Essay on Free Will,’ London, 1715, 12mo.
King has been wrongly credited with ‘The Irish Historical Library: pointing at most of the Authors and Records in print or MS.,’ Dublin, 1724, 8vo, by Bishop Wm. Nicolson [q. v.]
[There is no regular biography of Archbishop King, nor any collected edition of his works. The life by Harris in his edition of Ware's Bishops, with the additional information by Mant in his History of the Church of Ireland, is still the chief source of our information. The life in Willis's Irish Nation is chiefly abstracted from Mant. Some interesting and authentic matter will be found in Monck Mason's History of St. Patrick's. The correspondence between King and Swift, and to a less extent the earlier letters in the Journal to Stella, in Sir Walter Scott's edition of Swift's Works, throw much light on King's character and on the subject of the first-fruits. To these may be added, for incidental reference, J. W. Stubbs's Hist. of the University of Dublin; the Rev. John Richardson's Short Hist. of the Attempts to Convert the Popish Natives of Ireland, London, 1712; Cotton's Fasti Eccl. Hib.; Burdy's Life of Skelton; Bishop Nicholson's Letters on Various Subjects; Archbishop Boulter's Letters; Locke's Familiar Letters; George Faulkner's edition of Swift's Works, Dublin, 1763; Dublin Intelligencer, 10 May 1729; Notes and Queries; Hist. MSS. Comm. Reports, ii. 231–57, iii. 416; Leslie Stephen's English Thought in the Eighteenth Century; Craik's Life of Swift.]
KING, WILLIAM (1685–1763), principal of St. Mary Hall, Oxford, born at Stepney, Middlesex, on 16 March 1685, was the son of the Rev. Peregrine King and Margaret, daughter of Sir William Smyth, bart., of Radclive, Buckinghamshire (Anecdotes, p. 62; Lysons, Environs, iii. 456). After attending Salisbury grammar school (Anecdotes, p. 136) he entered Balliol College, Oxford, on 9 July 1701, and graduated B.C.L. on 12 July 1709, D.C.L. on 8 July 1715. He was admitted a civilian on 20 Jan. 1716, but being possessed of a modest patrimony, he never sought practice (Coote, English Civilians, pp. 111–12). He devoted his life to scholarship and literature, interested himself in politics, and was long at the head of the Jacobite party at Oxford. From want of ‘human prudence’ he twice in his life lost the opportunity of acquiring a very large fortune ‘in the most irreproachable manner,’ and owing to the same defect his own fortune became much impaired (Anecdotes, pp. 2, 3). For a time he acted as secretary to the Duke of Ormonde and the Earl of Arran, when chancellors of the university, and he was elected principal of St. Mary Hall in 1719. He resigned his secretaryship in 1722, when he stood for the parliamentary representation of the university, but was easily defeated by George Clarke (1660–1736) [q. v.] (H. S. Smith, Parliaments of England, ii. 7). A lawsuit about an estate in Galway to which he laid claim obliged him to go to Ireland in 1727. His learning, his turn for satire, and his hatred of the existing government recommended him to Swift. He thought himself injured in the course of his suit, and attacked his enemies in a mock-heroic poem, in two books, called ‘The Toast,’ supposed to have been originally composed in Latin by a Laplander, ‘Frederick Scheffer,’ and translated into English, with notes and observations, by ‘Peregrine O'Donald, Esq.’ The heroine, ‘Mira,’ is the Countess of Newburgh, who had secretly married as her third hus-