show of justification, with having forged his letters of orders (Smith, Reply to a Modest Answer, p. 11). All the proof Kingston could bring of their validity was a certificate signed by one Thomas Beesly, asserting that he had been ordained at the same time, but Beesly had in 1700 been dead three years. Smith, among other charges, tells a scandalous story of Kingston's conduct in the west of England; but he does not seem to have had any benefice in the diocese of Exeter, as is thereby implied.
In 1665 Kingston became minister at St. James's, Clerkenwell, and worked hard during the plague, but he resigned this preferment before 17 Sept. 1667. In 1678 he received the living of Henbury in Gloucestershire, and on 6 Feb. 1681–2 was made chaplain in ordinary to Charles II. He asserts that a prebend and a rectory were added to Henbury. What the prebend was is uncertain, but he seems in 1688 to have been rector of Raydon in Suffolk. Kingston also states that he suffered for preaching against the Romanists. He remained at Henbury, where he had a small estate, till the revolution, when he sold his property and came up to London. He was soon lured by a pension to write for the government, but his pension fell into arrears and he suffered extreme poverty. A petition from him dated 1699 states that 600l. was due to him, that he had assisted as a witness at the conviction of three traitors, that he had brought 1,225l. into the treasury by the seizure of French silks, and that he had printed thirteen books on behalf of the government at his own expense.
In 1700 Kingston attacked Smith, who had just published his ‘Memoirs of Secret Service,’ and a violent controversy ensued. Kingston always attributed Smith's works to Tom Brown (1663–1704) [q. v.] Kingston also intervened in the controversy which raged in 1707–9 about the so-called French Prophets. In 1707 his attack on Dr. John Freind's vindication of the Earl of Peterborough's conduct in Spain appeared, and he was promptly arrested by an order of the House of Lords. He was, however, released, 19 Jan. 1707–8, and the attorney-general was instructed to prosecute him. Kingston was married (perhaps he was the man who married Elizabeth Webb at St. James's, Clerkenwell, 28 Jan. 1667–8, see Regist. of St. James's, Clerkenwell, Harl. Soc. 138, cf. 189), and in 1699 had nine children. An engraved portrait of Kingston is said by Bromley to have formed the frontispiece to the ‘Pillulæ Pestilentiales,’ but it has disappeared from the copy in the British Museum.
Kingston wrote: 1. ‘Pillulæ Pestilentiales, a Sermon at St. Paul's,’ London, 1665. 2. ‘The Cause and Cure of Offences,’ a sermon, London, 1682, 4to. 3. ‘Vivat Rex,’ a sermon preached before the Mayor of Bristol after the discovery of the Rye House plot, London, 1683, 4to. 4. ‘God's Sovereignty and Man's Duty asserted,’ London, 1688. 5. ‘A True History of the several Designs and Conspiracies against his Majesties Sacred Person and Government from 1688 to 1697,’ London, 1698. 6. ‘Tyranny detected, and the late Revolution justified,’ London, 1699. 7. ‘A Modest Answer to Captain Smith's Immodest Memorial of Secret Service,’ London, 1700. 8. ‘Impudence, Lying, and Forgery detected and Chastiz'd,’ London, 1700, an answer to Smith, and the chief source of information respecting Kingston's history. 9. ‘A Discourse on Divine Providence,’ London, 1702. 10. ‘Impartial Remarks upon Dr. Freind's Account of the Earl of Peterborough's Conduct in Spain,’ London, 1706. 11. ‘Enthusiastick Impostors no Divinely Inspired Prophets,’ part i. 1707, part ii. 1709. 12. ‘Apophthegmata Curiosa, or Reflections, Sentences, and Maxims,’ London, 1709. Kingston also mentions that he wrote a work called ‘Cursory Remarks.’
[Pink's Clerkenwell, pp. 68, 283, 619–21 (citing Notes and Queries); Luttrell's Brief Hist. Rel. vi. 257–8; Bromley's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, p. 136; Matthew Smith's Works; Kingston's Works.]
KINGSTON, Sir WILLIAM (d. 1540), constable of the Tower, was of a Gloucestershire family, settled at Painswick. A brother George is mentioned in the inquisition taken after his death. William appears to have been a yeoman of the guard before June 1509 (Letters and Papers Henry VIII, i. 248). In 1512 he was an under-marshal in the army; went to the Spanish coast; was with Dr. William Knight [q. v.] in October of that year at San Sebastian, and discussed with him the course to be pursued with the disheartened English forces who had come to Spain under Thomas Grey, second marquis of Dorset [q. v.] (ib. p. 3451). He fought well at Flodden, was knighted in 1513, became sewer to the king, and later (1521) was carver (ib. iii. 1899). He seems to have been with Sir Richard Wingfield, the ambassador, at the French court early in 1520, for Wingfield wrote to Henry VIII (20 April) that the dauphin ‘took a marvellous pleasure in young Kyngston, whom after he had seen once he called him beau fils, whom he would sometime have kneel down and sometime stand up’ (ib. iii. 752). Kingston took part in the tilting at the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and