Kennet, White, Dd
Kennet, White, D.D., an eminent English prelate and writer, was born at Dover Aug. 10, 1660. He studied at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and while there attracted attention by publishing in 1680 a pamphlet against the Whig party, entitled Letter from a Student at Oxford to a Friend in the Country, in Vindication of his Majesty, the Church of England, and the University.
Through the influence of sir William Glynne he was appointed vicar of Ambrosden, Oxfordshire, in 1684, and obtained a prebend in the church of Peterborough, but returned to Oxford, where he became vice-principal of Edmund Hall, the college to which Hearne belonged. He was decidedly opposed to the concessions in 1688, and was of the number in the Oxford diocese who refused to read the declaration for liberty of conscience. He subsequently (1700) resigned Ambrosden, and settled in London as minister of St. Botolph's, Aldgate, where. he became a very popular preacher. He was made successively archdeacon of Huntingdon in 1701. and in 1707 dean of Peterborough, and finally, in 1718, bishop of Peterborough. He died Dec. 19, 1728. Bishop Kennet was a man, as his biographer says, "of incredible diligence and application, not only in his youth, but to the very last, the whole disposal of himself being to perpetual industry and service, his chiefest recreation being variety of employment." His published works are, according to his biographer's statement, fifty- seven in number, including several single sermons and small tracts; but perhaps not a less striking proof of the indefatigable industry ascribed to him is to be seen in his manuscript collections, mostly in his own hand, now in the Lansdowne department of the British Museum Library of Manuscripts, where from No. 935 to 1042 are all his, and most of them containing matter not incorporated in any of his printed works. The principal among the latter are: Parochial Antiquities attempted in the History of Ambrosden, Burcester, etc. (Oxford, 1695, 4to; 1818, 4to):- Ecclesiast. Synods, etc., of the Church of England vindicated from the Misrepresentations, etc. (Loud. 1701, 8vo): — An occasional Letter on the Subject f English Convocations (Lond. 1701, 8vo), and a number of occasional letters and sermons:-Monitions and Advices delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Peterborough, etc. (London, 1720, 4to):-On Lay Impropriations (see below):-Complete History of England (Lond. 1719, 3 vols. fol.), etc. Bishop Kennet, in 1713, had. made a large collection of books, maps, etc., with intent to write An History of the Propagation of Christianity in the English American Colonies, but, for some reason unknown to us, the plan was never executed. It is to be regretted that the bishop failed to carry out the project; to judge from vol. iii of the History of England which he prepared, the contribution would have been valuable to American Church history. In 1850, S. F. Wood and Ed. Baddeley published from bishop Kennet's MSS. his Lay Impropriations (Lond. 12mo). See William Newton, Life. of the Right Rev. Dr. White Kennet (London, 1730, 8vo); Wood, Athence Oxonienses, vol. ii; Chalmers,
Genesis o. Biog. Dictionary; Hoefer, — Nouv. Biog. Generale, 37, 563; English Cyclopcedia; Allibone, Diet. of Engl. and Amer. Authors, s.v.