Thomas Ken

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Ken, Thomas (1637–1711). Bishop of Bath and Wells. Educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, Ken was chaplain to Morley, bishop of Winchester (1665), and to Princess Mary (later Mary II) at The Hague (1679–80). He became bishop of Bath and Wells (1684) and attended Monmouth on the scaffold (1685). As one of the seven bishops petitioning James II to withdraw the Declaration of Indulgence he was imprisoned in the Tower (1688), but acquitted. Nevertheless, a man of conscience, he refused to recognize James's abdication or William's accession, was deprived of his see (April 1691), and lived at Longleat until his death. Refusing to acknowledge Richard Kidder as his successor, he retained his episcopal signature until his friend George Hooper succeeded (1703). A man of great sanctity, caring for the poor in his diocese, he was a notable poet and hymn-writer.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall