KEN (KENN), THOMAS: Bishop of Bath and Wells; b. at Great (or Little) Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, July, 1637; d. at Longleat (22 m. w.n.w. of Salisbury), Wiltshire, Mar. 19, 1711. He studied at Winchester College, and at New College, Oxford (B.A., 1661; M. A., 1664; D.D., 1679), was fellow of New College 1657-66, and tutor in 1661. In 1665 he went back to Winchester, became chaplain to Bishop George Morley, and took gratuitous charge of the parish of St. John in the Soke. He was elected fellow of Winchester in 1666, and collated to a prebend at Winchester in 1669. He was rector of Brightstone, Isle of Wight, 1667-69, and of East Woodhay, Hampshire, 1669-72. With the exception of a visit to Rome in 1675, he again resided at Winchester, 1672-79, resuming charge of the parish of St. John in the Soke. In 1679 he went to The Hague as chaplain to Mary, the king's sister, wife of William II. of Orange, but returned to England in the autumn of 1680 and became chaplain to Charles II. In the summer of 1683, when the court was about to visit Winchester, he refused
In early English hymnology Ken occupies an important place. The morning hymn, "Awake, my soul, and with the sun," and the evening hymn, "Glory to thee, my God, this night" (or, as it is usually written, "All praise to Thee, my God, this night"), are among the best hymns in the language, and are known wherever English is spoken. Each of these, as also the midnight hymn, "My God, now I from sleep awake," ends with the familiar doxology, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." He wrote these hymns for the boys of Winchester College, and first printed them in the 1695 edition of his Manual for the Use of Winchester Scholars (London, 1674; printed by S. P. C. K., 1880), as Hymns for Morning, Evening, and Midnight (ed. R. Palmer, 1898). Owing to their length these three hymns have been rearranged in modern hymnals, and divided into about a dozen separate hymns. Other works by Ken are: An Exposition of the Church Catechism, or the Practice of Divine Love (London, 1685; new ed., 1849); Prayers for the Use of all Persons who come to the Baths for Cure (1692; S. P. C. K., 1898); and the posthumous Hymns for All the Festivals of the Year (1721; new eds., 1868, etc.). Selections from his devotional writings have been frequently published under various titles. W. Hawkins published his Works (4 vols.,1721), including only poetical compositions. J. T. Round collected his Prose Works (1838), which have been reedited and augmented by W. Benham (1889; new ed. 1899).
Ken was one of the best and most fearless preachers of his time, and a man of rare piety and sweetness of spirit. He was anxious to do good; and during his incumbency of the see of Bath and Wells he devoted his revenues to charitable purposes.
On coming into the possession of £4,000 in 1686 he gave the greater part of it to the fund for Huguenot refugees. He was an accomplished linguist, and a musician, as well as a poet. He was accustomed to sing his hymns to his own accompaniment on the lute. The reverence felt for Ken was revived by the Oxford Movement. In Tract 85 (London, 1836) Newman gives a form of service for Mar. 21, the day of Ken's burial.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: The (Poetical) Works appeared ed., with a Life, W. Hawkins (Ken's great-nephew), 4 vols., London, 1721, and his Prose Works and Letters, ed. J. T, Round, ib. 1838, also containing the Life by Hawkins (which is the original authority). Besides this, consult the Life by a layman (J. L. Anderdon), 2 vols., London, 1851-54 (admirable); E. H. Plumptre, ib. 1890; and F. A. Clarke, ib. 1896. Valuable material is also found in T. Lathbury, Hist. of the Nonjurors, ib. 1862; J. Evelyn, Diary, ed. W. Bray, vols. ii.-iii., passim, ib. 1879; S. W. Duffield, English Hymns, pp. 49-50, New York, 1886; J. H. Overton, The Church in England, vol. ii. passim, ib. 1897; W. H. Hutton, The English Church (1625-1714), passim, ib. 1903; Julian, Hymnology, pp. 616-622 (valuable); DNB, xxx. 399-404.
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