KENNICOTT, BENJAMIN: Biblical scholar; b. at Totnes (22 m. s.s.w. of Exeter), Devonshire, Apr. 4, 1718; d. at Oxford Aug. 18, 1783. He spent seven years in the grammar-school and became master of the charity school at Totnes, and subsequently studied at Wadham and Exeter colleges, Oxford (B.A., 1747; M.A., 1750; B.D. and D.D., 1761). He was fellow of Exeter College 1747-71, Whitehall preacher 1753, vicar of Culham, Oxfordshire, 1753-83, chaplain to the bishop of Oxford 1766, Radcliffe librarian at Oxford 1767-1783, canon of Westminster Abbey 1770, canon of Christ Church, Oxford, 1770-83, and held the vicarage of Menheniot, Cornwall, 1771-81. His life was spent chiefly in the study of the Hebrew texts of the Old Testament. After the publication of The State of the Printed Text of the Old Testament (2 vols., Oxford, 1753-59; Latin transl., Leipsic, 1756-65), he was induced by Thomas Secker to undertake a collation of the text. For this work the sum of about ten thousand pounds was raised by subscription, and many scholars were employed, both at home and abroad. During the progress of the undertaking (1760-69) ten annual reports were published, which were afterward collected in one volume (Oxford, 1770). The result of these labors was Kennicott's Hebrew Bible, Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum cum variis lectionibus (2 vols., 1776-80). To the second volume he appended a Dissertatio generalis (also separately, Oxford, 1780; Brunswick, 1783), giving an account of the manuscripts of the Old Testament. The text is that of Van der Hooght, but without points, and the various readings are placed at the bottom of the page. The number of manuscripts collated was 615. Kennicott has been criticised for his preference for the Samaritan Pentateuch, for his neglect of the Massorah, for his disregard of the vowel points, and for occasional inaccuracy. A considerable literature was issued embodying these and other objections, to which Kennicott and his friends made answer. His Letter to a Friend Occasioned by a French Pamphlet (issued anonymously, 1772) answers a French attack, and his Contra ephemeredum Goettigensium criminationes (1782) replies to German criticisms.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Gentleman's Magazine, 1747, 1768, 1771, 1783, 1789, 1830; S. Davidson, Lectures on Biblical Criticism, Edinburgh, 1839; DNB, xxxi. 10-12.
KENNION, GEORGE WYNDHAM: Church of England, bishop of Bath and Wells; b. at Harrogate (27 m. w. of York), Yorkshire, Sept. 5, 1845. He studied at Oriel College, Oxford (B.A., 1867), and was ordered deacon in 1869 and ordained priest in 1870. After being domestic chaplain to the bishop of Tuam in 1869-70, he was diocesan inspector of Yorkshire 1871-73 and vicar of St. Paul's, Sculcoates, Yorkshire, 1873-76 and of All Saints', Bradford, 1876-82. In 1882 he was consecrated bishop of Adelaide, and in 1894 was translated to the see of Bath and Wells. He was also visitor of Wadham College, Oxford, in 1882, lecturer in pastoral theology in the University of Cambridge in 1900, and Ramsden Preacher in the same university in the following year.
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