1893 text

Peter Gunning, afterwards Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and successively Bishop of Chichester and Ely. He had continued to read the Liturgy at the chapel at Exeter House when the Parliament was most predominant, for which Cromwell often rebuked him. Evelyn relates that on Christmas Day, 1657, the chapel was surrounded with soldiers, and the congregation taken prisoners, he and his wife being among them. There are several notices of Dr. Gunning in Evelyn’s Diary. When he obtained the mastership of St. John’s College upon the ejection of Dr. Tuckney, he allowed that Nonconformist divine a handsome annuity during his life. He was a great controversialist, and a man of great reading. Burnet says he “was a very honest sincere man, but of no sound judgment, and of no prudence in affairs” (“Hist. of his Own. Time”). He died July 6th, 1684, aged seventy-one.

8 Annotations

Chris Adams   Link to this

More information of Peter Gunning from the Diocese of Ely http://www.ely.anglican.org/history/talk1999020...

language hat   Link to this

Description of Gunning and pre-Restoration Anglican churchgoing
from Bryant's Pepys bio:

"...[Pepys] now [1658-59] transferred his affections to that Church in which he had been born... In one or two obscure corners of London there were still cellars and upper rooms... where the ministers of the banished Church defied the law and read the old Prayer Book to Anglican congregations. These Pepys now began to patronize, setting out on a Sunday morning from Westminster to hear Mr Gunning at Cary House by Exeter 'Change... read his Church's glorious and forbidden liturgy and preach on such subjects as the blessed widowhood of Anne, the mother of the Virgin."

Roger Miller   Link to this

John Evelyn's diary is online at AStext. These are the entries for 1657 including that for December 25th mentioned above.

http://astext.com/history/ed_1657.html (Click on re-FRAME to navigate the site.)

The site includes copies of correspondence between Pepys and Evelyn and an as yet partial searchable database of Pepys' meals.

Susanna   Link to this

1911 Britannica

There is an entry for Gunning in the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, which is available online here:


vicente   Link to this

according to this review Gunning was very pro Rome..' Dr. Gunning appeared to lean considerably towards a reconciliation of the church of England to Rome. He used, says Bishop Burnet, all the arts of sophistry in as confident a manner, as if they had been sound reasoning, and was very fond of Popish rituals and ceremonies.


Pedro.   Link to this

Gunning and the

Bill   Link to this

Peter Gunning, a man of quick and lively parts, and of uncommon elocution, was one of the most distinguished persons of his time in polemical divinity. He even carried the war into the enemy's quarters, and not only attacked the Papists, but the sectaries of every denomination. As the Bible was the book which he principally studied, he was scarce equalled as a textuary. He was also well read in the fathers and ecclesiastical historians, which his memory enabled him to quote upon every occasion. His zeal for his religion, which was grounded upon the knowledge of it, was indeed extraordinary; but it never carried him to the usual excesses of bigotry; nor was he ever known to hate a man's person, because he was no friend to his tenets. He, soon after the Restoration, succeeded Dr. Tuckney, a nonconformist, in the mastership of St John's college in Cambridge, and in the chair of regius professor of divinity in that university. The ejected professor was surprised to find a generous friend and benefactor in his successor, who settled on him a handsome annuity for life. He and Dr. Pearson were the chief disputants against the Presbyterian divines, at the conference held at the Savoy, in the beginning of this reign. Bishop Burnet informs us, that "he was a dark and perplexed preacher," and that his sermons abounded with Greek and Hebrew, and quotations from the fathers. He was nevertheless admired by the court ladies: the king said, "they admired his preaching, because they did not understand him." Almost all his writings are on subjects of controversy. Ob. 6 July, 1684, Æt. 71.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.

Bill   Link to this

GUNNING. PETER (1614-1684), bishop of Ely; ancestor of the famous beauties; fellow and tutor of Clare Hall, Cambridge, 1633; M.A., 1635; famous as royalist preacher when incumbent of Little St. Mary's; retired to Oxford, 1646; during the Commonwealth celebrated episcopalian service at Exeter Chapel, Strand; D.D., 1660; master of Clare College, Cambridge, and Lady Margaret professor of divinity, 1660; master of St. John's and regius professor, 1661; proctor for Canterbury and Peterborough in the lower house of convocation; prominent in Savoy conference; bishop of Chichester, 1669-75, of Ely, 1675-84; his 'Paschal or Lent Fast' (1662) republished, 1845.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

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