5 Annotations

First Reading

Paul Brewster  •  Link

According to L&M: One of the nine bishops of the old regime alive at the Restoration.

Per Wheatley: Henry King, Dean of Rochester, advanced to the See of Chichester, February, 1641-42. Died September 30th, 1669 in the seventy-seventh year of his age.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Bishop Henry King of Rochester (1592 – 1669), a poet and inspired preacher, is one of the biographies currently (for how long, who knows) available on the ODNB website:

He was a friend of John Donne and Izaac Walton's. As the Dean of Rochester in 1640, he was wealthy enough to build a new Dean's House -- he was a widower with young children, so that could have been enlightened self-interest.

In 1641 he was made Bishop of Chichester, and lived in the palace until the the siege of December 1642, when he fled (not, as reported, taken prisoner) first to Petworth, then to Albury, where he began living with relatives.

Dr. Henry King drew up his will in 1653 when he was engaged with former bishop Brian Duppa in travelling the country ordaining men according to the rite of the forbidden Book of Common Prayer.

About 1655, when few bishops remained alive, it was proposed that Dr. Henry King should cross with one other to the continent for fresh consecrations, but none would accompany him.

Charles II proposed making him Archbishop of York, but King chose to go back to Rochester and "his visitation sermon, 8 October, 1662, shows how sensitively he dealt with the jarring factions among his clergy, 'laying controversies asleep and silencing disputes'.

"Dr. Henry King's preaching was much esteemed and imitated in his day. Bishop Brian Duppa's funeral sermon, preached in Westminster Abbey on 24 April, 1662, is an excellent example of his style, and a valuable source for Duppa's life and the interregnum. It reveals King had also preached the Garter Day sermon at Windsor in 1661."

Dr. Henry King died on 30 September, 1669, at the bishop's palace, and was buried on 8 October in the south choir aisle of Chichester Cathedral. His son gave his library to Chichester -- and some of his books were found to have belonged to John Donne.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Rev. Henry King's wife, Anne Berkeley King, died in 1624, aged 24, and was buried in Bishop John King's tomb in St. Paul's on 24 January. King's moving poem, Exequy, on her death is the poem by which he is chiefly remembered.

The Exequy

Accept, thou shrine of my dead saint,
Instead of dirges, this complaint;
And for sweet flow'rs to crown thy hearse,
From thy griev'd friend, whom thou might'st see
Quite melted into tears for thee.

Dear loss! since thy untimely fate
My task hath been to meditate
On thee, on thee; thou art the book,
The library whereon I look,
Though almost blind. For thee (lov'd clay)
I languish out, not live, the day,
Using no other exercise
But what I practise with mine eyes;
By which wet glasses I find out
How lazily time creeps about
To one that mourns; this, only this,
My exercise and bus'ness is.
So I compute the weary hours
With sighs dissolved into showers.

Nor wonder if my time go thus
Backward and most preposterous;
Thou hast benighted me; thy set
This eve of blackness did beget,
Who wast my day (though overcast
Before thou hadst thy noon-tide past)
And I remember must in tears,
Thou scarce hadst seen so many years
As day tells hours. By thy clear sun
My love and fortune first did run;
But thou wilt never more appear
Folded within my hemisphere,
Since both thy light and mot{"i}on
Like a fled star is fall'n and gone;
And 'twixt me and my soul's dear wish
An earth now interposed is,
Which such a strange eclipse doth make
As ne'er was read in almanac.

I could allow thee for a time
To darken me and my sad clime;
Were it a month, a year, or ten,
I would thy exile live till then,
And all that space my mirth adjourn,
So thou wouldst promise to return,
And putting off thy ashy shroud,
At length disperse this sorrow's cloud.

But woe is me! the longest date
Too narrow is to calculate
These empty hopes; never shall I
Be so much blest as to descry
A glimpse of thee, till that day come
Which shall the earth to cinders doom,
And a fierce fever must calcine
The body of this world like thine,
(My little world!). That fit of fire
Once off, our bodies shall aspire
To our souls' bliss; then we shall rise
And view ourselves with clearer eyes
In that calm region where no night
Can hide us from each other's sight.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Meantime, thou hast her, earth; much good
May my harm do thee. Since it stood
With heaven's will I might not call
Her longer mine, I give thee all
My short-liv'd right and interest
In her whom living I lov'd best;
With a most free and bounteous grief,
I give thee what I could not keep.
Be kind to her, and prithee look
Thou write into thy doomsday book
Each parcel of this rarity
Which in thy casket shrin'd doth lie.
See that thou make thy reck'ning straight,
And yield her back again by weight;
For thou must audit on thy trust
Each grain and atom of this dust,
As thou wilt answer Him that lent,
Not gave thee, my dear monument.

So close the ground, and 'bout her shade
Black curtains draw, my bride is laid.

Sleep on my love in thy cold bed
Never to be disquieted!
My last good-night! Thou wilt not wake
Till I thy fate shall overtake;
Till age, or grief, or sickness must
Marry my body to that dust
It so much loves, and fill the room
My heart keeps empty in thy tomb.
Stay for me there, I will not fail
To meet thee in that hollow vale.
And think not much of my delay;
I am already on the way,
And follow thee with all the speed
Desire can make, or sorrows breed.
Each minute is a short degree,
And ev'ry hour a step towards thee.
At night when I betake to rest,
Next morn I rise nearer my west
Of life, almost by eight hours' sail,
Than when sleep breath'd his drowsy gale.

Thus from the sun my bottom steers,
And my day's compass downward bears;
Nor labour I to stem the tide
Through which to thee I swiftly glide.

'Tis true, with shame and grief I yield,
Thou like the van first took'st the field,
And gotten hath the victory
In thus adventuring to die
Before me, whose more years might crave
A just precedence in the grave.
But hark! my pulse like a soft drum
Beats my approach, tells thee I come;
And slow howe'er my marches be,
I shall at last sit down by thee.

The thought of this bids me go on,
And wait my dissolution
With hope and comfort. Dear (forgive
The crime) I am content to live
Divided, with but half a heart,
Till we shall meet and never part.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

He was a man ahead of his times:

The Boy’s answer to the Blackmoor

Black Maid, complain not that I fly,
When Fate commands Antipathy:
Prodigious might that union prove,
Where Night and Day together move,
And the conjunction of our lips
Not kisses make, but an Eclipse;
In which the mixed black and white
Portends more terrour than delight.
Yet if my shadow thou wilt be,
Enjoy thy dearest wish: But see
Thou take my shadowes property,
That hastes away when I come nigh:
Else stay till death hath blinded mee,
And then I will bequeath my self to thee.


And how dogmatic could someone be who wrote this:

SONNET. To Patience

Down stormy passions, down; no more
Let your rude waves invade the shore
Where blushing reason sits and hides
Her from the fury of your tides.
Fit onely 'tis where you bear sway
That Fools or Franticks do obey;
Since judgment, if it not resists,
Will lose it self in your blind mists.
Fall easie Patience, fall like rest
Whose soft spells charm a troubled breast:
And where those Rebels you espy,
O in your silken cordage tie
Their malice up! so shall I raise
Altars to thank your power, and praise
The soveraign vertue of your Balm,
Which cures a Tempest by a Calm.

Much more poetry at

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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