King, John

, a learned English bishop, was great nephew of Robert King, the first bishop of Oxford, and son of Philip King of Wormenhale or Wornall, near Brill in Buckinghamshire, by Elizabeth, daughter of Edmund Conquest of Houghton Conquest in Bedfordshire. He was born at Wornall about 1559, educated in Westminster-­school, and sent to Christ church, Oxford, in 1576; where he took, in due time, his degrees in arts. He was afterwards chaplain to queen Elizabeth; archdeacon of Nottingham in 1590; doctor of divinity in 1601; dean of Christ church in 1605; and bishop of London in 1611. Besides his “Lectures upon Jonah,” printed in 1594, h published several sermons. James I. used to style him “the king of preachers;” and lord chief justice Coke often | declared, that “he was the best speaker in the star-chamber in his time,” He was so constant in preaching, after he was a bishop, that he never missed a Sunday, when his health permitted. He died March 30, 1621, and was interred in St. Paul’s cathedral. Soon after, the papists reported, that he died a member of their church, in a pamphlet entitled “The Bishop of London his Legacy;” but the falsity of this story was sufficiently exposed by his son Henry, in a sermon at St. Paul’s cross, Nov. 25, 1621, and by bishop Godwin, in the appendix to his “Commentarius de Prsesulibus Angliae.1


Ath. Ox. vol. I. Gen. Dict. Bibliographer, vol. I. p. 506, Dodd’s Ch. Hist. vol. I. where is a discussion on the report of his turning papist.