Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 31.djvu/33
[Bishop Forbes's St. Kentigern in vol. v. of the Historians of Scotland; Skene's Celtic Scotland, vol. ii.; Notes and Queries, 2nd series, i. 194, ii. 13, 92; Dict. of Christian Biog.]
heresy into which they had fallen after the death of St. Ninian. After this Kentigern returned to Glasgow, which became henceforth the headquarters of Christianity among the Strathclyde Britons. He was the great means of planting or restoring Christianity in that large district which afterwards formed the diocese of Glasgow. He also visited Alban, i.e. Scotland north-east of the Forth, and the dedication of some churches in Aberdeenshire bears witness to his labours in that quarter. He is also said somewhat doubtfully to have sent missionaries to Orkney, Norway, and Iceland. In his later years St. Columba (of whose intercourse with King Redderech we have traces in Adamnan's 'Life') came from Iona with many followers to visit him. Kentigern went out to meet him with a large retinue, and as the two bands approached they sang alternately appropriate verses of the Psalms. The two venerable men exchanged crosiers in token of mutual affection. Kentigern died on 13 Jan. 603, and his grave is shown in the crypt of Glasgow Cathedral, named from him St. Mungo's. Jocelyn says he lived to the age of 187, but historians are agreed in striking off the century. Many miracles were in after times attributed to him; e.g. he ploughed his fields with a stag and a wolf from the forest, sowed sand and reaped wheat, caused the Clyde to overflow its banks, and to bring the barns of the king who persecuted him to his own dwelling. When some of the highland clergy who came with St. Columba stole one of his rams and cut off its head, he caused the decapitated animal to run back to the flock, and turned the head to stone in the hands of the thief. When a boy at Culross he restored to life a pet robin which his companions had torn in pieces, and kindled a fire with a frozen oak branch. King Redderech found a ring which he had given to his queen on the finger of a sleeping knight, threw it into the Clyde, and then demanded it of his spouse. In her distress she applied to the saint, and he sent a monk to the river to fish, who caught a salmon with the ring in its mouth. Hence the bird, tree, fish, and ring in the arms of Glasgow.
KENTISH, JOHN (1768–1853), unitarian divine, only son of John Kentish (d. 1814), was born at St. Albans, Hertfordshire, on 26 June 1768. His father, at one time a draper, was the youngest son, and ultimately the heir, of Thomas Kentish, who in 1723 was high sheriff of Hertfordshire. His mother was Hannah (d. 1793), daughter and heiress of Keaser Vanderplank. After passing through the school of John Worsley at Hertford, he was entered in 1784 as a divinity student at Daventry academy, under Thomas Belsham [q. v.], William Broadbent [q. v.], and Eliezer Cogan [q. v.] In September 1788 he removed, with two fellow-students, to the new college at Hackney, in consequence of a prohibition by the Coward trustees of any use of written prayers at Daventry. In the autumn of 1790 he left Hackney to become the first minister of a newly formed unitarian congregation at Plymouth Dock (now Devonport), Devonshire. A chapel was built in George Street (opened 27 April 1791 by Theophilus Lindsey [q. v.]), and a prayer-book drawn up by Kentish and Thomas Porter of Plymouth. In 1794 he succeeded Porter as minister of the Treville Street congregation, Plymouth. In 1795 he removed to London as afternoon preacher at the Gravel Pit, Hackney, adding to this office in 1802 that of morning preacher at St. Thomas's Chapel, Southwark. On 23 Jan. 1803 he undertook the pastorate of the New Meeting, Birmingham. In 1832 he declined the emolument but retained the office of pastor, and continued to preach frequently till 1844. He retained his faculties to a great age, and died of pneumonia on Sunday, 6 March 1853, at his residence, Park Vale, Edgbaston. On 15 March he was buried in Kaye Hill cemetery, Birmingham. A mural tablet to his memory was placed in the New Meeting, removed in 1862 to the church of the Messiah, Birmingham. His portrait, painted in 1840 by Phillips, was engraved by Lupton; a full-length silhouette, executed in 1851, exhibits his short stature, portly figure, and old-fashioned costume with knee-breeches. He married, in October 1805, Mary (b. 21 March 1775, d. 9 March 1864), daughter of John Kettle of Birmingham, but had no issue.
Kentish was a man of great personal dignity, and his weight of character, extensive learning, and ample fortune munificently administered, secured for him a consideration rarely accorded to a nonconformist minister. His favourite study was biblical exegesis; he was a scholar of solid attainment, versed in oriental languages, and familiar with the labours of German critics. In politics an old whig, he was in religion a unitarian of the most conservative type, holding closely to the miraculous basis of revelation. His sermons were remarkable for beauty of style.
He published, in addition to separate sermons (1796–1844): 1. ‘Letter to James White,’ &c., 1794, 8vo. 2. ‘Reply to Fuller's Examination of the Calvinistic and Socinian