Denne, John (DNB00)

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DENNE, JOHN, D.D. (1693–1767), antiquary, born at Littlebourne, Kent, on 25 May 1693, was the eldest son of John Denne, woodreve to the see of Canterbury. He was educated at the grammar school, Sandwich, the King's School, Canterbury, and at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. 1712, M.A. 1716, D.D. 1728. He was tutor and fellow of his college. He was ordained in 1716, and was presented to the perpetual curacy of St. Benedict's Church, Cambridge. He became rector of Norton-by-Daventry, Northamptonshire, in 1721, exchanging the living in 1723 for the vicarage of St. Leonard's, Shoreditch. While he was vicar St. Leonard's was rebuilt. From 1725 to 1728 he delivered (but did not publish) the Boyle lectures. In 1728 he became archdeacon and prebendary of Rochester. He also held the vicarage of St. Margaret's, Rochester. Denne arranged and bound up the archives of Rochester Cathedral and the Acts of the Courts of the Bishop and Archdeacon. He also made some collections for the history of the cathedral, and collated Hearne's edition of the ‘Textus Roffensis’ with the original at Rochester. In 1731 he resigned his Rochester parish for the rectory of St. Mary's, Lambeth. He was for some time prolocutor of the lower house of convocation. From about 1759 he suffered from ill-health. He died on 5 Aug. 1767, and was buried in Rochester Cathedral. He married in 1724 Susannah, youngest daughter of Samuel Bradford [q. v.], bishop of Rochester, to whom he was for many years domestic chaplain. He had three children, John (d. 1800), chaplain of Maidstone gaol; Samuel, the antiquary [q. v.]; and Susannah. Denne was especially learned in English ecclesiastical history. He published: 1. ‘Articles of Enquiry for a Parochial Visitation,’ 1732. 2. ‘The State of Bromley College in Kent,’ 1735. 3. ‘Register of Benefactors to the Parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch,’ London, 1777, 4to (posthumous). 4. Fifteen sermons (published separately), including ‘Want of Universality no just Objection to the Truth of the Christian Religion,’ London, 1730, 4to, and ‘The Blessing of a Protestant King and Royal Family to the Nation,’ 1737. He also contributed materials to Lewis's ‘Life of Wickliffe.’

[Nichols's Lit. Anecd. i. 590, 694, iii. 213, 524–528, 531, vi. 388, 454, viii. 218, ix. 297; Nichols's Lit. Illust. iv. 610–18, vi. 782–9; Gent. Mag. xxxvii. (1767) 430, lxix. (2) (1799) 723; Masters's Hist. of Corpus Christi Coll.; Ellis's Hist. of St. Leonard, Shoreditch; Chalmers's Biog. Dict.; Sidebotham's Memorials of the King's School, Canterbury, pp. 55, 56; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

W. W.