Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Kendall, George

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KENDALL, GEORGE (1610–1663), theologian, eldest son of George Kendall of Cofton in Dawlish, Devonshire, collector of customs for Exeter and Dartmouth, who married Katharine, daughter of Robert Moor of Exeter, was born at Cofton in 1610. He was educated at the Exeter grammar school and at Exeter College, Oxford, where he matriculated on 18 Feb. 1626–7, and graduated as B.A. 3 July 1630, M.A. 9 May 1633, B.D. January 1641–2, and D.D. 4 July 1654. Evelyn heard him in 1654 ‘perform his act incomparably well, concluding it with an excellent oration, abating his presbyterian animosities, which he withheld not even against that learned and pious man, Dr. Hammond’ (Memoirs, 1870, ed. p. 230). From 5 July 1630 until 1647 he held a Devonshire fellowship at his college, but the rest of the fellows would not elect him rector in 1642, although he was recommended to them by the king. In that year the House of Commons, ‘upon the petition of the inhabitants of Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, supported his nomination for the church lectureship’ (Hist. MSS. Comm. 6th Rep. App. pp. 8–10). On 22 Nov. 1643 he was presented by the crown, in spite of his strong presbyterian sympathies and his agreement with the acts of the parliament, to the rectory of Blisland in Cornwall, and he was installed prebendary of Exeter Cathedral on 7 Feb. 1644–5. He is said to have been dispossessed from these preferments about 1654, but another and more probable account is that he vacated his charge in the country in order to oppose the doctrines of John Goodwin from the church of St. Benedict, Gracechurch Street, London. In 1655 he acted as moderator of the first general assembly of the ministers of Devonshire. At the Restoration, when Kendall applied to be reinstated in his old rectory of Blisland, his application proved fruitless; but, as some consolation, he was appointed to the rectory of Kenton, near Exeter. In 1662 he was deprived of his benefice and his prebendal stall, whereupon he withdrew to his house at Cofton. He died there on 19 Aug. 1663, and was buried in the chapel adjoining his house. A view of this edifice and a copy of the inscription to his memory are in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ 1794, p. 1106. His wife was Mary, daughter of Periam Pole of Tallaton. She died 10 April 1676.

Kendall contributed to the Oxford set of verses styled ‘Musarum Oxoniensium pro rege suo Soteria,’ 1633, and, according to Wood, he published about 1644 a tract called ‘Collyrium, or an Ointment to open the eyes of the poor Cavaliers in the West.’ He dated from Blisland, 14 Sept. 1652, his volume, ‘Θεοκρατία, or a Vindication of the Doctrine concerning God's Intentions of Special Grace and Favour to his Elect from the Attempts of Master John Goodwin,’ 1653, and on 3 Sept. 1653, ‘ex claustris meis in terra beata Cornub.,’ he issued another work, entitled ‘Sancti Sanciti, or the Common Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints through Faith unto Salvation, vindicated from Mr. John Goodwin. As also an Appendix in Answer to Master Horne, goring all University-learning,’ 1654. These works led to much controversy. Horne's reply was ‘Διατριβὴ περὶ Παιδοβαπτισμοῦ, or a Consideration of Infant Baptism, together with a Digression, in Answer to Mr. Kendall,’ 1654. Baxter issued ‘Rich. Baxter's Apology against the Modest Exceptions of Mr. T. Blake and the Digression of Mr. G. Kendall,’ 1654, and remarks in his ‘Reliquiæ Baxterianæ’ (ed. 1696, i. 110, ii. 206) that while he was drawing up his reply to Kendall's first assault a second attack was published by that divine. At last they yielded to Archbishop Ussher's desire ‘to write against each other no more,’ but the controversy was continued by Obadiah Howe, pastor of Horncastle, Lincolnshire, who in his ‘Pagan Preacher Silenced, or an Answer to a Treatise of Mr. John Goodwin,’ 1655, included a ‘Verdict on the Case depending between Mr. Goodwin and Mr. Howe,’ which Kendall had written in February 1654. Goodwin expounded his views in many works, and attacked his principal opponents in ‘Triumviri, or the Genius, Spirit, and Deportment of three men, Resbury, Pawson, and Kendall, in their late Writings,’ 1658. A Latin tract, called ‘Fur Prædestinatus,’ which was written to expose the doctrines of Calvinism, and is sometimes attributed to Sancroft, was vehemently attacked by Kendall in ‘Fur pro Tribunali. Examen Dialogismi cui inscribitur Fur Prædestinatus. Accesserunt oratio de doctrina Neo-Pelagiana habita Oxonii in comitiis Julii ix. 1654, et Twissii vita, 1657,’ which he dated ‘ex tuguriolo meo Coftoniensi.’ Kendall is described by Baxter as ‘a little, quick-spirited man, of great ostentation, and a considerable orator and scholar.’ He loved controversy and hated Arminianism.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 638–40; Maclean's Blisland, i. 50–2; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. i. 283, iii. 1252; Palmer's Nonconf. Memorial (1802 ed.), ii. 44–5; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, pt. ii. p. 31; Le Neve's Fasti, ed. Hardy, i. 424; Boase's Exeter College, pp. 64, 69, 228; Ingle-Dredge's Devon Bibliogr. pt. i. pp. 35–7; D'Oyly's Life of Sancroft, i. 66–71.]

W. P. C.