Kennedy, John (1698-1782) (DNB00)

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KENNEDY, JOHN (1698–1782), divine, born in 1698, was in November 1732 presented to the rectory of All Saints, Bradley, near Ashbourne in Derbyshire, and died there 4 Feb. 1782. He is described on the tombstone in the churchyard as ‘a good and learned man,’ but seems to have been of a quarrelsome disposition, and engaged in much literary controversy. His works, which display ingenuity in misapplying learning, are:

  1. ‘A New Method of Stating and Explaining the Scriptures Chronologically upon Mosaic Astronomical Principles, Mediums, and Data, as laid down in the Pentateuch,’ London, 1751.
  2. ‘Examination of the Reverend Mr. Jackson's Chronological Antiquities, in which the errors and defects of that Elaborate Performance are demonstrated in a Letter to the Author,’ 1753.
  3. ‘A Complete System of Astronomical Chronology unfolding the Scriptures,’ 1762, with a dedication to George III, which, although signed by Kennedy, was the composition of Dr. Johnson. This work was severely handled in the ‘Critical Review’ for May 1763.
  4. ‘Some Important and Uncertain Points in Chronology,’ addressed to the Rev. Dr. Blair, prebendary of Westminster, in 1773.
  5. ‘Explanation and Proof of the Complete System of Astronomical Chronology unfolding the Scriptures, in which the Truth and Reality of the Original Luni-Solar Radix is clearly and fully ascertained,’ 1775, a series of letters addressed to his friend James Ferguson (1710–1776) [q. v.] the astronomer.

[Boswell's Life of Johnson, ed. Croker; Cox's Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire, iii. 29; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. viii. 545, ix. 67.]

W. C. S.