Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 31.djvu/16

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States, and in July 1833, during the period of his second visit, he published the general's decree constituting the American mission a province of the society. In Ireland he was constantly employed in conducting missions and retreats. He died in Rome on 19 Nov. 1841, and was buried in the church of the Gesù in that city.

Kenney was one of the most eminent preachers and theologians in the catholic church in Ireland in the early part of this century. His style of eloquence resembled that of O'Connell, and was, it is stated, much admired by Grattan. Manuscript copies of his ‘Meditations’ are preserved. He began several times a history of the jesuits in Ireland, but did not continue it. There is a portrait of him in Maynooth College.

[Hogan's Chron. Cat. of the Irish Province S. J., pp. 85–6; Foley's Records, vii. 414; Oliver's Collectanea S. J.; Battersby's Dublin Jesuits, pp. 113–16; Meagher's Life of Archbishop Murray, pp. 89–93; Life of Mary Aikenhead, by S. A., Dublin, 1879; Eighth Report of Commissioners of Irish Education Inquiry—Evidence of the Rev. Peter Kenney, London, 1827; Irish Monthly, xviii. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10; Irish Ecclesiastical Record, 3rd ser. xii. 794–9.]

P. L. N.

KENNICOTT, BENJAMIN (1718–1783), biblical scholar, was son of Benjamin Kennicott, barber and parish clerk of Totnes, Devonshire, buried 28 March 1770, and of his wife Elizabeth, buried 13 Jan. 1749–50, over whose remains their son in after years erected a large table-tomb in Totnes churchyard. He was born at Totnes on 4 April 1718, and spent seven years as a foundation boy at the grammar school, under the Rev. Nicholas Roe. When young he was very fond of books and of music. The regulations which he drew up for the practice of the Totnes ringers, and dated 8 Nov. 1742, are quoted in Polwhele's ‘Devonshire,’ i. 320, and he gave a brass eight-light candlestick for the use of the ringers in the belfry. His first appointment was that of master of the bluecoat or charity school at Totnes, where he attracted attention by some short poems, the chief of which was ‘On the Recovery of the Hon. Mrs. Eliz. Courtenay from her late dangerous Illness.’ This was printed in 1743 and 1747, and the manuscripts of several others are in the possession of Mr. E. Windeatt of Totnes (Western Antiq. iii. 249). Subscriptions were opened for his support at Oxford, and, mainly through the Courtenays, Ralph Allen, and the Rev. William Daddo, master of Blundell's school at Tiverton, he matriculated as servitor at Wadham College, Oxford, 6 March 1743–4, whence he wrote a warm letter of thanks to Daddo on 30 March 1744 (Harding, Tiverton, bk. iv. pp. 89–90; Gent. Mag. 1791, p. 222). He was Pigott exhibitioner 1744 and 1745, Hody (i.e. Hebrew) exhibitioner 1745–7, and bible clerk 3 May 1746. In order that he might be eligible for a fellowship at Exeter College, and as he had not resided long enough to qualify in the usual way, he was made (in accordance with the recommendation of Lord Arran, chancellor of the university) B.A. by decree and without ‘examination, determination at Lent, or fees,’ 20 June 1747, and was duly elected to a fellowship, which he retained until 1771. His subsequent degrees were M.A. 4 May 1750, B.D. 6 Dec. 1761, and D.D. 10 Dec. 1761, and in 1764 he was elected F.R.S. Kennicott was instructed in Hebrew by Professor Thomas Hunt (1696–1774) [q. v.], and the greater part of his life was spent in the collation of Hebrew manuscripts. His preferments were for many years inconsiderable. He was Whitehall preacher about 1753, vicar of Culham, Oxfordshire, from 21 Sept. 1753 to 1783, chaplain to the new bishop of Oxford in 1766, and Radcliffe librarian at Oxford from November 1767 to 1783. In July 1770 he was appointed to a canonry at Westminster Abbey, but soon resigned it for the fourth stall at Christ Church, Oxford (1 Nov. 1770). From 1771 to 1781 Kennicott held the vicarage of Menheniot, Cornwall, which was given to him as a fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, by the dean and chapter of Exeter, on the recommendation of his steady friend Bishop Lowth. This preferment he voluntarily resigned in 1781 in consequence of his inability to reside there. After a lingering illness Kennicott died at Oxford, 18 Aug. 1783, and was buried in Christ Church Cathedral, close to Bishop Berkeley's grave, on 21 Aug.

He married, on 3 Jan. 1771, Ann, sister of Edward Chamberlayne (afterwards secretary of the treasury). Another of Chamberlayne's sisters was wife of William Hayward Roberts [q. v.], provost of Eton. Mrs. Kennicott was very friendly with Richard Owen Cambridge, Mrs. Garrick, Hannah More, and Miss Burney, the last of whom made her acquaintance in 1786, and praised her as ‘famous by having studied Hebrew after marriage in order to assist her husband in his edition of the bible; she learnt it so well as to enable herself to aid him very essentially in copying, examining, and revising’ (Diary of Madame d'Arblay, iii. 237). Bishop Barrington left her an annuity of 100l., and from Bishop Porteus she received a legacy of 500l. 3l. per cent. stock as his ‘dear and pleasant friend Mrs. Kennicott.’ In memory of her husband and for the promotion of the study of Hebrew she