Of Bishop Kenn Mrs. Berkeley has preserved some interesting anecdotes. They come on good authority, for 207Shotesbrook, the house of her grandfather Mr. Cherry, was a second home to the Bishop.
“When Charles the II. went down to Winchester with his court, the house of Dr. Kenn was destined to be the residence of Mrs. Gwynne. The good little man declared that she should not be under his roof. He was steady as a rock. The intelligence was carried to the King, who said, well then, Nell must take a lodging in the city. All the court divines &c. were shocked at Dr. Kenn’s strange conduct, saying, that he had ruined his fortune, and would never rise in the church. Some months after, the bishopric of Bath and Wells becoming vacant, the minister, &c. recommended (as is always usual I suppose) some learned pious divines, to which the king answered, no, none of them shall have it I assure you; what is the name of that little man at Winchester that would not let Nell Gwynne lodge at his house? Dr. 208Kenn, please your Majesty: Well, he shall have it then: I resolved that he should have the first Bishopric that fell, if it had been Canterbury.— Just after the deprivation of the Bishops, a gentleman meeting Bishop Kenn, began condoling with his Lordship, to which he merrily replied, God bless you, my friend, do not pity me now, ‘my father lived before me;’ he was an honest farmer, and left me twenty pounds a year, thank God.— The bishop every morning made a vow that he would not marry that day. Mr. Cherry used frequently on his entering the breakfast room to say, well, my good Lord, is the resolution made this morning ? Oh yes Sir, long ago.”