KENNETT, WHITE (1660-1728), English bishop and antiquary, was born at Dover in August 1660. He was educated at Westminster school and at St Edmund's Hall, Oxford, where, while an undergraduate, he published several translations of Latin works, including Erasmus In Praise of Folly. In 1685 he became vicar of Ambrosden, Oxfordshire. A few years afterwards he returned to Oxford as tutor and vice-principal of St Edmund's Hall, where he gave considerable impetus to the study of antiquities. George Hickes gave him lessons in Old English. In 1695 he published Parochial Antiquities. In 1700 he became rector of St Botolph's, Aldgate, London, and in 1701 archdeacon of Huntingdon. For a eulogistic sermon on the first duke of Devonshire he was in 1707 recommended to the deanery of Peterborough. He afterwards joined the Low Church party, strenuously opposed the Sacheverel movement, and in the Bangorian controversy supported with great zeal and considerable bitterness the side of Bishop Hoadly. His intimacy with Charles Trimnell, bishop of Norwich, who was high in favour with the king, secured for him in 1718 the bishopric of Peterborough. He died at Westminster in December 1728.
Kennett published in 1698 an edition of Sir Henry Spelman's History of Sacrilege, and he was the author of fifty-seven printed works, chiefly tracts and sermons. He wrote the third volume (Charles I. -Anne) of the composite Compleat History of England (1706), and a more detailed and valuable Register and Chronicle of the Restoration. He was much interested in the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
The Life of Bishop White Kennett, by the Rev. William Newton (anonymous), appeared in 1730. See also Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, and I. Disraeli's Calamities of Authors.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)