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The Rev. L. Elliott-Binns , D.D.
Thomas Ken may be known to comparatively few today, though to tens of thousands his morning and evening hymns are familiar: Awake, my soul, and with the sun', and ' Glory to Thee, my God, this night'. He is famous as being one of the ' seven bishops ' who refused to publish the Declaration of Indulgence by James II, for which he was committed to the Tower. He again obeyed his conscience by refusing to take the oath of allegiance to William and Mary, for which he was deprived of his see. He was a scholar of Winchester, and his name is to be seen there cut in the cloisters. He was admired for his purity and fidelity of conscience, yet a charge of narrowness was levelled against him, but the man who refused Nell Gwyn lodgings at his prebendal house on the Court's visit to Winchester, and turned the Duchess of Portsmouth from the King's room when he lay dying, yet absolved Charles II on his death-bed. Ken is buried under the East window of Frome parish church, and in 1888 a window was set up to his memory in Wells Cathedral.
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