Thomas Ken

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Appointed chaplain to Princess Mary, wife of Prince William of Orange, in 1679. He argued with William and in 1680 he returned to England to become one of King Charles II's chaplains. While in this post he refused to receive Nell Gwyn at Winchester in 1683. He was made Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1685. In 1688 he was one of seven bishops who signed a petition to King James II for him to reconsider his policy of religious tolerance to Catholics; and was briefly imprisoned in the Tower of London. When William and Mary took the throne in 1689, he considered himself bound by his oath of allegiance to James, refused to take the oath to them and was deprived of his office.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Thomas Ken




oil on canvas


H 75.6 x W 62.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Given by James D. C. Wickham, 1918. On long-term loan to Lyme Park, Cheshire

Work type



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