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Thomas Ken (1637–1711), Bishop of Wells (1684–1690)

Image credit: The Bishop's Palace & Gardens

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Ken took Holy Orders in 1662 and served at Winchester Cathedral and School. He went to Holland to be Chaplain to Princess Mary, and then King Charles II made him Bishop of Bath and Wells. His care for the rebels in the tragic aftermath of the Battle of Sedgemoor made him a loved and popular Bishop. He was one of 6 Bishops imprisoned in the Tower of London for opposing King James's religious policy, and when William and Mary came to the throne he refused to take the Oath of Allegiance and was deprived of his Bishopric. He composed hymns and prayers, and welcomed the poor to dine with him at the Palace in Wells. Ken was buried at St John's Church in Frome in 1711.

The Bishop's Palace & Gardens



Thomas Ken (1637–1711), Bishop of Wells (1684–1690)




oil on canvas


H 124 x W 101 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired, 1827–1829

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Bishop's Palace & Gardens

Wells, Somerset BA5 2PD England

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