Bishop Ken Road, HA3

Place Name

Thomas Ken (July 1637 – March 19, 1711) was the Bishop of Bath and Wells at the time that James II was overthrown by William of Orange and Mary II in the Glorious Revolution of 1689. This bloodless coup caused a schism in the established church and dozens of clerics refused to swear alliance to the new monarch. Among them was Ken, considered the most eminent of the rebels which included seven bishops. Those that did not were known as non-jurying bishops, from the Latin verb iūrō, or jūrō, meaning to swear an oath. Ken said he considered himself bound by his oath to James, but continued to attend church services. However, it was not because of his rebellion – he lost his see – that he was honoured here but his attendance of New College, the Oxford college who owned the land on which this estate was laid out and where Ken gained a fellowship in 1657. He is also known as one of the fathers of modern English hymnody, the composition of hymns. He wrote Awake, my soul, and with the sun and Glory to Thee, my God, this night. According to Ronald S Brown in Histories of Harrow Weald Highways, the land was purchased between the wars by local developer, John Searcy. Many of the roads on the estate are named after former students or tutors of New College, Oxford.

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