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Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. About the commencement of the seventeenth century was born in the Isle of Ely, Philip Tenison, who became an alumnus of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Archdeacon of Norwich, in 1642; he died in 1660. A contemporary of his, the Reverend John Tenison, having been educated at Norwich school, and afterwards at Cambridge, was, in 1642, appointed Rector of Munderley and Topcroft, in Norfolk; he married Mary, daughter of Thomas Dawson, Lord of the Manor of Cottenham, in Cambridgeshire, by whom he had issue, Doctor Thomas Tenison, born in 1636, educated at Cambridge, where he became a Fellow in 1657, and was, at the time of the Restoration, Rector of East Carleton, in Norfolk. In 1665, he was one of the University preachers, and curate of Great St. Andrew's, Cambridge, where, during the plague of that time, he was so kind, charitable, and attentive to the inhabitants, that a valuable service of plate was presented to him, a portion of which was, in the year 1810, in the possession of the widow of the late Rev. Joseph Tenison, hereafter mentioned. In 1667, he was presented to the rectory of Hollywell and Nedington, in Huntingdonshire, by the Earl of Manchester, to whose son he was tutor while in College. About this latter period he married Miss Love, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Richard Love, Master of Bennett College, Cambridge. In 1674, he was chosen minister of the parish of Manscroft, in Norwich, and, in 1680, was presented by Charles the Second to the vicarages of St. Martin's in the Fields. He was consecrated Bishop of Lincoln in January, 1691, and had afterwards an offer of the Archbishopric of Dublin, from His Majesty, but declined its acceptance, whereupon he was elevated to the Primacy of Canterbury. While he filled this exalted station, he built and endowed a public library, and parochial schools, at Croydon; he also considerably augmented the library at Lambeth palace with valuable books and MSS., and erected an Episcopal chapel in that part of London where Regent-street, and other modern streets, have been opened; this edifice still stands, opposite New Burlington-street, and over its entrance is imprinted in large gilt letters, ARCHBISHOP TENISON'S CHAPEL." He administered the
last sacrament to King William, in 1702, as he had previously to Queen Mary, and, dying on the 14th of December, 1715, in the 79th year of his age, was interred, with his wife, at Lambeth. Having no issue, he bequeathed by will (dated 11th day of April, 1715), the greatest portion of his extensive property to various schools, hospitals, and other charitable institutions; to societies for the propagation of the Gospel, and also to augment small livings; a fair proportion was, however, appropriated for his own relatives, and amongst them, more especially for his nephew, the Rev. Edward Tenison, the son of a clergyman who at first held the office of Register, but became afterwards Archdeacon of Norwich. He had taken the degree of A. B. at Cambridge, in 1694; was ordained deacon and priest by Bishop Spratt, in 1697, and, after sundry successive ecclesiastical preferments, was, in 1708, installed to a canonry in Canterbury, and in the same year appointed Archdeacon of Caermarthen; he was subsequently selected as domestic chaplain to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, afterwards George the Second, and so continued until the prince came to the throne. In 1726 he presented to the Cathedral of Canterbury a brass sconce (that at the east) of 24 lights, having on it the arms of Tenison, with an inscription recording it as his gift. He had married Anne Searle, of a respectable family in Cambridgeshire, and by her had one son, Thomas, and five daughters, to each of whom his Grace gave £1600. Dr. Edward's uncle, who had been agent to the Archbishop, likewise left him at his death £12,000, all of which sums, his children's as well as his own, he embarked and lost, in the ruinous South Sea scheme. In 1730, he resigned his ecclesiastical preferments, on the appointment of his son (said Thomas) to the benefice of Chiddington, with the Archdeaconry of Caermarthen, heretofore held by Doctor Edward, who thereupon passed over as first chaplain to the Duke of Dorset, on his appointment to the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland. On that patron's recommendation he was promoted to the see of Ossory, in 1731; where he died, in 1735, in the 62nd year of his age, of pleurisy, not permitting his medical attendant to bleed him. All his daughters died unmarried, with the exception
of one. The Bishop was interred in St. Mary's Church, Dublin, on the south side, where there is a plain monumental slab erected to his memory by his wife, Anne, who survived him many years. He left, by codicil to his will, £40 a year to Michael Stevenson, a deacon, to catechise the children of Roman Catholics, in the wild and mountainous districts of Kilkeasy, in the County Kilkenny, where he obliged him to reside, under penalty of forfeiting the pension. He also bequeathed, to the Incorporated Society for promoting English Protestant Schools, £20; to every clergyman in his diocese a copy of Chillingworth's "Religion of Protestants"; to the poor of each of the cities of Canterbury and Kilkenny, and each of the parishes of Sundrich and Chiddington, in Kent, £20; for building small oratories within the ruined walls of the churches of Aghamacart, Rossconnel, Kildermoyle, Kilbeacon, Listerling, and Kilkeasy, £10 to each parish; he also bequeathed £40 per annum to Bennett College, Cambridge, with the object of endowing a lecturer on husbandry, but clogged with such provisions, that the University renounced the legacy. He is characterized as having been, in private life, a benevolent, hospitable, and pious prelate, while in public he was a staunch supporter of the admiministration of the day-a protector and promoter of learning, and most zealous in extending the religion he professed.-His only son, Thomas, before-mentioned, was born in Kent, in 1700, educated at Seven-Oak and Croydon, and afterwards admitted, in 1711, to Bennett College, Cambridge, but, being then under the prescribed age, his admission was superseded, when, returning to Seven-Oak, he there received some correction, on provocation of which he absconded to Bristol, and sailed on board a slave-ship to Guinea; there he was for a short time engaged as superintendant of African negroes, but, disgusted with the revolting scenes with which that situation would have familiarized him, he returned to his native country, working his homeward passage like a common sailor; he was kindly received back by his relatives and friends, and, returning to Cambridge, graduated there in 1721. On his taking orders soon after, his father resigned to him the Archdeaconry of Caermarthen, with several livings in
Kent and Wales. In 1734, he was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Oxford; in 1739, a prebendary of Canterbury, and was offered an Irish bishopric, but declined it, not wishing to reside out of England. He died in 1742, and was interred in the cathedral of Canterbury. His first wife was the eldest daughter of the Right Rev. Dr. Potter (then Bishop of Oxford, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury), who died in childbirth, and was buried at St. Margaret's, Westminster, where a monument was erected to her memory. On her death, the Archdeacon, in 1738, married to his second wife, Miss Smith, of Nottingham, a lady of considerable fortune, and by this lady left one son and a daughter. Thus far the Biographia Brittanica supplies the evidences of this pedigree. According to the tradition of the Irish line, hereafter mentioned, and communications contributed by them, his said son was called, after him, Thomas, and inherited a very ample estate. He, at an early age, adopted the military profession, as a cornet; but subsequently, devoting himself to study, entered the University, where he enjoyed the reputation of an accomplished scholar. About 1762 he came to Ireland, purchased property, and settled at Kilkeasy, the locality for whose religious instruction Bishop Edward Tenison had appropriated such an ample endowment; here he applied himself for some few years to reclaiming that then wild and barren district, on which object he expended considerable sums of money. In 1770 he was called to the bar, but he soon seceded from its dull and monotonous pursuits; and, after making a then rare tour of Europe, he finally devoted the remainder of his life to the benevolent and useful occupations of a resident country gentleman. He married his second cousin, Elizabeth, daughter of William Hayden, Esq., of Croan, by the eldest daughter of the Rev. Charles Alley, rector of Gowran and Castlecomer, and granddaughter of the Most Reverend Doctor Alley, Archbishop of York, a divine, distinguished during the controversy of the Non-Jurors in William the Third's reign. At his demise, in 1788, he left, by this marriage, three daughters and two sons. The eldest of these, Thomas, resided during his life at Rock-Hall, one of several residences erected
by his father, and, marrying Miss Blackmore, had issue by her, two sons and five daughters; while the other son, Joseph, a person of refined taste and cultivated talents, entered into the Church, and was also a magistrate of the County of Wicklow, where he resided beloved and respected by all creeds and classes. He married Mary, daughter of the Rev. Martin Lucius O'Brien, D. D., who claimed descent from a dynast of the ancient sept whose name he bore. The issue of this marriage was seven daughters and one son, Thomas-Joseph, a barrister and a magistrate of the County Armagh. In 1831, he married Margaret, daughter of the late Alexander Cross, of Portnelligan, County of Armagh, Esq., by whom he has issue. In reference to this line, from the Archbishop, so claimed as in existing succession, it may be added, that a Bible, once the property of that prelate, is now in the possession of the Reverend Thomas Tenison Cuffe, minister of Carlisle Episcopal Chapel, London, and a fine portrait of his Grace is hung in Elsing Spital, London; while another, with portraits of the above-mentioned Bishop of Ossory, and of his son, the Archdeacon of Caermarthen, are in the possession of Joseph Hayden, Esq., of Prospect, County Waterford, a connexion of the family.
The stock, from which his Grace of Canterbury descended, was destined to give another prelate to the Bench of Bishops of Ireland, and to continue in that country, through another channel of succession, the line of the Tenisons; for, according to wellaccredited family traditions, Richard Tenison, afterwards Bishop, was a cousin of the Primate. He was born about the year 1640, at Carrickfergus, where he received the rudiments of his education, which was finished at St. Bees, in Cumberland, whence, in 1659, he entered Trinity College, Dublin, in the usual time graduated in Arts and Divinity, and at length became its Vice-Chancellor. Long, however, before that happened, he took the charge of the diocesan school of Trim, and afterwards, taking priest's orders, was, in 1669, appointed rector and vicar of Laracor, and of Agher-Pallice, and was, in 1675, promoted to the Deanery of Clogher, with various other ecclesiastical benefices, most of which he obtained through the interest of the Earl of Essex,