Henry King

Image by By kind permission of Chichester City Council

Henry King

b. 1592 d. 1669


Sleep on my love in thy cold bed, never to be disquieted. - Henry King 'An exequy to his matchless never to be forgotten friend'


About Henry King

The son of an influential Bishop of London, Henry King followed in his father’s footsteps to pursue a career in the Church, which culminated in his appointment as Bishop of Chichester, a position he held during a very turbulent period in British history. His poetry is a chronicle of eventful times. The public, political turmoil of the state was matched by private, personal turmoil for King. Most movingly, he suffered, and wrote about, the death of his young wife, Anne.

His loyalty to the king during the Civil War led to Parliament taking away his estates in 1643, but he lived to be reinstated at Chichester at the time of the Restoration.

King was a friend of the metaphysical poet and Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, John Donne. His poetry employs the sort of extravagant extended metaphors, delight in paradox and self-conscious displays of wit that are characteristic of the metaphysical poets.