John Lynch (Dean of Canterbury)

John Lynch (1697—1760) was an 18th-century Church of England clergyman. He was Dean of Canterbury from 1734 to 1760.

Lynch was born on 5 December 1697 at Staple (Kent), son of John Lynch (d. 1733) and his wife, Sarah, daughter of Francis Head of Rochester. He was educated at the King's School, Canterbury, and then St John's College, Cambridge, (1714; BA 1718; MA 1721; DD 1728).[1] He was ordained deacon in Norwich (1721). In 1723 his patron, Archbishop William Wake, appointed him to the Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral (Stall IV) and as rector of All Hallows, Bread Street, London. He was rector of Sundridge (Kent) from 1725 to 1733 and a Chaplain to the King from 1727 to 1734. He married the archbishop's daughter, Mary, in 1728 and quickly received further preferment, including appointment as Master of the Hospital of St Cross, Winchester, rector of All Hallows the Great (London) (1730-2), rector of Ickham, Kent (1731–60), rector of Eynesford, Kent (1731–60), rector of Bishopsbourne, Kent (1731–60), Master of Harbledown Hospital, Canterbury (1731) and Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral (1735–60). On the death of Elias Sydall, he was appointed Dean of Canterbury.[2]

Dean Lynch was criticised in his lifetime as a notorious pluralist. An anonymous satirical pamphlet (The Life of Dean L---nch, 1748) was published attacking him.[3] In exoneration, H.J. Todd in his Some account of the deans of Canterbury (1793) comments: 'Large as his Income may appear, yet his expenses were equal to his revenues. On his Prebendal and Deanery Houses he had expended no less than £3000. And his private charities were known to equal his public spirit'.[4] Todd notes that Lynch had been an early supporter of the Society for the Support of the Widows and Orphans of the Clergy.


  1. "Lynche, John (LNC714J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ACAD: A Cambridge Alumni Database
  3. Richard Sharp, ‘Lynch, John (1697–1760)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2009 , accessed 24 Oct 2009
  4. H.J. Todd, Some account of the deans of Canterbury, Canterbury, 1793, p. 216
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Elias Sydall
Dean of Canterbury
Succeeded by
William Freind
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