William King (bishop)

William King
Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland
Church Church of Ireland
See Archdiocese of Dublin
In office 1703 — 1729
Predecessor Narcissus Marsh
Successor John Hoadly
Ordination 1679
Personal details
Born May 1650
County Antrim
Died May 1729
Previous post Bishop of Derry

William King, D.D. (1650–1729) was an Anglican divine in the Church of Ireland, who was Archbishop of Dublin from 1703 to 1729. He was an author and supported the Glorious Revolution.

Early life

King was born in May 1650 in County Antrim and was educated at The Royal School, Dungannon, County Tyrone, and thereafter at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating BA on 23 February 1670 and MA in 1673.[1]


On 25 October 1671, King was ordained a deacon as chaplain to John Parker, archbishop of Tuam, and on 14 July 1673 Parker gave him the prebend of Kilmainmore, County Mayo. King, who lived as part of Parker's household, was ordained a priest on 12 April 1674.[1]

His support of the Glorious Revolution in 1688 served to advance his position. He became Bishop of Derry in 1691. He was advanced to the position of Archbishop of Dublin in 1703, a post he would hold until his death. He gave £1,000 for the founding of "Archbishop King's Professorship of Divinity" at Trinity College in 1718. Much of his correspondence survives and provides a historic resource for the study of the Ireland of his time. He died in May 1729.

King's years as a bishop were marked by reform and the building of churches and glebe houses, and by the dispensing of charity. His political influence was considerable: he was consulted on judicial appointments and at times seems to have had an effective veto over candidates he considered unsuitable. His influence later declined after the appointment of Hugh Boulter as Archbishop of Armagh. He was a vocal opponent of Wood's halfpence during the 1720s.[1]


As a man of letters he wrote The State of the Protestants in Ireland under King James's Government in 1691 and De Origine Mali in 1702, translated into English with extensive notes by Edmund Law in 1731 as An Essay on the Origin of Evil; it was also subject to a well-known critical discussion by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, published as an appendix to Leibniz's Théodicée.


  1. 1 2 3 Connolly, S. J. "King, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/15605. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

Further reading

Religious titles
Preceded by
Ezekiel Hopkins
Bishop of Derry
Succeeded by
Charles Hickman
Preceded by
Narcissus Marsh
Archbishop of Dublin
Succeeded by
John Hoadly
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