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John Kensit

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John Kensit

John Kensit
Born 12 Feb 1853
London, England
Died 8 Oct 1902
Clerkenwell, Liverpool, England
Resting place
Hampstead Cemetery, Fortune Green, England
Residence Hampstead
Nationality United Kingdom
Ethnicity British
Occupation Protestant Lecturer & Publisher
Religion Protestant
Spouse(s) Edith Mary Kensit (nee Eves)
Children Edith Elizabeth, John Arthur Kensit, Amelia Louisa, Florence Mary
Parents John Kensit, Elizabeth Ann

John Kensit (1853 – 8 October 1902) was an English religious leader and polemicist.

Life history

Kensit, a bookseller from London, had in his youth been attracted to the Ritualist elements of church services, but in her later life he grew into a Protestant leader and anti-Ritualist campaigner.[1] In 1889 he founded the Protestant Truth Society[2] to oppose what he saw as the excessive influence of the Oxford Movement on the Church of England, despite the Public Worship Regulation Act 1874. Kensit, along with other campaigners, such as William Harcourt, believed the government and the courts were not dealing with the issue of Ritualism vigorously enough.[1] Kensit would deal with the issue by attending churches where he believed Ritualism was still being conducted or appear at courts where Ritualist cases were being tried, and would vocally disrupt proceedings.[1][3]

Kensit made international news in 1899 when he announced that he would run for Parliament in the seat for Manchester East against Arthur Balfour, the leader of the House of Commons.[4]

Kensit died on 8 October 1902, of pneumonia and blood poisoning, the result of a wound he received in September that year when he was struck by a chisel thrown by a protestor as he arrived to a meeting in Birkenhead.[2][5]


  1. ^ a b c Yates, Nigel (1999). Anglican Ritualism in Victorian Britain: 1830 - 1910. Oxford University Press. p. 316.  
  2. ^ a b Gordon Murray (March 2003). "Contender or agitator?".  
  3. ^ "Protest Against Ritualism". The New York Times. 10 May 1899. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Ritualists in England". The Mercury (Tasmania). 15 February 1899. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Murder of John Kensit". The Capricornian. 8 November 1902. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 

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