Biography of Bishop Peter Gunning 1614-1684

Paternal Family Tree: Gunning

In 1614 Bishop Peter Gunning was born to Peter Gunning (age 29) at Hoo St Werburgh Kent.

In Dec 1615 [his father] Peter Gunning (age 30) died.

Evelyn's Diary. 03 Dec 1657. Mr. Gunning (age 43) preached on John iii. 3, against the Anabaptists, showing the effect and necessity of the sacrament of baptism. This sect was now wonderfully spread.

Evelyn's Diary. 25 Dec 1657. I went to London with my wife (age 22), to celebrate Christmas-day, Mr. Gunning (age 43) preaching in Exeter chapel [Map], on Micah vii. 2. Sermon ended, as he was giving us the Holy Sacrament, the chapel was surrounded with soldiers, and all the communicants and assembly surprised and kept prisoners by them, some in the house, others carried away. It fell to my share to be confined to a room in the house, where yet I was permitted to dine with the master of it, the Countess of Dorset (age 35), Baroness Hatton (age 45), and some others of quality who invited me. In the afternoon, came Colonel Whalley, Goffe, and others, from Whitehall [Map], to examine us one by one; some they committed to the marshal [Map], some to prison. When I came before them, they took my name and abode, examined me why, contrary to the ordinance made, that none should any longer observe the superstitious time of the nativity (so esteemed by them), I durst offend, and particularly be at common prayers, which they told me was but the mass in English, and particularly pray for Charles Stuart (age 27); for which we had no Scripture. I told them we did not pray for Charles Stuart (age 27), but for all Christian kings, princes, and governors. They replied, in so doing we prayed for the king of Spain, too, who was their enemy and a Papist, with other frivolous and ensnaring questions, and much threatening; and, finding no color to detain me, they dismissed me with much pity of my ignorance. These were men of high flight and above ordinances, and spoke spiteful things of our Lord's nativity. As we went up to receive the Sacrament, the miscreants held their muskets against us, as if they would have shot us at the altar; but yet suffering us to finish the office of Communion, as perhaps not having instructions what to do, in case they found us in that action. So I got home late the next day; blessed be God!

Evelyn's Diary. 07 Mar 1658. To London, to hear Dr. Taylor (age 45) in a private house on Luke xiii. 23, 24. After the sermon, followed the blessed Communion, of which I participated. In the afternoon, Dr. Gunning (age 44), at Exeter House [Map], expounding part of the Creed.

Evelyn's Diary. 18 Nov 1659. Mr. Gunning (age 45) celebrated the wonted Fast, and preached on Phil. II 12, 13.

Evelyn's Diary. 09 Dec 1659. I supped with Mr. Gunning (age 45), it being our fast day, Dr. Fearne, Mr. Thrisco, Mr. Chamberlain, Dr. Henchman (age 67), Dr. Wild, and other devout and learned divines, firm confessors, and excellent persons. Note: Most of them since made bishops.

In 1660, at the Restoration, Bishop Peter Gunning (age 46) was appointed Canon Canterbury.

Evelyn's Diary. 01 Jan 1660. Annus Mirabilis. Begging God's blessings for the following year, I went to Exeter Chapel [Map], when Mr. Gunning (age 46) began the year on Galatians iv. 3-7, showing the love of Christ in shedding his blood so early for us.

Pepy's Diary. 01 Jan 1660. (Lord's Day) This morning (we living lately in the garret) I rose, put on my suit with great skirts, having not lately worn any other, clothes but them. Went to Mr. Gunning's (age 46) chapel at Exeter House [Map], where he made a very good sermon upon these words: - "That in the fulness of time God sent his Son, made of a woman", &c.; showing, that, by "made under the law", is meant his circumcision, which is solemnized this day.

Pepy's Diary. 08 Jan 1660. Sunday. In the morning I went to Mr. Gunning's (age 46), where a good sermon, wherein he showed the life of Christ, and told us good authority for us to believe that Christ did follow his father's trade, and was a carpenter till thirty years of age. From thence to my father's (age 58) to dinner, where I found my wife (age 19), who was forced to dine there, we not having one coal of fire in the house, and it being very hard frosty weather. In the afternoon my father (age 58), he going to a man's to demand some money due to my Aunt Bells my wife (age 19) and I went to Mr. Mossum's (age 43), where a strange doctor made a very good sermon. From thence sending my wife (age 19) to my father's (age 58), I went to Mrs. Turner's (age 37), and staid a little while, and then to my father's (age 58), where I found Mr. Sheply, and after supper went home together. Here I heard of the death of Mr. Palmer, and that he was to be buried at Westminster [Map] tomorrow.

Pepy's Diary. 29 Jan 1660. Sunday. In the morning I went to Mr. Gunning's (age 46), where he made an excellent sermon upon the 2d of the Galatians, about the difference that fell between St. Paul and St. Peter (the feast day of St. Paul being a day or two ago), whereby he did prove, that, contrary to the doctrine of the Roman Church, St. Paul did never own any dependance, or that he was inferior to St. Peter, but that they were equal, only one a particular charge of preaching to the Jews, and the other to the Gentiles. Here I met with Mr. Moore, and went home with him to dinner to Mr. Crew's (age 62), where Mr. Spurrier being in town did dine with us. From thence I went home and spent the afternoon in casting up my accounts, and do find myself to be worth £40 and more, which I did not think, but am afraid that I have forgot something.

Pepy's Diary. 05 Feb 1660. Sunday. Lord's day. In the morning before church time Mr. Hawly, who had for this day or two looked something sadly, which methinks did speak something in his breast concerning me, came to me telling me that he was out £24 which he could not tell what was become of, and that he do remember that he had such a sum in a bag the other day, and could not tell what he did with it, at which I was very sorry but could not help him. In the morning to Mr. Gunning (age 46), where a stranger, an old man, preached a good honest sermon upon "What manner of love is this that we should be called the sons of God". After sermon I could not find my wife, who promised to be at the gate against my coming out, and waited there a great while; then went to my house and finding her gone I returned and called at the Chequers, thinking to dine at the ordinary with Mr. Chetwind and Mr. Thomas, but they not being there I went to my father (age 59) and found her there, and there I dined. To their church in the afternoon, and in Mrs. Turner's (age 37) pew my wife took up a good black hood and kept it. A stranger preached a poor sermon, and so read over the whole book of the story of Tobit.

Pepy's Diary. 17 Feb 1660. Friday. In the morning Tom that was my Lord's footboy came to see me and had 10s. of me of the money which I have to keep of his. So that now I have but 35s. more of his. Then came Mr. Hills the instrument maker, and I consulted with him about the altering my lute and my viall. After that I went into my study and did up my accounts, and found that I am about; £40 beforehand in the world, and that is all. So to my office and from thence brought Mr. Hawly home with me to dinner, and after dinner wrote a letter to Mr Downing (age 35) about his business and gave it Hawly, and so went to Mr. Gunning's (age 46) to his weekly fast, and after sermon, meeting there with Monsieur L'Impertinent, we went and walked in the park till it was dark. I played on my pipe at the Echo, and then drank a cup of ale at Jacob's. So to Westminster Hall [Map], and he with me, where I heard that some of the members of the House were gone to meet with some of the secluded members and General Monk (age 51) in the City. Hence we went to White Hall, thinking to hear more news, where I met with Mr. Hunt, who told me how Monk (age 51) had sent for all his goods that he had here into the City; and yet again he told me, that some of the members of the House had this day laid in firing into their lodgings at White Hall for a good while, so that we are at a great stand to think what will become of things, whether Monk (age 51) will stand to the Parliament or no. Hence Mons L'Impertinent and I to Harper's, and there drank a cup or two to the King (age 29), and to his fair sister Frances good health, of whom we had much discourse of her not being much the worse for the smallpox, which she had this last summer.

Pepy's Diary. 19 Feb 1660. Sunday. Lord's day. Early in the morning I set my books that I brought home yesterday up in order in my study. Thence forth to Mr. Harper's to drink a draft of purle, [Note. Purl is hot beer flavoured with wormwood or other aromatic herbs. The name is also given to hot beer flavoured with gin, sugar, and ginger.] whither by appointment Monsieur L'Impertinent, who did intend too upon my desire to go along with me to St. Bartholomew's, to hear one Mr. Sparks, but it raining very hard we went to Mr. Gunning's (age 46) and heard an excellent sermon, and speaking of the character that the Scripture gives of Ann the mother of the blessed Virgin, he did there speak largely in commendation of widowhood, and not as we do to marry two or three wives or husbands, one after another. Here I met with Mr. Moore, and went home with him to dinner, where he told me the discourse that happened between the secluded members and the members of the House, before Monk (age 51) last Friday. How the secluded said, that they did not intend by coming in to express revenge upon these men, but only to meet and dissolve themselves, and only to issue writs for a free Parliament. He told me how Haselrigge (age 59) was afraid to have the candle carried before him, for fear that the people seeing him, would do him hurt; and that he is afraid to appear in the City. That there is great likelihood that the secluded members will come in, and so Mr. Crew (age 62) and my Lord are likely to be great men, at which I was very glad. After diner there was many secluded members come in to Mr. Crew (age 62), which, it being the Lord's day, did make Mr. Moore believe that there was something extraordinary in the business.

Pepy's Diary. 04 Mar 1660. Lord's day. Before I went to church I sang Orpheus' Hymn to my viall. After that to Mr. Gunning's (age 46), an excellent sermon upon charity. Then to my mother to dinner, where my wife and the maid were come. After dinner we three to Mr. Messum's where we met Mons. L'Impertinent, who got us a seat and told me a ridiculous story how that last week he had caused a simple citizen to spend; £80 in entertainments of him and some friends of his upon pretence of some service that he would do him in his suit after a widow. Then to my mother again, and after supper she and I talked very high about religion, I in defence of the religion I was born in. Then home.

Pepy's Diary. 26 May 1661. Lord's Day. Lay long in bed. To church and heard a good sermon at our own church, where I have not been a great many weeks. Dined with my wife alone at home pleasing myself in that my house do begin to look as if at last it would be in good order. This day the Parliament received the communion of Dr. Gunning (age 47) at St. Margaret's, Westminster [Map]. In the afternoon both the Sir Williams came to church, where we had a dull stranger.

Pepy's Diary. 26 May 1661. After church home, and so to the Mitre [Map], where I found Dr. Burnett, the first time that ever I met him to drink with him, and my uncle Wight and there we sat and drank a great deal, and so I to Sir W. Batten's (age 60), where I have on purpose made myself a great stranger, only to get a high opinion a little more of myself in them. Here I heard how Mrs. Browne, Sir W. Batten's (age 60) sister, is brought to bed, and I to be one of the godfathers, which I could not nor did deny. Which, however, did trouble me very much to be at charge to no purpose, so that I could not sleep hardly all night, but in the morning I bethought myself, and I think it is very well I should do it. Sir W. Batten (age 60) told me how Mr. Prin (age 61) (among the two or three that did refuse to-day to receive the sacrament upon their knees) was offered by a mistake the drink afterwards, which he did receive, being denied the drink by Dr. Gunning (age 47), unless he would take it on his knees; and after that by another the bread was brought him, and he did take it sitting, which is thought very preposterous. Home and to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 03 Aug 1661. Then parted, and I went to the Rose [Map], and there with Mr. Pechell, Sanchy, and others, sat and drank till night and were very merry, only they tell me how high the old doctors are in the University over those they found there, though a great deal better scholars than themselves; for which I am very sorry, and, above all, Dr. Gunning (age 47).

Pepy's Diary. 27 Dec 1661. In the morning to my Bookseller's to bespeak a Stephens's Thesaurus, for which I offer £4, to give to Paul's School; and from thence to Paul's Church; and there I heard Dr. Gunning (age 47) preach a good sermon upon the day (being St. John's day), and did hear him tell a story, which he did persuade us to believe to be true, that St. John and the Virgin Mary did appear to Gregory, a Bishopp, at his prayer to be confirmed in the faith, which I did wonder to hear from him.

In 1669 Bishop Peter Gunning (age 55) was appointed Bishop of Chichester.

Evelyn's Diary. 23 Feb 1673. The Bishop of Chichester (age 59) preached before the King (age 42) on Coloss. II 14, 15, admirably well, as he can do nothing but what is well.

Evelyn's Diary. 29 Mar 1673. I carried my son (age 18) to the Bishop of Chichester, that learned and pious man, Dr. Peter Gunning (age 59), to be instructed by him before he received the Holy Sacrament, when he gave him most excellent advice, which I pray God may influence and remain with him as long as he lives; and O that I had been so blessed and instructed, when first I was admitted to that sacred ordinance!

In 1674 Bishop Peter Gunning (age 60) was translated to Bishop of Ely.

Evelyn's Diary. 26 Mar 1675. Dr. Brideoak (age 62) was elected Bishop of Chichester, on the translation of Dr. Gunning (age 61) to Ely.

Evelyn's Diary. 20 Feb 1676. Dr. Gunning (age 62), Bishop of Ely, preached before the King (age 45) from St. John xx. 21, 22, 23, chiefly against an anonymous book, called "Naked Truth", a famous and popular treatise against the corruption in the Clergy, but not sound as to its quotations, supposed to have been the Bishop of Hereford and was answered by Dr. Turner, it endeavoring to prove an equality of order of Bishop and Presbyter.

Popish Plot

Evelyn's Diary. 15 Nov 1678. The Queen's (age 39) birthday. I never saw the Court more brave, nor the nation in more apprehension and consternation. Coleman (age 42) and one Staly had now been tried, condemned, and executed. On this, Oates grew so presumptuous as to accuse the Queen (age 39) of intending to poison the King (age 48); which certainly that pious and virtuous lady abhorred the thoughts of, and Oates's circumstances made it utterly unlikely in my opinion. He probably thought to gratify some who would have been glad his Majesty (age 48) should have married a fruitful lady; but the King (age 48) was too kind a husband to let any of these make impression on him. However, divers of the Popish peers were sent to the Tower of London [Map], accused by Oates; and all the Roman Catholic lords were by a new Act forever excluded the Parliament; which was a mighty blow. the King's (age 48), Queen's, and Duke's servants, were banished, and a test to be taken by everybody who pretended to enjoy any office of public trust, and who would not be suspected of Popery. I went with Sir William Godolphin (age 38), a member of the Commons' House, to the Bishop of Ely (Dr. Peter Gunning (age 64)), to be resolved whether masses were idolatry, as the text expressed it, which was so worded, that several good Protestants scrupled, and Sir William, though a learned man and excellent divine himself, had some doubts about it. The Bishop's opinion was that he might take it, though he wished it had been otherwise worded in the text.

Before 1684. Circle of Anthony Van Dyck. Portrait of Bishop Peter Gunning (age 69).

On 06 Jul 1684 Bishop Peter Gunning (age 70) died.

Evelyn's Diary. 04 Nov 1684. Dr. Turner (age 47), now translated from Rochester to Ely upon the death of Dr. Peter Gunning, preached before the King (age 54) at White-hall on 3 Romans 8, a very excellent sermon, indicating the Church of England against the pernicious doctrines of the Church of Rome. He challenged the producing but of five Cleargymen who forsooke our Church and went over to that of Rome, during all the troubles & rebellion In England, which lasted neere twenty yeares; and this was to my certaine observation a greate truth.

Ancestors of Bishop Peter Gunning 1614-1684

GrandFather: Thomas Gunning

Father: Peter Gunning

Bishop Peter Gunning