Kenelm Henry Digby

Life
?1796-1880, b. Ireland, youngest s. of Dean of Clonfert, ed. Trinity Coll., Cambridge, Catholic converted to Catholicism; celebrated exponent of a chivalric conception of Christian piety; author of The Broad Stone of Honour (1822), Rules for the Gentlemen of England (1822-23) on chivalry (revised in 4 vols. 1826-27, and reissued 1845-48; Mores Catholici, or Ages of Faith (11 vols., 1831-40); his work regarded as the second only to Scripture by some clerical admirers; ; m. Jane Mary, dg. Thomas Dillon of Mount Dillon, Co. Dublin; a son, Kenelm Thomas Digby, MP Queen’s County; there is a memoir by B. Holland (1919). ODNB PI DIW OCEL

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Works
Short Poems (1865); A Day on the Muse’s Hill (1867); Hours with the Fast Falling Leaves (1868); Little Low Bushes (1869); Halcyon Hours (1870); Ourangaia, or Heaven on Earth (1872); Last Year’s Leaves (1873); The Temple of Memory (1874); The Epilogue to Previous Works in Prose and Verse, in six cantos (1876).

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References
British Library holds Halcyon Hours: Poems (London & Dublin: James Duffy 1870), 358pp.; The Chapel of St. John; or, a Life of faith in the nineteenth century [2nd edn.] (London: Thomas Richardson & Son 1861); Do., another edn. (London & Dublin: James Duffy 1863).

Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.89-93 lists ‘Lettice Digby’, in [see also under Henry Brooke, Rx].

Dictionary of National Biography gives bio-dates 1800-1860 [but note corrig. ?1796; 7th Imp.]; miscellaneous writer; works on ‘emotional aspects of Catholicism’.

Belfast Public Library holds B. Holland, Memoir of Kenelm Henry Digby (1919).

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Notes
Kith & Kin?: Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665), author, naval commander, and diplomatist, who also discovered the necessity of oxygen to life in plants [see Dictionary of National Biography]; author of A Conference with a Lady about choice of a Religion (1635), Of the Nature of Bodies (1644) and Of the Nature of Mans Soule (1644); ed. Gloucester College, Oxon.; fought a duel in France in 1642, killing his opponent; elected Royal Society, 1633.

Kith & Kin?: Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-1665) is cited in Rinuccini’s Embassy as resident of the Queen of England at Rome and bearer of letters to Rinuccini from the Pope; ‘a restless man of scanty wisdom who before now has taken the oath of supremacy.’ [trans. Hutton, from Giazza; see Rinuccini, infra].

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