Richard Kidder

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Richard Kidder, Bishop of Bath and Wells

Richard Kidder (1633–1703) was an English Anglican churchman, Bishop of Bath and Wells, from 1691 to his death. He was a noted theologian.


He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was a sizar, from 1649, graduating 1652.[1] He became a Fellow there in 1655, and vicar of Stranground, Huntingdonshire, in 1659.[2] He was deprived in 1662.[3]

He was rector of Rayne Parva, Essex, from 1664 to 1674, having conformed to the Act of 1662. He was later vicar of St. Martin Outwich, London, and in 1689 a royal chaplain,[4] and dean of Peterborough.

His A Demonstration of the Messias[5] has been identified as a significant influence on the librettist Charles Jennens, in writing the words for the Messiah of Handel.[6] This book also took up suggestions of Joseph Mede on multiple authorship of the Book of Zechariah.[7]

He was killed in the Great Storm of 1703, on 26 November (7 December in today’s calendar);[8] he was in bed with his wife in the episcopal palace at Wells when the chimney fell on both of them.[9]


  • The Christian sufferer supported (1680)
  • A Demonstration of the Messias. In which the Truth of the Christian Religion is Proved, Against All the Enemies Thereof; But Especially Against the Jews. In Three Parts (1684, 1699, 1700)
  • A sermon upon the resurrection (1694)
  • A Commentary on the Five Books of Moses: With a Dissertation Concerning the Author Or Writer of the said books and a general argument to each of them (1694)
  • The life of the Reverend Anthony Horneck, late preacher at the Savoy (1698)
  • The holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments (1715)
  • A Discourse Concerning Sins of Infirmity, and Wilful Sins, with Another of Restitution (reprint, 2010)


  1. ^ "Kidder, Richard (KDR649R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ Concise Dictionary of National Biography.
  3. ^ [1], CNDB.
  4. ^ CNDB
  5. ^ A Demonstration of the Messias. In which the Truth of the Christian Religion is proved, against all the Enemies thereof; but especially against the Jews. In three volumes, published 1684, 1699, 1700.
  6. ^ [2]; Michael Marissen, Rejoicing against Judaism in Handel's Messiah, Journal of Musicology, Spring 2007, Vol. 24, No. 2, Pages 167-194.
  7. ^ Bible Survey: The Book of Zechariah
  8. ^ 27 November, Every-Day Book
  9. ^ Newsletter 35

External links

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Simon Patrick
Dean of Peterborough
Succeeded by
Samuel Freeman
Preceded by
Thomas Ken
Bishop of Bath and Wells
Succeeded by
George Hooper
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