Peter Gunning 1614-1684

From Book Owners Online

Peter GUNNING 1614-1684

Biographical Note

Born at Hoo, Kent, son of Peter Gunning, Vicar of Hoo. BA Clare Hall, Cambridge 1633, MA and fellow of Corpus Christi 1636; remained at Cambridge until 1644, when he was ejected. Moved to Oxford, where he was associated with the royalist cause, and became chaplain of New College. Spent the Interregnum with various royalist households, as tutor of chaplain.

Restored to his Clare fellowship 1660, and made DD, and Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity; Master of Corpus Christi College, 1661; President of St John’s College, and Regius Professor of Divinity, later in the same year. Prebendary of Canterbury Cathedral (with other Kent preferments), 1660. Delegate at the Savoy Conference, 1661. Bishop of Chichester 1670, translated to Ely 1675. He published a number of sermons and works of theological controversy.


Gunning bequeathed half his library to St John’s College, Cambridge, and the other half to his executor William Saywell, for life, before they were returned to the College. He also gave some books to Canterbury Cathedral, and it is possible that some books regarded as duplicates by St John's were bought by Thomas Plume. Several thousand books survive in the College Library today, covering not only theology and canon law but also politics, history, classics, literature and science. Examples: numerous in St. John’s; Jesus College, Cambridge C.9.29.

Characteristic Markings

The books at St John’s carry a printed book label (Lee 205, 217) inserted after they were received. Most volumes carry a small blind or gilt armorial stamp of Gunning’s arms as Bishop of Ely.