Frederic G. Kenyon

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Sir Frederic G. Kenyon
Frederic George Kenyon.jpg
Born Frederic George Kenyon
(1863-01-15)15 January 1863
London, England
Died 23 August 1952(1952-08-23) (aged 89)
Godstone, Surrey, England
Academic work
Main interests Palaeography, Biblical criticism and Classics

Sir Frederic George Kenyon GBE KCB TD FBA FSA (15 January 1863 – 23 August 1952) was a British palaeographer and biblical and classical scholar. He occupied from 1889 to 1931 a series of posts at the British Museum. He was also the president of the British Academy from 1917 to 1921, and from 1918 to 1952 he was Gentleman Usher of the Purple Rod.

Early life[edit]

Kenyon was born in London, the son of John Robert Kenyon, the Vinerian Professor of English Law at Oxford, and was thus great-grandson of Lloyd Kenyon, 1st Baron Kenyon.[1] He was educated at Winchester College.[2] He graduated BA from Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was later a fellow.


Kenyon joined the British Museum in 1889 and rose to be its Director and Principal Librarian by 1909. He was knighted for his services in 1912 and remained at his post until 1931.

In 1891, Kenyon edited the editio princeps of Aristotle's Constitution of Athens. In 1920, he was appointed president of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. He spent most of his retirement researching and publishing ancient papyri. He died on 23 August 1952.

Kenyon was a noted scholar of ancient languages, and made a lifelong study of the Bible, especially the New Testament as an historical text. His book Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (1895) shows one way that Egyptian papyri and other evidence from archaeology can corroborate the narrative of historical events in the Gospels. He was convinced of the historical reality of the events described in the New Testament: “the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed.”[3]

Personal life[edit]

Kenyon's eldest daughter was the British archaeologist Dame Kathleen Kenyon.

From 1899 to 1901 Frederic was Commanding Officer of the Roxeth & Harrow Company of the London Diocesan Church Lads' Brigade.



  1. ^
  2. ^ Sabben-Clare, James. Winchester College. Cave, 1981. p. 187
  3. ^ Kenyon, Frederic (1940) The Bible & Archaeology. New York: Harper & Row

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